Thursday, 13 March 2014

Eastbourne Part 1.....

Interrupting my Canada travelogue to report on our week away in Eastbourne last week.  We left home at 8a.m. Monday 3rd March for the long journey by coach to our destination, stopping off at Banbury for some lunch on the way.  We arrived at our hotel at 6p.m., which gave us time to unpack and freshen up before dinner.

Here's our coaches outside the hotel where we stayed, right on the seafront in Eastbourne, on the first morning, waiting to take us on our first excursion.

Here I am on the short walk down to the seafront right opposite the hotel.
 The promenade
and with friends taking in the sea air before boarding the coaches.

After a hearty breakfast we headed into Battle!    Our journey took us through nearby Pevensey.  Pevensey Bay was where William the Conquerer  invaded England in 1066.   King Harold and his army were fighting further north when the invasion took place, as soon as word got through Harold and his army headed south to meet the invaders who were marching north.   They met at a place called Battle.   Contrary to popular belief the Battle of Hastings did not actually take place in Hastings but in Battle!

We arrived in Battle and took a walk through the town until we came to the Abbey.

Battle Abbey was founded to commemorate the battle, and dedicated in 1095. The high altar of the Abbey church was reputedly on the spot where Harold died. The Abbey gateway is still the dominant feature of the south end of the main street, although little remains of the rest of the Abbey buildings. The remaining cloisters, part of the west range, were leased to Battle Abbey School shortly after World War I, and the school remains in occupancy to this day.  The town of Battle was gradually built around the Abbey, and later developed a reputation for the quality of the gunpowder produced in the area. In the mid 18th century, the town supported five watchmakers in the High Street. Today, Battle is known as a tourist destination. Unfortunately we couldn't go in the Abbey as it was closed to the public until the end of March.

Battle is a lovely little town with quaint buildings,

and an interesting church.

St. Mary the Virgin, which has been at the centre of Christian life in Battle for nearly 900 years.  This beautiful Parish Church was founded by Abbot Ralph circa. A.D.1115. The Benedictine Abbey of St. Martin was built on the battlefield of the Norman conquest and established St. Mary's to serve the community which had grown up around the monastery. The church is a haven of peace and worship built on the battlefield where in 1066 both Norman and Saxon died and history was made.

As you can see from the photos it was a lovely day weatherwise, we headed back towards where the coaches were parked having a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe before enjoying the sunshine in a small square,

where crocus and daffodils were blooming.  Our next destination was Royal Tunbridge Wells for lunch.  The town came into being as a spa in Georgian times and had its heyday as a tourist resort under Beau Nash when the Pantiles, a Georgian colonnade formerly known as The Walks and the (Royal) Parade, it leads from the well that gave the town its name. The area was created following the discovery of a chalybeate spring in the early 17th century and is now a popular tourist attraction.   Chalybeate water was said to have health-giving properties and many people have promoted its qualities.  Dudley North, 3rd Baron North discovered the chalybeate spring at Tunbridge Wells in 1606.  Dudley North's physician claimed that the waters contained 'vitriol' and the waters of Tunbridge Wells could cure:
"the colic, the melancholy, and the vapours; it made the lean fat, the fat lean; it killed flat worms in the belly, loosened the clammy humours of the body, and dried the over-moist brain."
He also apparently said, in verse:
"These waters youth in age renew
Strength to the weak and sickly add
Give the pale cheek a rosy hue
And cheerful spirits to the sad."
The English physician Thomas Sydenham prescribed chalybeate waters for hysteria.  A cure-all apparently!

The above photo was taken as we walked back through the Pantiles after walking the length of the main street in the town and having lunch.    I don't know why but we didn't take any more photos in Tunbridge,  there were lots of antique shops in the Pantiles and little cafes and restaurants, and a pub which we just had to call in to sample the beer!

Unfortunately it was time to board our coach to go back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.   I hope you enjoyed reading about our venture into Battle, join me next time for Eastbourne Part 2 to see the legendary Beachy Head.


Sandi McBride said...

I was right with you, it was a wonderful journey...only makes me want to come home to the Motherland all the more...
hugs and thank you...Sandi

Akelamalu said...

Glad you enjoyed it Sandi. X

MorningAJ said...

We went to Tunbridge Wells a few years ago on our way to Hastings. I tried the 'waters' and was violently sick later that night! I might visit Battle if we were in the area again. You've made it look wonderful.

Ron said...

And once again, m'dear...FAAABULOUS tour of your travels!!!!

WONDERFUL photos! I especially love the one of the promenade and the view of the coastline on the left. Also the shot of the Abbey!

Thank you for sharing this post. Thoroughly enjoyed. As usual. Looking forward to Part 2!


Akelamalu said...

We didn't try the waters, thank goodness after hearing what happened to you AJ! I'd like to go back to Battle when the abbey is open.

Glad you enjoyed the post and the photos Ron. X

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

it just happens that the lovely photo of you on the bench in the sunshine was right next to your grandmother kit and you two look so much alike!

this looks like a lovely trip!

smiles, bee

Cloudia said...

Have to say: You really look regal!

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

=^..^= <3

Beach Bum said...

Great pictures and narration!

Akelamalu said...

Oh wow, I hadn't noticed that Bee! X

Thank you Cloudia. X

Chees Beach. X

Valerie said...

'chalybeate waters for hysteria'

Could do with some of that, Pearl :O)

I have never been to Eastbourne. It looks great... perhaps one day I'll manage to get there.

Secret Agent Woman said...

You do great travelogues - I always feel like I'm right there!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Akemalu - how funny seeing my town! Then you immediately upped sticks and went off to other famous sites ... I've never done Tunbridge Wells properly ..

Battle is interesting isn't it .. and there's a long walk round the heritage site .. did you see the Time Team special this year - when they think they've found the actual site of the battle and where Harold was very probably killed .. on one of the tiny roundabouts at the east end of the village ... but the sea was all around there back then ...

Tomorrow Beachy Head .. I love the photo along the front ..

Delighted you had a good time, so far! Cheers Hilary

Akelamalu said...

We'd never bern to Eastbourne before either Valerie, it's lovely!

Aw thanks SAW, glad you enjoyed it. X

I didn't see the Time Team Special but hubby did. We went to the Exhibition at the Redoubt in Eastbourne it was fascinating, we were talking to a lady who had been helping to clean all the bones that had been found. Have you seen it?

Daryl said...

such a lovely place and didnt you look chic!!!

Akelamalu said...

It is and thank you Daryl. X