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bineba Rye - A travel report by Sabine
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Rye,  United Kingdom - flag United Kingdom
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bineba's travel reports

Rye – one of the prettiest small towns in England

  12 votes
Page: 1 2
Rye is always on top of my list to take visitors to. With its picturesque medieval streets and houses, filled with flowers and craft shops, cafes and pubs it’s a great destination for just a day - or longer.

Houses on Mermaid Street
Houses on Mermaid Street
Rye in East Sussex, one of the Cinque Ports at the south coast of England, sits on a hill overlooking the River Rother and Romney Marsh. The town started out as a small fishing community and grew into an important port in the 13th century. In the year 1027 it fell under French rule, but was returned to England in 1247 by King Henry III in exchange for other land. During the 18th century it became a meeting point for smugglers, who stowed their loot in the town’s cellars and vaults. Today the sea is about 2 miles away and although there is a little harbour, overlooked by a pretty white windmill, on the river, during low tide the fishing boats are left high and dry. It is a delight to wander the pebbled streets, the 5000 inhabitants of Rye obviously taking care to make the town as appealing to the visitors as possible, visit in the summer and you’ll find a profusion of flowers everywhere. For general info try the following web sites:

Favourite spots:
St. Mary's Churdch
St. Mary's Churdch
The historic centre, or Citadel, contains most of the landmarks of Rye. Here you’ll find the Landgate Arch, part of the original town wall built in 1326. Rye Castle and Ypres Tower now house a museum and from the Gun Gardens there are lovely views over the marshes. St. Mary the Virgin, the Parish church from the 12th century, with its clock tower you can climb to have even better views of Rye and surroundings. The antique clock in the tower dates back from 1561 and has two unusual features. The ‘Quarter Boys’ above the clock’s face with their own little bells guarding a plaque that says: ‘For our time is a very shadow that passeth away’ and the 18-foot long pendulum that reaches into the church itself.

What's really great:
Houses on Church Square
Houses on Church Square
Rye is a very artistic town and has many galleries and potteries, there is an annual festival celebrating all the arts, But Rye has also a very impressive literary background, with many famous writers making it their home: Henry James, Joseph Conrad, E.F. Benson, Radcliff Hall, H.G. Wells, G.K. Chesterton, Rumer Godden and many others all lived here at one time or another. Lamb House on West Street was the home of Henry James for 18 years (and Godden and Benson, who was also the Mayor of Rye for a while, lived here later on). It now belongs to the National Trust and can be visited by the public.

The House with the two Front Doors
The House with the two Front Doors
The pebbled Mermaid Street contains lots of interesting houses, most of them half-timbered. Firstly there is the historic Mermaid Inn, one of the oldest in the country and re-built in 1420, it is a lovely hotel, pub and restaurant, with a courtyard where you can enjoy your ale. But also look out for the many houses with unusual names, obviously quite handy before the arrival of house numbers and postcodes: ‘The House with Two Front Doors’, The House with the Seat’ and opposite the Mermaid Inn ‘The House Opposite’. Genius!

Landgate Arch
Landgate Arch
Rooms at the Mermaid Inn are about £80-100, but there are many Bed& Breakfast places charging from around £20 p.p. upwards
The Place in Camber Sands (see below),

The Peace & Plenty
The Peace & Plenty
Several in Rye itself, including the historic Mermaid Inn on Mermaid Street (see above).
Another favourite of mine is just outside of Rye in Playden. The Peace & Plenty Free House looks inside like a mixture of an antique shop and a pub, serves real ale and good solid pub food. It also has a nice, big beer garden.

Rye Castle & Ypres Tower
Rye Castle & Ypres Tower
There are loads of options in Rye, from traditional Fish & Chips to Chinese and Indian restaurants. There are also a few nice tea rooms to visit, especially around East, Market and Lion Street.

Other recommendations:
Camber Sands
Camber Sands
Only three miles away is one of the best sandy beaches on the South coast, Camber Sands. It’s not very built up and the beach is 7 miles long, so you are bound to find a quiet spot on the sand or in the dunes. There is only one road to Camber, so it can become a bit congested, especially on weekends. Try and find out the tides before you go, at low tide you have to walk for what seems miles to get anywhere near the water. If you like your holiday Hi-Di-Hi style, there is the holiday camp Pontins, but if you prefer your peace and quiet, check out the new boutique hotel The Place.

Published on Sunday September 12th, 2004

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Thu, May 11 2006 - 03:02 PM rating by st.vincent

Nice report Sabine I enjoyed reading it. Tomorrow I am heading to one of the other Cinque Ports Hythe for a few days.

Wed, Sep 15 2004 - 09:45 AM rating by magsalex

good info - i live about 30 miles away and have not yet visited! Maybe i will now

Tue, Sep 14 2004 - 04:19 PM rating by traveling_gal

From the sound of your article, Rye seems to be a charming little place! Thanks for a great report!

Mon, Sep 13 2004 - 10:42 PM rating by titaniah

Beautiful place, very good report!

Mon, Sep 13 2004 - 03:15 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

what a beautiful report on Rye,nice to know about this small nice town

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