The whole of 1066 Country will mark the 950th anniversary of the historic battle, when William the Conqueror and his Norman army invaded England, during Hastings Week.
The festivities draw in tens of thousands of visitors, with the culmination always being the Hastings Bonfire torchlight procession.
This year, Hastings Week runs from Saturday, October 8 to Sunday, October 16.
Exhibitions through the week in Hastings include ‘Hastings through the eyes of street artists’, in the Basement Gallery of Borough Wines, 34 Robertson Street, and the story of Hastings in 66 Objects, at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery in John’s Place.
Walks include through the Old Town; the Stade; an after dark Old Town ghost walk; one detailing a tale of two streets (High Street and All Saints Street); tracing the development of St Leonards; the hidden alleyways of St Leonards; a twittens and cat creeps walk; and walks based on true crime, horror, and a Foyle’s Walk.
The Hastings Week opening event on October 8 makes a welcome return to Hastings Castle this year. With such a packed programme the classic car show is only here on Sunday, with its ‘heavy haul’ big brother, the Sprat & Winkle Run, arriving on the Stade open space from around 10am on October 9.
The evening of Monday, October 10, sees the Maureen Charlesworth chess challenge in the White Rock Hotel and the popular 1066 community awards return on the evening of Tuesday, October 11.
And then comes Hastings Day, Friday, October 14.
Battle is rightly the focus of attention this year, with more than 600 schoolchildren gathering at Battle Abbey before parading up Battle High Street from 1pm.
A multi-denominational commemorative service will take place in St Mary’s parish church in Battle at 3pm.
This is followed at 4pm by displays in front of Battle Abbey, with a military band marching through Battle from 5.30pm, then performing a ‘sunset ceremony’.
On the same day, France’s top mediaeval band Les Derniers Trouveres perform at St Mary-in-the-Castle.
Full details are published in the programme, available from the Tourist Information Centre in Breeds Place, or online at www.1066.net.
• See next week’s Observer for photographs and details of next weekend’s events.
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