How much time should you spend at the Battle of Hastings? I'm sure you could spend an entire day there if you choose. I'm looking to take my time, but not get bogged down. We will be travelling by car, and I am trying to decide if we should stay nearby or drive on to our next destination.
Well.......actually the fracas took place up the road at Battle. If the reenactors aren't around with their wealth of informtion a half day is plenty.
Depends where you're coming from (i.e. what time you'd get to Battle) and where you're going next, but the battle site at Senlac Hill is a field, with some trees. Maybe some sheep if you get lucky. By itself it's at best a 30 minute visit and you'd be hard pushed to spend that much time there, and in a car you'd be queuing through town for a while; park further away and walk in, if you can. The abbey is interesting though. Like Ed mentioned, 1/2-day should do you in any case, tbh, unless there is a re-enactment and you go visit all the tents. If there is and you do, make sure any mead you try is pure honey - the cheap stuff mixed with wine is rank. If you're heading to Brighton after seeing the battle site, either go to Lewes and in, which takes you across a nice-ish bit of the downs, or (better, imo, but there are some Sussex natives on h=this board that may disagree) go to Ditchling and drive up the face of the chalk to the top of the Beacon. Fantastic views from up there north across Sussex although it gets a bit breezy! Hot days there's always an ice-cream van parked up in the little pay-&-display car-park on the top... From there you drive over the top of the downs south into Brighton. However if you're going on to Canterbury, you could take the coast road through Rye and Dymchurch through to Dover then get on the A2 inland - one of my fave rides when I lived over that way. Rye is a really pretty little harbour town but be warned, hot summer afternoons = crowded!
If you go to Battle, be sure you get the audio tour to listen to as you walk around the battlefield. You can hear about the battle from the perspective of several different persona. It takes about an hour.....Someday when you visit Bayeux and see the tapestry, you get to hear the same story from the completely opposite perspective....fun to compare.....What I thought was a bit strange on our "1066" trip was that we also tried to visit Stamford Bridge up by York - as far as we could tell there isn't even a marker there to commemorate that very significant battle.
I second Cynthia's advice to do the audio tour. It brings the events to life. The museum on the site is also good. Even doing both of these you probably won't want to spend much more than two hours on the site. Hastings itself, which is a little while away, is also worth a visit. Alan