Re-enacting the infamous battle

Battle of Hastings re-enactment at Battle Abbey 2016. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-151210-071448001
Battle of Hastings re-enactment at Battle Abbey 2016. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-151210-071448001
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Visitors to 1066 Country will be able to witness England’s most famous battle on the field where Saxon soldiers fought valiantly to save the crown, in the annual re-enactment this weekend.

Each afternoon, the fields below Battle Abbey will be filled with more than 600 troops, including knights on horseback, as they authentically recreate the doomed tactics employed by an exhausted King Harold and his weary army who had marched from Yorkshire to bravely face their enemy.

Fearsome hand-to-hand combat and the galloping hooves of charging horses will add to the atmosphere and terror of the bloody battle, which ended in defeat by William Duke of Normandy – this year portrayed by Frenchman Arnaud Le Fevre.

Away from the battle action, there’s plenty to see and do, from 10am to 4pm each day. Top authors, including Jim Aldridge, James Aitcheson, Alan Lancaster and local author John Gwynne, will take to the literary stage in a packed daily programme of interviews, lectures and readings. More than 60 entries from children who took part in an English Heritage Battle of Hastings-inspired story competition will also be on display.

Visitors can immerse themselves in every aspect of 11th century life as authentic period crafts are sold in a market and Saxon and Norman encampments depict the daily toil for those living on both sides of the Channel. Birds of prey will provide thrilling flying sessions, visitors can try their aim during have-a-go archery sessions and children can take part in fun mock Battle of Hastings skirmishes.

Buy tickets in advance (with a discount before 2pm on Friday, October 13), by calling 0370 333 1183, subject to availability. Tickets cannot be guaranteed to be available to buy at the event site on the day, as they may sell out in advance. Prices: £17.00 adult; £15.10 concession; £10.00 child; £42.40 family; discounted entry for English Heritage members.

A weekend ticket offers 20 per cent discount on the standard day price for both days. Visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/battle.