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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?

  • Winchelsea Cellars Tour

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Winchelsea

    There will be seven similar tours over the two weeks of the Festival. The tours are led by expert local ... more

  • Let IT Go

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Rye

    Here is your chance to read the book of the film-to-be. Dame Stephanie Shirley will be introducing her memoir Let ... more

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Rye

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Bowler Crab Productions Come and dine in the Tudor Room and be transported to another ... more

  • Clueless

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Rye

    The Festival is celebrating Jane Austen’s 200th anniversary with a clever and funny reworking of Emma, set in 1995 Beverly ... more

  • General Sale

    Friday 22nd September
    Location: Rye

    Viewing Thursday 21st 9.00 – 4.30pm ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 22nd September @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 10th March - 15th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Beyond the Roadshow

    Friday 22nd September
    Location: Rye

    Andy McConnell celebrates his 40th anniversary in glass with this light-hearted glance back at his career. It covers life as ... more

  • Open Studios

    Friday 22nd September for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    Rye Creative Centre opens its doors for a rare look inside the studios. You can meet the New Road Artists, ... more

  • Spanish Glories of the 16th Century

    Friday 22nd September
    Location: Rye

    TENEBRAE conducted by Nigel Short. Described as “phenomenal”, The Times and “devastatingly beautiful”, Gramophone Magazine, award-winning choir Tenebrae, under the ... more

  • Jane Eyre - An Autobiography

    Friday 22nd September @ 7:30pm
    Location: Small Hythe

    Rebecca Vaughan embodies everywoman Jane - and several other characters - in this intimate study of love's realities. Struggling to ... more

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