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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.

Other Towns and Villages Near Rye


What's On in Rye?

  • Scallop Cooking at the Old Grain Store

    Sunday 1st March @ 11:30am
    Location: Rye

    Scallops cooked outside The Old Grain Store with Black Pudding, Bacon and Prawns. Venue: The Old Grain Store, The Strand, ... more

  • Titus at the Ypres Castle Inn

    Sunday 1st March @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Titus at the Ypres Castle Inn, Gun Garden, Rye TN31 7HH. For further information contact 01797 223 248. ... more

  • Webbe's Scallop School

    Monday 2nd March @ 9:15am
    Location: Rye

    The tenth year, celebrating the scallop and local seafood species. Prepare and eat a seven course luncheon enjoying wines too! ... more

  • Fraya's Feast of Fabric

    Monday 2nd March for 7 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    The St Michael's Hospice shop on Cinque Ports Street, Rye will become host to an incredible feast of fabric’s. There ... more

  • Rye General Market

    Thursday 5th March @ 8:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Thursday Market runs "every" Thursday Winter and Summer - for all your Home Goods, Groceries, Fruit and Veg, Malpass ... more

  • Indoor Craft Fayre

    Saturday 7th March @ 10:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Indoor Craft Fayre organised by and in aid of Northiam Bonfire Society, being held at Northiam Village Hall, Frewen Close, ... more

  • Fairtrade Fortnight in Rye

    Saturday 7th March @ 10:30am
    Location: Rye

    There will be a stall within Jempson’s supermarket, Rye highlighting the Fairtrade goods that are stocked in the Rye store, ... more

  • The Vidler Family

    Tuesday 10th March @ 7:30pm
    Location: Rye

    Peter Ewart, a member of our Museum, returns to talk about his latest research, concentrating on the famous Vidler family, ... more

  • Rye General Market

    Thursday 12th March @ 8:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Thursday Market runs "every" Thursday Winter and Summer - for all your Home Goods, Groceries, Fruit and Veg, Malpass ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 13th March @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market sells local produce which includes: Cakes, Preserves, Savouries, Free Range Eggs, Seasonal Vegetables and Fruit, Unusual Plants, ... more


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