The Queen’s Head Sedlescombe

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The epitome of a beautiful English pub, tile hung, deep red bricks add the lustre of another age. Originally 15th century, there have been additions and extensions since Queen Elizabeth I’s time but the mellow brick walls remain and possibly the fireplace although those tiles are 19th century and ‘lie over the original beams and plaster for additional weather-proofing’ (Twenty Centuries in Sedlescombe by Beryl Lucey)

A hint of William Morris, creeper covered walls, brick paving and shrubs by the front door invite you to enter. Luckily, this is no pastiche for there is an attention to detail inside this now dining pub with a bar.

Times change, that country pub devoted to beer has long gone, thankfully in the case of The Queen’s Head for a few years ago the pub was doomed, dying on its feet, dark rooms, insipid beer and what food was available was advertised on fluorescent stickers pinned to the wall behind the bar.

Now food is the driver and excellent it is too with fish and chips and prime beef burgers amidst the risottos, sea bass duck breast and the ‘Specials Board’.  The fish platter shared was very good and despite the walk from Bodiam Castle I forwent beer for a chilled white wine and a pint of soda water on this hot day sat in the garden – very un-Rambler like.

It has that comfortable air inside with little rooms, old table and odd chairs, fires in winter and this particular July Thursday afternoon, a choir rehearsing in the back room.

Service too is very good, attentive without being demanding.

Increased trade has increased the quality of the beer with Harvey’s Best, Long Man Blonde, Sharpe’s Doom and Fuller’s Oliver Island on offer on my walking day.

Remember before you leave add a few coins to the collecting box on the bar – for the village geese – and be especially careful when you drive away to avoid the noisy birds.

I was walking 1066 Harold’s Way (Bodiam Castle to Battle Abbey via Sedlescombe) inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings.

 

It is the final section of this long-distance walk, from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey, and with just three miles to go it is worth stopping for a pint.

 

The Queen’s Head, The Green, Sedlescombe, East Sussex, TN33 0QA  Tel.  01424 870228

http://www.thequeensheadsedlescombe.com

CAMRA WhatPub

Walk of the Month – February

The Walking Year – 1066 Harold’s Way

Inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings, 1066 – Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey

Greenwich to Lesnes Abbey

 

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From the magnificence of Greenwich to the iconic steel hoods of the Thames Barrier shining in the sunlight, a broad walkway allows you to stroll next to a much wider river than before. Working wharves line the riverside giving an industrial air to the area and the occasional decaying pier or warehouse only serves as a reminder that London was once the busiest port in the world.

Imagine the scene with ships moored all along The Thames up to London Bridge, all the hustle and bustle of cargos from all around the world being unloaded, helping an older London expand to meet new needs. The wharves now lie mostly idle, larger ships need deeper water and the Port has moved to Tilbury, further down the river, but there is still the feeling of a history to follow in every step you take along the Thames Path.

The second part of this walk is away from the river, walking through parks and ancient woodland that have survived for a thousand years, a world distant from the streets of London. So beautiful are the trees and trails, and the solitude and inspiration they provide, that it is hard to imagine how close you are to the City.

  • Start: Greenwich (Southeastern & DLR)
  • Finish: Lesnes Abbey – Abbey Park Station (Southeastern)
  • Travel: www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk
  • Distance: 9.75 miles
  • Time: 3 ½ hours
  • Maps: OS Explorer 162
  • Guide: 1066 Harold’s Way

Walk

This section relies heavily first on the Thames Path, from London Bridge to the Thames Barrier and secondly, the Green Chain Walk to Lesnes Abbey that continues towards Erith and Dartford. Both are well signposted but occasionally the instructions and waymarks are less clear, especially along the Thames Path. At the finish, it is a short walk from Lesnes Abbey to Abbey Wood Station with time for a pint in the Abbey Arms just across the road.

It would appear that The Abbey Arms has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last two years, reintroducing draft beer and food and from the reviews is worth stopping for that rewarding and satisfying pint. My last visit was in 2013 and I am looking forward to my next visit on a 1066 Harold’s Way re-walk sometime soon.

Food

There are plenty of places to buy food and drink at the start of the walk in Greenwich, whether to eat in or to take away for lunch, but be warned, there is nowhere to buy food until the Thames Barrier, no shops until you reach Plumstead and the only public toilets are at the Barrier Café, Marryon Park and Lesnes Abbey.

Taste Journey

It’s New Years Day

East Hill to blow the cobwebs away – it is only a ‘few’ steps to the top and then down hill all the way to All Saints Street.

Dolphin Poster 2   Cinque Ports Poster   Royal Standard Poster

Try ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’ to breathe fresh air into a New Year.

To read a little more about some ‘refreshingly different’ local walks visit:

http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk/news-caky

 

Also available on Kindle from Amazon at

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=pub+walks+in+hastings+and+st+leonards

And by Mail Order from History Walks at

http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk/pub-walks

A Walk is not just for Christmas

Plough Cover

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards

Walk 4 The Plough – West Hill, Hastings Castle, George Street and The Albion

Watch Walk 4 on You Tube  http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk/news-caky

Visit History Walks at www.1066haroldsway.co.uk for full details of ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

London is Doomed

The Saxon Times 27TH November 1066

 

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Normans Advance On London

Once again, the Duke issues orders to divide his army to subdue and conquer more of Saxon England. Detachments of Norman troops are sent to control the roads near Cambridge, St. Neots, and Stony Stratford.

Today, the main Norman army moves north along the old Icknield Way, one of the oldest roads in England. The Duke intends to advance into Hertfordshire, first to St Albans and then on to Hertford where the army will regroup for the final assault on London from the north.It is unlikely that there will any resistance, following the Berkhamsted submissions and the tensions of battle have eased from the knights and the men.

One would hope that there will be less barbarity as claims are made for a slice of the wealth of the country – they would not wish to destroy estates that one day may be theirs.

An extract from The Saxon Times Resources dated 30th November 1066 Issue 55, also available in A4 paperback covering 1066.

http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk/gallery

Also available as a teaching resource from: T.E.S. https://www.tes.com/

True Warriors

The Final Adventure of Javier and Gavin

Finally Gavin and I have finished Harold’s Way.

The last day was longer than we expected and we finished in the dark and the pouring rain.

Javier

It was a valiant effort and I know what it is like having walked through hail, snow, rain and Sussex mud to get to Battle although I did not walk the last two stages in one go.

Certificates and passports have been sent.

Javier has to be congratulated in producing a vlog of their final walk and one of their whole adventure from Westminster Abbey to Battle.

Javier Gavin 9 and 10

Javier Gavin1066HW

Thanks for the films.