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.

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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 Heritage Centre

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

Rye Information Point

Rye Town Hall is home to the Rye Information Point, helping visitors make the most of their time in Rye … more

Accommodation

Flushing House

This fascinating Grade II* listed house of immense historical interest was built around 1520 and boasts the original Tudor turning … more

Rye Windmill B&B

Rye’s white smock windmill is a grade II listed building and one of its most famous landmarks. Tucked away in … more

Mermaid Cottage

Mermaid Cottage is a cosy, recently refurbished 18th century cottage situated on the historic cobbled Mermaid Street in Rye, perfect … more

Restaurants

River Haven Hotel

A Warm welcome awaits you at the River Haven Hotel & Restaurant. This family run comfortable Hotel of 22 en-suite … 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

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

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