If Doctor Who crashlanded the Tardis in Rye the great Timelord would be hard pressed to say what century she was in. The road signs say this is ‘1066 Country’ but there are Ford Mondeos parked on the streets. Rye’s a slice of a parallel England that’s hard to pin down. Is it a medieval port town? A Hitchcock film set? Or is it plugging a hole in space time? Well, in fact it’s all of these things. A small town atop a sandstone promontory that was once a strategic port, the place has retained its cobbled streets and higgledy-piggledy houses and now looks like old England pickled in a jar. Rye's popularity with weekending Londoner's bolsters the number of accommodation options, and there are plenty of places to stay for a town of this size, although much of it is a little on the pricey side. Like the rest of the town, accommodation in Rye succeeds in making visitors seem like they have stepped backwards in time, as well as into a world where old oak is the most fundamental building material. The feeling of most hotels is one of comfort and warmth, and there are also a couple of B&Bs with a similarly cosy atmosphere, as well as some decent pubs with rooms and boutique hotel options in the town centre and just beyond, in Camber Sands. When it comes to cheaper alternatives, such as hostels and campsites, you'll have to look further afield but for a weekend break it's worth splashing out and enjoying the central location in this hospitable town.
Best Places to Stay in Hotels, B&Bs & Self-Catering in Rye - Cool Places to Stay in the UK
Best Places to Stay in Rye
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Eat and Drink
Rye specializes in homemade food from favourite recipies, which can be seen in the huge selctions of cafes and dellictessens that are scattered throughout the town. It's worth having a peep in any of these, as you might just stumble upon the best tasting snack you've ever had. On the restaurant front there are a fair amount of bistros and a selection of fine dining options serving excellent British cuisine. While most places are at the top end of the price range, you can eat more economically in one of Rye's agreeable old pubs, many of which have real ales on tap. Such pubs are true examples of traditional English haunts, The New Inn, for example, was actually built in 1778. Though for around here, that's actually pretty new!
Rye is not a massive place and, while the shopping on offer is good, the town does not play host to hundreds of stores. What's around is extremely diverse and makes it a good location to enjoy browsing through open doors without anything particular in mind. A couple of good food stores can be found selling local produce, ideal if you plan on taking a picnic to the beach. Along Rope Walk it's worth sticking your head into Glass Etc, a shop owned by Antiques Road Show guru Andy McConnell and a good place to buy unique and original gifts. Meanwhile a stroll down the High Street will take you through the main shopping area dotted with independent shops selling various goods all worth a glance for the sake of enjoying such wide variety.
Things to Do
The impressive Norman church of St Mary’s, the classic castle shape of Ypres Tower, the Royal Military Canal and a thriving fishing fleet, are just a few of the reasons that Rye is considered one of the best preserved towns in England. Such sights are complimented by a handful of galleries and museums that make for interesting viewing and a good hiding place on a rainy day. Out of doors, the beach of camber sands is a classic example of endless coastal dunes, perfect for a day in the sun, whilst Rye Harbour Nature Reserve preserves the dynamic coastline with salt marsh, shingle and dunes protected since the 1970s. Working steam trains and open gardens are amongst the other attractions, finalising Rye as the perfect holiday destination for a gentle paced, relaxing break.
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