Rye

Rye in East Sussex Town Guide

About Rye in East Sussex

Travelling westward across Romney Marsh, the distinctive outline of Rye can be seen in the distance. It rises above the level green pastures, stretching from the sea to the far hills which formed the shoreline before the marsh was drained.

Once surrounded by sea, this fortified hilltop town played an important role in the defence of the south coast of England. These days, the river no longer harbours warships and is home to the local fishing fleet.

Meandering for over one and a half miles from Rye to the coast, the river forms part of the picturesque scenery visible from several vantage points in and around the citadel of Rye.

St Mary’s church tower (usually open to the public) offers the best viewpoint to show the terracotta roofs of the many timbered houses. These ancient buildings, cobbled streets and secret passages, once the haunt of smugglers and highwaymen, regularly attract film crews in search of historical settings for period productions.

Many authors, musicians, artists and celebrities have made Rye their home, a medieval haven periodically visited by Royalty. In 1573 the title “Rye Royale” was bestowed upon the town by Queen Elizabeth I after a three day stay.

The sheer concentration of living history packed into this vibrant market town makes it the ideal base for a holiday of discovery, or a relaxing short break. There are many comfortable, welcoming hotels and guest houses and plenty of charming inns and restaurants.

Attractions and Activities

Rye Sports Centre

Modern facilities, friendly staff and great value … all at Freedom Leisure Rye! Situated just behind the railway station, parking is free to Centre users. Please collect a parking ticket from reception

Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin

For almost 900 years the Parish Church of Rye, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, has dominated the hill on which the old town stands. It has stood through good times and bad. In 1377 when the town was looted … more

Rye Museum: Ypres Tower

The Rye Museum has two sites, the Ypres Tower (early 14th century) and the East Street site. The Tower has had many roles in its history from a fortification to protect the town, to a private dwelling, a prison and … more

Accommodation

Rye Treat

Located in Rye in the East Sussex region, 95 Udimore Road has a terrace.

Haydens

Haydens is a small, family-run, environmentally friendly B&B right in the heart of the ancient market town of Rye, an area gilded in literary and artistic history. We aim to provide a comfortable and luxurious setting for guests to relax … more

Mermaid Cottage

Mermaid Cottage is a cosy, 18th century cottage situated on the historic cobbled Mermaid Street in Rye, perfect for a relaxing break. Situated at the top of Mermaid Street, you are centrally based in the Citadel for exploring Rye and … more

Restaurants

The Ship Inn

In the centre of the small, charming town of Rye, the Ship is a modern take on the traditional English inn – a cosy pub, rich in original character, with simple, comfortable en suite rooms above. Originally built in 1592, … more

Webbe’s at the Fish Café

Welcome to Webbe’s in Rye. A vibrant lively restaurant atmosphere with open plan kitchen area where you can view your meal in its creation, for serious diners and families alike. This upbeat eatery will meet your every need when you … more

Haydens Coffee Shop

Fair trade and organic tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Freshly prepared breakfasts, lunches and cakes served in a warm friendly atmosphere every day. Fully licensed.

Towns and villages near Rye …

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