See the Straw Bale House
Another of the hidden gems tucked away in the woods of Ashburnham Place is the Straw Bale House, built slowly and by hand by our residential community. The simple one-roomed structure is mainly made of recycled and natural materials and was an experiment in building sustainably, and is on the site of a former toilet block.
Finding the house is another challenge and will require an adventuring spirit. To give you a clue, the house is in the woods beyond Broad Water Lake, beyond the ‘temple’ and along the bottom of Friar’s Field.
Visit Ashburnham Place’s Highest Point
If you are a residential guest, you are invited to wander around Ashburnham Place’s 220 acres. This means you can enjoy the stunning view from the top of Friar’s Field. To find Friar’s Field, refer to your Ashburnham Place map. Available here and from reception.
Most of the walk is over flat, clearly marked paths, but as you arrive at Friar’s Field, you will be faced with a steep climb to the top of the hill. The final climb will work your lungs and legs, but the view at the top will be worth it. There is even a bench along the top tree line to recover. If you happen to be lucky enough to make the walk in the snow, this is also the best place to go sledging!
Head to the Beach
We are blessed to be within a short drive of some beautiful coastline. Why not take the opportunity to head to the beach while staying with us. At high tide, most local beaches are shingle, although plenty of sand can be enjoyed as the tide recedes.
The most easily accessible beaches are at Hastings and Bexhill, there is plenty of parking and the usual English beach activities to enjoy, including fish and chips and ice-creams. You may want a beach option that is a little more off the beaten track, in which case you could head for Cooden Beach between Hastings and Bexhill or for a cliff-top walk experience to Hastings Country Park and the Fire Hills for a beautiful walk and stunning views across the sea.
If you fancy a bit of shopping with your beach, there is a lovely shingle beach behind the Ravenside Retail Park, which has plenty of parking and is a 2-minute walk to the sea.
Ashburnham Place sits in the middle of ‘1066 Country’, and our nearest town is Battle, named as the site of one of the most significant battles in British history. The battle is a great little town with a couple of supermarkets and, more excitingly, a high street with a range of small independent shops selling gifts, fruit and veg, fudge, cakes, organic meats, local beers, fish and much more.
In the centre of the town is Battle Abbey which is run by English Heritage and is open to visitors throughout the year and is thought to mark the actual site of the battle between King Harold and William the Conqueror in 1066. Walking from Ashburnham Place to Battle along the 1066 footpath is possible, but you must be ready for a reasonably long walk (approx. 7 miles one way) with the first section along country lanes. Otherwise, Battle is a 10-minute drive from Ashburnham Place.
Visit the Bookshop
While visiting Ashburnham Place, why not visit our Christian bookshop, just next to the reception? We have a great selection of Bibles and books covering various topics. You could choose one and enjoy reading it during your stay.
There are also all sorts of gifts for sale which could make a perfect gift for loved ones or special occasions. If you get peckish or have forgotten your toothbrush, there is a small range of essential items and some snacks to keep you going between meals!
If you are a residential guest and usually live in an urban area, why not head outside on a clear night and enjoy the incredible stars. Head to one of the many lawn areas, lie on your back, look up and take in the silent beauty of the night sky.
While we are not a dark-sky site, you will see far more stars here than in an area with high levels of light pollution. If you are patient, you may even see a shooting star.
Go for a Run
For those who enjoy starting the day with a quick burst of exercise, Ashburnham Place is perfect for an early morning run. In wet or muddy weather, you could try the ‘front-drive challenge’ and attempt to run from the front terrace up to the gate at the top of the main drive and back again (without stopping!).
If the ground is dry, 3 – 5km routes wind through the woods and take in all three lakes.
For those who enjoy challenges and good views, why not include Friar’s field in your loop? Enjoy!
Discover a bit of Ashburnham Place History
Ashburnham Place has a fantastic story that stretches back centuries. We have created a large wall display to help if you want to learn more and a page here on our website.
Head towards the Great Hall from Reception, and as you turn right into the corridor, you will find a colourful timeline that charts the history of the Ashburnham family and their country home – Ashburnham Place. The narrative runs until modern times and reflects God’s faithfulness throughout.
Interested in going a bit deeper book yourself on a History Walk
Visit the Food Forest
Our food forest in Friar’s Field is blossoming! We have diligently planted and nurtured this particular project based on permaculture principles. Our food forest aims to provide a sustainable source of wild and delicious food for years. It’s a haven for nature enthusiasts, food lovers, and anyone who appreciates the beauty of a thriving ecosystem.
We invite you to come and visit our forest, immerse yourself in its tranquillity, and witness the growth firsthand. If you’re passionate about environmental conservation and want to contribute to this beautiful initiative, we welcome volunteers to join us in planting, tending, and nurturing our food forest. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature, learn about permaculture, and positively impact our local community.
Get some Prayer Ministry
At Ashburnham Place, we provide enriching ministry options for exploring and engaging with your spirituality. Begin your journey with our Soaking Worship sessions, where you can sit back, relax, and receive as live music is played and sung over you. Join us at the Prayer Centre every Wednesday at 8:15 pm for rest and restoration.
Experience the transformative power of nature with our Prayer Walks. Join Eva, our knowledgeable facilitator, for a guided prayer exploration of Ashburnham Place. Allow yourself to hear God’s voice resonating through the beauty of the natural world.
For a more personal and intimate encounter, our Prayer Ministry offers a range of options to suit your needs. Our team is ready to pray over you using various tools from our prayer menu, including sung prophetic ministry, art ministry, listening prayer, and healing prayer. Limited slots are available, so book in advance to secure your session. Watch for unique offerings like ‘sound portraits’ or sung prayer ministry in the Orangery on Thursdays from 11 am to 12 pm.
Whether you immerse yourself in Soaking Worship, embark on a Prayer Walk, or seek personalised Prayer Ministry, we invite you to join us at Ashburnham Place for a profound spiritual experience. Let us be your companions on this journey of discovery and renewal.
Missed our other post? “10 things to do at Ashburnham Place.” Read it here