EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF RYE

Originally granted to the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy in 1017, Rye was reclaimed by Henry III in 1247 and blossomed as a Cinque Port, vital to England’s defence. The main landmarks are the Ypres Tower, Rye Castle, the Landgate, the Monastery, and Lamb House, once the home of Henry James and later, E F Benson, in West Street.

VIEWS FROM THE TOWER

This is the view from the top of the tower of St Mary’s Parish Church. In the churchyard is the Town Water Cistern built in 1735.

13th century storms moved the River Rother to enter the sea at Rye, giving it a large, safe harbour. In the 14th century, Rye became a Head Port of the Cinque Ports Confederation. The large fishing fleet can still be seen at Fishing Quay.

PLACES & ATTRACTIONS

Smuggling in Rye

Perhaps one of Rye’s most exciting periods in history was the 18th century when it was often regarded as the smuggling capital of England. Smugglers’ hoards were stored in the old vaulted cellars and some of these can still be seen on a tour of the town.Rye survived frequent French attacks but in 1377 all but the stone buildings were burned, and the church bells stolen in one raid. Many of the half timbered houses now seen in the town date from the rebuilding after this event.

Rye

A fascinating and historic harbour town with an array of boutique shops and delicious restaurants and cafes eateries including The George, Haydens, the Landgate Bistro and Webbes at The Fish Café.

Hastings

This cosmopolitan town has a strong local arts community and is home to the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe, as well as the remains of the first castle in England to be built by William the Conqueror and a preserved Old Town.

Dover

Visit Dover the gateway to the Continent and its magnificent castle. Explore the atmospheric Secret Wartime Tunnels including a recreation of the Dunkirk evacuation. Children will love to run around the winding tunnels and hunt out ghostly ghouls at Kent’s most haunted castle.

Horse Lovers

Many people who have a love of all things horsey (and even those who don’t!) have often dreamt of galloping across golden sands through crested shore-breaks with the wind in their hair and sea-spray on their face. Why not make this a reality whilst staying at Sea Gem?

Samphire Hoe

This intriguing piece of land was created using 4.9 million cubic metres of chalk marl during the construction of the Channel Tunnel. The 30 hectare coastal country park has something for everyone: a stunning location, wildflowers, birds, sea angling and ice creams for the children!

Full Steam Ahead!

A trip on the Kent and East Sussex Railway is a great day out! It travels between Tenterden in the Kentish Weald and the 600-year-old Bodiam Castle in East Sussex. The Tenterden station is also home to a railway museum.

Beach Foraging

Forage for the shells and washed up sea life which can be found on the beach including razor shells, skate’s egg cases (often known as ‘Mermaids purses’), and the empty cases of whelk’s eggs. If you are lucky you may see the flash of a lizard’s tail! Look out for trails that the lizards leave behind in the sand.

OTHER THINGS TO DO IN EAST SUSSEX

Don’t miss the chance to see Bateman’s, the famous Jacobean home of Rudyard Kipling, or why not take a trip to Battle Abbey, which commemorates the Battle of Hastings?

Pack your walking boots and discover the South Downs Way and the 1066 Country Walk, or, for a more leisurely day out, explore the beautiful Seven Sisters Country Park, located amid the South Downs.