We were on our way to Rye, a small town on the south coast. It was a thundery end to the week, with the wind blowing our little car around on the M20, rain battering hard on the window screen and beautiful lightning illuminating all the way in the darkness to East Sussex.
When visiting Rye we encourage you to explore it beyond the pretty cobbled streets to find out a little bit more about this magical town. Here are our recommendations…
1. Stay at Aviemore Guest House
If you are planning to spend a weekend in Rye, make sure you book accommodation well in advance. It’s a popular place to visit and gets booked up pretty quickly. If you can, book the charming Aviemore Guest House, it’s a gem! The hosts Tomas and Jeremy are very friendly and welcoming.
We chatted with them at every given opportunity and found out lots about them and the cottage. They have owned the guesthouse for only a few weeks, but you can see the improvements that they’ve made themselves already. They talk about the house with big respect and are trying to preserve it and bring out the original features of the place.
Tomas even told us about the secret staircase. How convenient and fascinating! We walked through the lovely jungly gardens and appeared right in the centre of the town, Rye is magical a magical place!
We are already looking forward to our next trip to the town and hopefully we can stay in the updated version of the Aviemore Guest House, sip tea and crunch biscuits in the garden at the back of the house.
Aviemore Guest House
28/30 Fishmarket Road, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7LP
If you are looking for other great places to stay in Rye, you can also check out airbnb (click the link to claim your £14 discount from us).
2. Camber Castle
If you like long walks, make your way to Camber Castle. It’s a little bit outside the town, but it’s a lovely walk in the fields with sheep munching grass and little lambs staring your way.
It was a beautiful morning for our day trip and the castle ruins looked glorious in the sunshine.
Later, to hide from the sun we popped into the bird hide on the edge of the Rye wetlands.
3. Cobbled Streets of Rye
It’s a unique and very distinctive town with ancient cobbled narrow streets taking you up and down, past little independent shops, bakeries and inviting tea rooms.
Many years ago Rye, surrounded by sea, played an important role in defence of the south coast of the country. Today the ancient timbered houses with beautiful terracotta roofs attract filmmakers and story writers.
4. Mermaid Inn
Mermaid Street is the most picturesque cobbled street in the town, where you can also find the historic Mermaid Inn, known as the Inn where smugglers use to gather, I am guessing, to discuss important smuggling business.
The atmosphere inside is incredible and, of course, it’s haunted.
Mermaid Street, Rye TN31 7EY, United Kingdom
5. St Mary’s Church
Don’t forget to visit St Mary’s Church and make the climb to the top of the tower for some wonderful views across the town.
The whole town of Rye is a conservation area, which means that redevelopments are not permitted. This ensures the place will keep its beauty for many more years.
6. Edith’s House
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants, but if you are a coffee lover like me, pop into Edith’s House on the High Street, a great little independent coffee shop.
They make lovely food and the best Americano coffee I’ve tasted so far. Try their fresh smoothies. I had a berry one which had a hint of cinnamon and Charlie enjoyed his tropical smoothie. Perfect lunch spot.
105A High St, Rye TN31 7JE, United Kingdom
7. Rye Heritage Centre
Have a nose around in Rye Heritage Centre where you can see the Rye town model and hear the story of this beautiful place enhanced by a dramatic light and sound show.
8. Winchelsea Beach
The coast is just a short drive away from Rye, about 2.8 miles. We drove to Winchelsea beach for a short evening stroll while contemplating where to go for dinner back in Rye.
Have you been to Rye? What was your favourite thing to do in this beautiful town? Let us know in the comments below.
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