With its cobbled streets, half-timbered houses, one-of-a-kind shops, and centuries-old inns, Rye charms at every turn. If you’re planning on a holiday in Rye, the following guide will help you enjoy the perfect day in this captivating medieval town.
Start the day at The White House and order the best coffee in town. Enjoy the aroma of freshly baked bread while you plan your morning – this contemporary cafe has its own in-house bakery. Be sure to try the sourdough!
Next, make your way to Rye Heritage Centre. It’s home to the unique
Story of Rye Town Model Sound and Light Show, which tells Rye’s history with a beautifully crafted model of the town.
Hunt for speciality gifts among Rye’s quaint boutiques, antique shops, and bookstores. There’s a treasure trove waited to be discovered!
At the eclectic home furniture store Mccully & Crane (on Cinque Ports Street), you’ll find everything from religious artefacts and taxidermy to furniture, posters, and original artwork.
For antiques and upcycled furniture, try Halcyon Days on The Strand. Vinyl collectors will love Grammar School Records. Located on High Street in a red-brick building (previously a school), this musical mecca has around 20,000 LPs!
Rye’s history-filled streets await exploration. Start at The Ypres Tower at Rye Castle, believed to date back to the early 14th century.
Wander along the cobbled streets of Mermaid Street, gazing up at its creaking half-timbered houses. Next, head towards West Street and stop by Lamb House. This Georgian manor is the former residence of author Henry James, who was visited here by literary acquaintances, including HG Wells and Rudyard Kipling.
Steps away, you’ll find the 12th-century St. Mary’s Church. Climb up the bell tower for sweeping views across Rye’s red-tiled rooftops.
After a morning of sightseeing, treat yourself to lunch in one of the town’s charming pubs. Head to The Ship Inn for wonderful fish and chips, or The Standard for amazing Sunday roasts. The Rye Waterworks Micropub is a must-visit for its fantastic selection of local beers and ciders.
Walk off lunch with a stroll around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. This wildlife haven is home to 4,500 species of plants and animals – including over 150 rare or endangered species.
Bird watchers are in for a treat, too. There are more than 280 bird species to look out for! Famous feathered residents include breeding colonies of the rare Little Tern, the Common Tern, and the Sandwich Tern.
Alternatively, drive 10 minutes for a coastal walk along the golden shores of Camber Sands – recently voted by Time Out magazine as one of the best 25 beaches in the UK. This huge beach sprawls for nearly five miles, and it’s been used as a location for Hollywood blockbusters, including Dunkirk and The Monuments Men.
As the light fades and a chill sets in, explore the dark and mysterious streets of Rye on a guided ghost walk. Tours can be booked at Rye Heritage Centre and take you through 900 years of history in one of England’s most haunted towns.
Learn about the town’s grizzly murders, haunted buildings, and spooky sightings. The tour also includes access to the 18th-century Town Hall and Attic, where you’ll come face-to-face with the skull and gibbet cage of the infamous Rye murderer John Breeds.
Holidays in Rye
Inspired to take a holiday in Rye? Our stylish cottages are the perfect home base for your next trip. They’re located just a 10-minute drive from Rye and just a stone’s throw away from the beach. Book your stay with us today!