A – Z of Locations: R is for Rye

During this year I shall be posting photographs from places around the UK, many of which have not been published before. Where I have previously blogged about a location I will provide a link to the post, though you won’t be able to comment on it as I restrict comments to six months.

R is for Rye / Rye Harbour

Rye is an English town with a fascinating history near the coast in East Sussex about 20 miles east of Hastings and four miles from the white beach of Camber Sands. In the centre, cobbled lanes like Mermaid Street are lined with medieval, half-timbered houses.

Mermaid Street (The Mermaid Inn was rebuilt in 1420)
Walk along Mermaid Street and you’ll come across houses with names like “The House Opposite”, or the “House with Two Front Doors”.
One thing Rye isn’t short of is pubs. Here we have The Swan.

The redbrick Lamb House was once owned by writer Henry James. Nearby, the tower of the Norman St. Mary’s Church overlooks the town. The 14th-century Ypres Tower, which formed part of Rye’s defences, is now Rye Castle Museum.

Originally a seaport, Rye was incorporated in 1289 and became a full member of the Cinque Ports (a confederation of English Channel ports) about 1350. Now Rye Harbour lies 2 miles away from the actual town.

My only visit to Rye itself was back in November 2003 and I’m sad to say I don’t remember much about it other than it being quite cold and windy down by the sea. The second visit was a more pleasant one to the Nature Reserve in July 2014, but for some reason we didn’t bother to visit the town.

You can read about that visit here for a comprehensive walk along the shingle beach and an introduction to the wild flowers that grow in such an inhospitable landscape.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

26 thoughts on “A – Z of Locations: R is for Rye”

    1. To Rye? or the far south-east? I quite like East Sussex and the eastern part of Kent, but an expensive part of the country.

    1. There are expensive areas that’s for sure. I once went for a job interview in East Sussex along with a lady from Stoke. Once she saw the house prices she declined the job offer!

  1. The Mermaid Inn is amazing, and the age is extraordinary for how well kept it is. It’s a new place for me, Jude. I just remembered to ask if your son is feeling better?

    1. It’s rather lovely down that part of the country, Rye Harbour is quite wonderful as is nearby Dungeness in Kent. Thanks for asking about A. He’s out of hospital now, but undergoing tests still to try and fathom out what’s going on.

      1. Good to hear he’s out of hospital and fingers crossed that they find out what’s happening sooner than later. Frustrating dealing with illness with no clear idea how to fix it. We know how it feels.

  2. I have been to Rye more times than I can remember. (25+) I have stayed at the Mermaid Inn, (sloping floors) and at other hotels in the town. I had a 3-day honeymoon there after my first wedding in 1977, and last went there in 2011 before moving away from London the following year. It was an easy trip for a day out from London, and sometimes we would just go for a cream tea at Simon The Pieman and come home again. I would dearly loved to have retired there, but any houses I liked were seriously out of my price range.
    Also worth visiting nearby ancient Winchelsea and Camber Sands. The beach at Camber is lovely, but gets crowded in the school holidays.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. We have driven through Winchelsea and Camber Sands, it is a lovely area and I can see why you’d go there from London. I wouldn’t mind living in that part of the country, there are some fabulous gardens in Kent and East Sussex.

    1. Yes, a quaint little town, I do like that region. Hastings is interesting too with the iconic net lofts. (Rye also has some).

  3. It’s a lovely little town with so much interest. I lived in Sussex for 20 years and nearby Camber Sands was where we used to take the kids for beach days. But Rye itself is really quaint, though very popular on sunny summer days.

    1. The whole area down that end of the country is rather charming. Haven’t been to Camber sands, but drove past them, I can imagine they are popular in the summer.

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