Rye in Pictures

Rye Cover Mermaid Street v2

Today, Rye’s ancient character is justifiably one of the jewels of the South-East of England if not the country. 900 years of history unfolds, through words and pictures, in this fascinating guide as it explores medieval Rye and its turbulent history.

Rye is for strolling the many cobbled streets with their proud medieval, Tudor, Stuart and Georgian houses, great pubs, a fine church and all the ancient landmarks that make up this unique town.

Rye in Pictures will act as your unspoken guide in making sense of the history of Rye’s medieval streets and buildings and the people that contributed to the wealth and atmosphere of Rye.

Look Inside

Rye in Pictures is intended to spur your imagination as you explore, discover and immerse yourself in this beautiful Town.

Published 16th September 2019 by History Walks

History Walks, Talks and Books – More than just footsteps on a Path.

For more information visit: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Temptation: The Woodcock Flies Again

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Temptation, that desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise. It can also suggest that it can be a thing that attracts or tempts someone suggesting enticement, seduction, a draw or a pull or equally an invitation.

And that to me sums up The Woodcock, a walk leaders’ nightmare, the pub that no one wants to leave.

But it closed in 2018 and appeared doomed, never to fly again but like a phoenix it has arisen again and it re-opened its doors in April 2019.

On 1066 Harold’s Way, there are still 6 miles to walk to Bodiam Castle, uphill and down dale and across the Kent Ditch. King Harold and his men walked this stretch but The Woodcock wasn’t open then. And when planning Three Castles and an Ironmaster’s House, I made sure that the route passed The Woodcock after all, I get to choose the route.

The good and righteous of Iden Green realised what a draw the pub would be and banished it a mile away from the village, down a narrow country lane that led to Dingleden but the villagers I spoke to know the back way – just 5 minutes down this path and on the route of 1066 Harold’s Way, and I followed their admission.

The 2019 version of The Woodcock has been refreshed rather than altered beyond recognition. A couple of walls have disappeared, some of the nooks and crannies have gone, the new bar is sleek and bright, the fire is lit and the floors levelled ready for the success that eluded the Woodcock of old.

Once it felt like an old and comfortable pair of slippers where the slightly dark atmosphere and the warmth of the fire and the conviviality of old men at the bar promised times past until Greene King’s accountants became the owners.

Mind your heads, the beams are low there’s a fire lit and on warm days, there is a garden to enjoy. It is a free house again and beers are Cellar Head Amber, Long Man Best, Harveys Best, all on handpump and well kept.

There is still an old world feel but it is without ornamentation and just a little of that old warmth that catered for the mind, body and spirit has gone – perhaps a wider market beckons for The Woodcock although a television was being screwed to the wall as I left!

But, lunchtime on an Autumn day, sitting around the fire, talking amongst friends, it will still prove hard to leave and continue the walk to Bodiam Castle.

Beer Notes will be published in 2019 as a ‘must have’ accompaniment for the discerning walker on ‘Walking 1066 Harold’s Way’ – the long distance walk from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey and Hastings Castle inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings 1066. The Woodcock  will be No 49 in Beer Notes



The Woodcock

The Only Beer’s In Bottles


The walk from Lesnes Abbey to Dartford starts with the ups and downs of the wonderful Lesnes Abbey Woods and finishes with six miles of hard, flat paths around the Cray Marshes. Walking alone, that last section seems to take an age especially without the help of a decent pint.

On the right of the Riverside Gardens in Erith is The Running Horses, that advertises Carvery and refers to the wild horses that ran loose on the marsh.

It is a large brick pub sat back from the road and, although given over mostly to food, there is a bar and at the beginning of October was already festooned with that Halloween theme, unless it was like that all the time!

As the conversation stopped, I was told that there was no draft beer – just bottles – I made my excuses and left.

Morrison’s café proved to be a better bet for a quick walker’s lunch especially with both the Cross Keys and the White Hart closed as pubs. It seems that Erith is now a beer desert for this walk.

Beer Notes will be published in 2019 as a ‘must have’ accompaniment for the discerning walker on ‘Walking 1066 Harold’s Way’ – the long distance walk from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey and Hastings Castle inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings 1066. The Running Horses will be No 24 in Beer Notes



‘Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award’

The Ramblers

Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award’

As part of a campaign to boost urban walking, ‘The Ramblers’ has launched a competition to find the best urban walk and one of the top ten nominated Towns is


There is more to Hastings then the promenade.

With its amazing views, its wealth of history, with its castle, coast, cliffs, coves and woodlands, its tales of intrigue and smuggling, it is a great place to walk.

For a taste of Hastings Walks        You-Tube.jpg

Pub Walks Walk 2 North Star & Alexandra Park        You-Tube.jpg

‘History Walks’ supports Old Town Hastings in its bid for the Best Urban Walk

Voting closes on March 13th –  Vote Now, Vote here


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1066 in 66 Minutes

Next Talk

1066 in 66 Mins Probus Billingshurst v2

A lighthearted review of all the events of that tumultuous year as reported by The Saxon Times.

The year began with the death of King Edward the Confessor and ended with the coronation of King William and a New Year’s Eve that saw the new King ‘hiding’ in a nunnery in Barking. It was a year that shaped the future of England.

For information on this and other talks visit:        www.1066haroldsway.co.uk