There is more to St Leonards on Sea than the Promenade

You can now LOOK INSIDE all History Walks Books.

Book 1 Cover new

LOOK INSIDE   (opens in new window)

There is more to St Leonards on Sea than the Promenade.

There is much to admire along the front but hidden away behind the houses, on the very edge of the town, is a history that stretches back at least one thousand years.

Landing places for Duke William’s fleet, a Saxon Manor house, the finest race course in the South-East and a Church hidden away in an ancient wood are all part of the legacy of St Leonards on Sea.

Take your time and embrace the history of St Leonards on Sea.

History Walks Talks and Books by David Clarke

History Walks No 1: A Green Walk around St Leonards on Sea – More than just Footsteps on a Path.

Get a Taste for 1066 Harold’s Way

Look Inside

1066 HW Walking Guide

To celebrate the publication of the new ‘spiral bound’ Guide, the price for each of the first 50 books is set at £7.00 (normal price £9.00)

The NEW Guide is available now for mail order from History Walks with delivery in January 2019.

1066 Harold’s Way has been fully re-walked, revised and updated for 2019 and is being waymarked by Beyond Marathon ( for all walkers and runners.

A Couple of Reviews

  1. We really enjoyed the variety of the different sections, the industrial and social history along the Thames and the wildlife and different terrains along the way. Thank you so much for writing the book!
  2. I finished my walk in Battle last Friday, tired and feet a bit sore, but I feel so elated that I did it and the countryside was so beautiful. Your book is an inspiration and very interesting historically.

Guide to Walking 1066 Harold’s Way

1066 Harold’s Way has now been fully re-walked and revised and an updated

Guide to Walking  1066 Harold’s Way

will be available for mail order before the New Year from History Walks (for delivery in January 2019) at:  

1066 HW Walking Guide

For those walkers who already have the 2013 Guidebook (published by Bretwalda Books), a list of all the updates, minor additions and amendments that have been included in the new 2019 Guidebook, together with all the current diversions, is available at:                       

The final amendments for 2018 relate to:

Page 79        Change of Route – Robin Hood PH, Byway Path 21 deleted

Page 83        Cobtree Manor Park – path clarification

Page 108      Primary route to Sissinghurst Village

Page 108      Route to Sissinghurst Castle now secondary

Walk to Battle

Map d3Imagine 1066, the Battle of Hastings and King Harold’s epic journey to his date with destiny.

The 14th October 1066 is one of the most emotive dates in English history and Harold’s march to the Battle of Hastings is part of our heritage.

This 100 mile long distance walk starts from Westminster Abbey and finishes at Battle Abbey, East Sussex and is an opportunity to discover and explore, in easy stages and fully accessible by public transport, the beautiful countryside of Kent and East Sussex .

Add William’s Way to your journey and walk from the River Thames to the English Channel to finish at Hastings Castle.

The Sunday Reader

A Taste of St Leonards – The Horse and Groom


Posh St Leonards, still full of Victorian and Edwardian grandeur. Those dreams that occupied the rich and famous have been largely replaced by a more pragmatic approach to urban living. The big houses still command Burton St Leonards but many have been converted to flats. The little terraced cottages, that housed the tradesmen and the washerwomen, now possess a chic that is more appealing and far more affordable.

Burton St Leonards was the first new seaside resort for the wealthy and became instantly popular with royalty and aristocracy. There were service areas for the new town; Mercatoria for shopping, and Lavatoria for laundry.

It was said ‘We should look in vain on any other coast in England for such a range of buildings as those he (James Burton) has raised below St Leonards Cliff; of a superior order, though not so ornamented as some of his previous structures. None but the unrivalled crescents of Bath and Bristol is superior to the Marina of St Leonards’. (Spas of England and Principal Sea-Bathing Places A.B. Granville, 1841).’

The Horse and Groom’ was St Leonards’ first pub, built and licensed in 1829 for the benefit of the workforce busy constructing the new town of St Leonards. It is on record that they were so thirsty that the pub opened before the windows were installed. Workers also came to the Horse and Groom on Saturday nights to be paid their wages and were called in from the street one by one. They came again on Sundays to quench another thirst, this time to listen to the newspapers being read aloud. Edward Thebay was ‘Sunday reader’ at the Horse and Groom for many years. (Hastings Pub History).

Thirsty workers/walkers still seek out The Horse and Groom. Warm and friendly, the two rooms are separated by a horseshoe bar and a back room for larger groups. The beers, Harvey’s Best and one or two guests, are always good and you get the feeling of a proper pub with no taped music, no food (just cobs on the bar, if you are lucky) and eclectic decoration. A quiet, atmospheric, dog friendly pub where you can enjoy good conversation and when I visited, the guests were Young’s Winterwarmer, Longman Long Blade and a fine Green King Abbot that slipped down a treat.

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information, Hastings Pier and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order.

For a full list of stockists visit