A medieval citadel huddled against invaders and the sea, Rye reveals its history gently. Today itás home to a myriad of art, curiosities and cosy pubs, as well as modern boutique hotels and contemporary restaurants serving the best Sussex has to offer, from land and sea. Built on smuggled secrets and timeless tales, Rye has nooks and crannies to explore and distant views across Romney Marsh to ponder.
Hundreds of years ago, Rye was surrounded on all sides by water. It formed part of the medieval Cinque Ports with the town's hilltop vantage point useful for detecting and repelling marauding invaders.
Today, you can explore cobbled alleys lined with untouched historic buildings − from medieval relics to beautiful Georgian houses. Ypres Tower, built in 1249 to defend the town, is still open for viewing.
Rye has managed to retain most of its charm and heritage − as well as a sense of the strange! Walk along Mermaid Street and you'll come across houses with names like "The House Opposite", or the "House with Two Front Doors".
You can also see the remnants of Rye's smuggling past throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries, with networks of tunnels, secret passages and hidden caves. A long-time favourite with poets, artists and craftspeople, Rye is a unique, stunning and inspirational place for a short break, or a longer holiday.