Rye in East Sussex
Medieval gem of the Cinque Ports.
Rye is one of the best preserved medieval towns in England. Rye is home to the enchanting cobbled Mermaid Street, the impressive Norman church of St Mary’s, a rich selection of specialist shops and a thriving fishing fleet. The famous Mermaid Inn was once the haunt of notorious smugglers, the Hawkhurst Gang.
Camber Castle, built by Henry VIII, is located in the dramatic Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Rye was once surrounded on three sides by the sea and its maritime heritage dates back to Norman times. To defend it against frequent attacks from the French, Rye became an ‘ancient town’ of the powerful Cinque Ports Confederation. Visit the Rye Museum which has sites at East Street and the Ypres Tower, the second oldest building in Rye open to the public, built in the early 14th century and part of the town's defensive walls. Take time to discover its architectural treasures and narrow passageways. Climb the tower of St Mary’s Parish Church for fine views to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and the beautiful hilltop town of Winchelsea, with its maze of medieval wine cellars.
Rye has always been a magnet for writers and artists. Lamb House, a National Trust property, was once the home of Henry James and later E.F.Benson, creator of the Mapp and Lucia books. The artists Paul Nash, Edward Burra and Captain Pugwash creator, John Ryan all lived in Rye. Today a wealth of art and photography galleries thrives in the town.
Explore 1066 Country
With a spectacular combination of coast and countryside that's scattered with relics and ruins from the past, 1066 Country is the kind of place where you don't just learn about history, you live it. Known world-wide for its heritage, 1066 Country offers visitors a rich historical experience. The thriving market town of Battle is home to the very spot where King Harold fell during the fateful conflict.
The Edwardian seaside resort of Bexhill-on-Sea is the birthplace of British motor racing. Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet can be seen in Hastings and you can also enjoy the picturesque Old Town. Pevensey was the landing point for both the Romans and the Normans. Rye is a maritime maze of Medieval and Georgian buildings.
Further useful links: