Type:Towns & Villages

TN31 7JY
Mermaid Street in Rye town showing cobbles, pubs and timber-framed houses


Rye's ancient medieval streets are clustered around a sandstone hillside, overlooking the meandering River Rother and Romney Marsh. this relaxed, historic and picturesque little East Sussex town is a wonderful place for a peaceful holiday break.

Hundreds of years ago, Rye was surrounded on all sides by water. It formed part of the medieval Cinque Ports with the town's hilltop vantage point useful for detecting and repelling marauding invaders.

Today, you can explore cobbled alleys lined with untouched historic buildings – from medieval relics to beautiful Georgian houses. Ypres Tower, built in 1249 to defend the town, is still open for viewing.

Rye has managed to retain most of its charm and heritage – as well as a sense of the strange! Walk along Mermaid Street and you'll come across houses with names like “The House Opposite”, or the “House with Two Front Doors”.

You can also see the remnants of Rye's smuggling past throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries, with networks of tunnels, secret passages and hidden caves. A long-time favourite with poets, artists and craftspeople, Rye is a unique, stunning and inspirational place for a short break, or a longer holiday.

Places to visit near Rye

Discover the character of this part of East Sussex in these towns and villages near Rye.

Things to do in Rye

  • Rye Castle Museum has a number of fascinating exhibitions about local history and archaeology.
  • If you love the outdoors head to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve with its new discovery centre (opened May 21), to find wildlife and habitats, history and landscape, bird hides and walks beside the sea.  Or enjoy a walk or cycle along the Royal Military Canal it was designed as a defence barrier on the low-lying land between Winchelsea and Hythe.
  • Walk in the footsteps of William the Conqueror along the 31 miles long 1066 Country Walk. Newly revamped for 2021, it includes ten specially commissioned sculptures based on the Bayeux Tapestry.  Start or finish the walk in Rye.
  • Sample the delights of the local speciality Rye Bay scallops, at one of the many resturants and bars within the town.
  • Start you visit to Rye, at the newly reopened Rye Heritage Centre, with its renowned town model and listen to the story of Rye
  • The National Trust's Lamb House is an early Georgian house with one of the largest gardens in the old town of Rye.
  • Head out of town and relax on the fine beaches of Camber Sands or the mroe adventurous may wish to take to the water with Action Watersports.
  • Built by King Henry VIII nearly 500 years ago, visit nearby Camber Castle for some fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.

Book Tickets


Map & Directions

Road Directions

Rye is about 65 miles south east of London, is easily accessible via the major motorway network of the M20 and is well served by public transport.


  • Visit East Sussex

What's Nearby

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