Rye

Rye in East Sussex Town Guide

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.

What's new?

Blackbird Catering
Blackbird Catering

Bespoke, contemporary caterers for all events, large or small.

Listed in: Catering

What's on in Rye

Rye Country Market

, 10:00am - 11:30am
Rye

Sells local produce which includes: Cakes, Preserves, Savouries, Free Range Eggs, Seasonal Vegetables and Fruit, Unusual Plants, Handmade Crafts. Open … more

Category: Shopping Fairs and Markets

Message Board

Our name is Rye!

My husband’s family are descended from Hubert de Rie, one of William the Conqueror’s men. Are there any other Ryes … more

Cycling Holiday

Hello, we are planing a cycling holiday in September and will be staying in Rye for two nights. We were … more

Attractions and Activities

Lamb House

Lamb House was built in 1723 by James Lamb. Henry James leased the property and later purchased in 1899. It … more

Rye Photography Workshops

Looking to improve your photography skills? I am an experienced Rye based photographer who specialises in street photography. I currently … more

Rye Heritage Centre

The perfect way to discover Rye. Rye Heritage Centre provides an ideal introduction to the town with the Story of … more

Accommodation

The Regent, Rye

Family run business since opening in 1984. Located in Town Centre. 2 mins from Train/Bus station. All rooms have en-suite … more

The Mermaid Inn

One of England’s oldest and loveliest inns, with Norman cellars dating from 1156, the Mermaid, rebuilt in 1420, offers tradition … more

The Lookout

The hotel occupies what can be described as a prize winning location. Perched on the East Cliff, with panoramic views … more

Restaurants

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 … more

The Mermaid Inn

One of England’s oldest and loveliest inns, with Norman cellars dating from 1156, the Mermaid, rebuilt in 1420, offers tradition … more

Haydens Coffee Shop

Fair trade and organic tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Freshly prepared breakfasts, lunches and cakes served in a warm friendly … more

Towns and villages near Rye ...

Explore Rye ...