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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?

  • A Schubertiade: The Seasons in Song

    Friday 21st May
    Location: Rye

    Anna Cavaliero is one of the brightest up-and-coming soprano stars around: a former student of Barbara Bonney, with numerous prizes ... more

  • Northiam Garden Safari

    Sunday 23rd May @ 11:00am
    Location: Northiam

    Five lovely private gardens open, some for the first time. Tickets from the Church Centre £5 (children free). Please note ... more

  • Light Fantastic

    Wednesday 26th May for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    An exhibition of vibrant watercolours full of atmosphere and light by Andrew Blyth. Andrew is a renowned local artist who ... more

  • Driftwood Journeys

    Wednesday 9th June for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    South East Open Studios (SEOS) 2021 present an exhibition of driftwood sculpture and other sea-inspired art by Tina Kaul. Now ... more

  • My Mind's Eye - a journey by Maggie Lloyd

    Wednesday 23rd June for 13 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    A portfolio of Maggie Lloyd's work of portraits and landscapes in pastel, oil and other media. There are many aspects ... more

  • Tuesday Painters Club of Rye

    Friday 13th August for 10 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    ART EXHIBITION of members' work Open daily 10.00a.m. - 5.30p.m. From Friday13th to Sunday 22nd August Oil, Acrylic, Watercolour, Pen ... more

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