The tiny, unassuming village of Battle has a huge place in British history as the site where invading French duke William of Normandy scored a victory over local King Harold in 1066, thus beginning Norman rule and changing the country forever. The Normans constructed Battle Abbey right in the middle of the battlefield. Only the foundations of the original church remain, and the altar’s position is marked by a plaque that is supposedly the spot where King Harold took an arrow to the eye. Today the battlefield is comprised of lush rolling hills, but tourist companies offer interactive audiovisual presentations to bring the battle back to life. Just 9 miles northeast of Battle is Bodiam Castle, a four-towered castle surrounding by a moat. Although most of its interior is unrestored, it is possible to climb the battlement for sweeping views of the area. Also nearby is Bateman’s, which was Rudyard Kipling’s home for the last 34 years of his life. The mansion is surrounded by beautiful gardens and walking paths.