Rye is one of those little seaside towns that holiday-makers flock to for Summer trips just like the golden ones of days gone by. A pretty port town sitting atop of steep cliffs, Rye offers mystery, history and outdoor activities for everyone along along with a vintage charm.
2 hours – With dark past of smugglers merchants and pirates, Rye’s history draws in the smallest of visitors with its tall tales of secret hideouts and war-time victories. Our first stop was to the Heritage centre where the included model centre and The Story of Rye exhibition taught us more. Hungry for both food and eager to find out more we took the short walk to the infamous Mermaid Inn. Situated in Mermaid St, the Mermaid inn is known for being the headquarters of the local Hawkhurst smugglers. The building is an artwork in itself, with its Tudor beams and lattice windows. The interior is a feast for the eyes with historical decorations including the wall of portraits and Shakespeare bust as well as the impressive Elizabeth room available for special functions and a pretty patio garden for those wishing to enjoy some sunny rays.
4 hours – The cobbled streets of this Port town are perfect for exploring. Soak up the town’s laid back vibe as you uncover street upon street of period properties and interesting locations tucked around every corner. There are boutique stores aplenty to satisfy shoppers in the cosy high street and the town’s many tea-rooms provide visitors with fantastic homemade selections of lunches and cakes. See if you can spot the Old Grammar school on your stroll. Atop of the hillside and close to the Church of St Mary, stands the Ypres Tower & Rye Castle Museum. Originally built to keep Rye safe from French invaders during the 13th century, the Ypres Tower and its look-out garden provide some great views of the port and marshlands.
8 hours – if you are lucky enough to spend a day or more in Rye, take a look at some of the natural countryside around the town. A walk around the cliffside and port will be an afternoon well spent, but for those wanting to venture further afield, why not try one of these great options: Camber Sands is only a 3 mile journey and rewards its guests with beautiful sand dune beaches for their trouble. The entrance to the award-winning beaches is a very popular spot, however make your way a little further down the dunes and you can enjoy the novelty of having your very own swimming space. Dungeness is home to an RSPB nature reserve as well as its own little beach complete with lighthouse and visitor centre. Enjoy fish ‘n’ chips from one of the local fishmongers or try your luck at beach fishing to see if you can catch your own dinner! Greatstone is another popular spot for beach-goers with kite-surfing and land yachting available for more active visitors.