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.
  • 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..
  • Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, wildlife and habitats, history and landscape, bird hides and walks beside the sea, has been voted UK’s top nature reserve by the readers of Land Love Magazine in 2016.
  • The National Trust's Lamb House is an early Georgian house with one of the largest gardens in the old town of Rye.

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

  1. Royal Military Canal

    The scenic route this canal takes is perfect for walking and cycling. Dug by hand in the…

    0.09 miles away
  2. Rye Castle (The Ypres Tower)

    Many displays on smuggling, military, police, coastal and maritime history and with…

    0.16 miles away
  3. Camber Castle

    Camber Castle was one link in the chain of forts built along the south coast by Henry…

    0.99 miles away
  1. Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

    A large coastal nature reserve with a mosaic of shingle beaches, saline lagoons,…

    1.26 miles away
  2. Camber Sands

    This stunning stretch of sandy beach is home to the only sand dune system in East Sussex.…

    1.63 miles away
  3. The Chapel Down Winery

    The best wines in England available in the shop plus excellent local and regional produce…

    6.59 miles away
  4. Brede Steam Engine Society - The Giants of Brede

    Varied collection of water pumps mainly from the steam era including 1904 Tangye and 1940…

    6.7 miles away
  5. Great Dixter House and Gardens

    Great Dixter is an historic house, a garden of world renown, a centre of education, and a…

    6.82 miles away
  6. Action Watersports

    Fancy an adrenalin fix? Action Watersports has an amazing Inflatable Aqua Park along…

    7.66 miles away
  7. Carr Taylor Vineyard

    David & Linda Carr Taylor established the vineyard, in the picturesque Sussex countryside…

    7.82 miles away
  8. Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve

    A fabulous nature reserve with stunning coastal scenery situated within the High Weald…

    8.01 miles away
  9. C M Booth Collection of Historic Vehicles

    Unique collection of Morgan 3-wheel cars, eleven from 1913-1935, plus 1904 Humber Tricar,…

    8.47 miles away
  10. Kent & East Sussex Railway

    Images of this picturesque line weaveing between Tenterden and Bodiam. England's finest…

    8.63 miles away
  11. Colonel Stephens Railway

    The Colonel Stephens Railway Museum
    Recording the Career of Holman Fred Stephens,…

    8.67 miles away
  12. Hastings Aquarium

    Display of marine life with hundreds of marine creatures including sharks, rays, crabs…

    8.72 miles away
  13. Shipwreck Museum

    The Shipwreck Museum, situated in the historic Old Town of Hastings, contains a truly…

    8.73 miles away
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