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Rye

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

Event

What's On in Rye?

  • Recycle Swap Shop

    Saturday 23rd May @ 9:30am
    Location: Rye

    Bring your old stuff and take someone else's away! Visit website to read rules please. Items to give away must ... more

  • Ideas for Floral Table Decor

    Saturday 23rd May @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Many of you have asked for a short course so you can create simple, appealing table decorations for dinner parties, ... more

  • Coastal Plants at Rye Harbour

    Saturday 23rd May @ 10:30am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Find out how the shingle and saltmarsh plants cope with their harsh environment. We will also see some coastal birds. ... more

  • Mapp and Lucia's Rye Walk

    Saturday 23rd May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Take a guided walk round Rye, looking at the houses and places associated with the Mapp and Lucia novels, also ... more

  • Ellen Terry's Wardrobe

    Saturday 23rd May @ 2:15pm
    Location: Small Hythe

    Take a look at costume history. Tucked away in a storeroom at the back of Smallhythe Place is a collection ... more

  • Rotary Walk and Treasure Hunt

    Sunday 24th May @ 9:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rotary Walk and Treasure Hunt - start at Phillips and Stubbs, Cinque Ports Street, Rye TN31 7AN. To enter contact ... more

  • Rye Ukulele Festival

    Sunday 24th May @ 12:30pm
    Location: Rye

    The Rye Ukulele Experiment plays host to Ukulele bands from Kent and Sussex. Each band will play followed by a ... more

  • Jempson's Charity Boot Fair

    Monday 25th May @ 7:00am
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Hard-standing pitches from £5 (all sale of pitch proceeds donated to Rother Responders). Gates open at 7am, no need to ... more

  • Under Winchelsea Medieval Cellar Tour

    Monday 25th May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Winchelsea

    Winchelsea boasts more than 50 medieval cellars, a number rivalled only by Southampton and Norwich. Most of the cellars are ... more

  • Children's Birdwatching

    Tuesday 26th May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    The pools are alive with thousands of nesting gulls, terns and waders. Come along to see if you can spot ... more

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