Rediscover the beauty of Britain – Rye

We visited Rye, the beautiful medieval hilltop town full of original narrow cobbled streets and steeped in history.

Date
November 12th 2013
Based in East Sussex, Rye is a beautiful medieval hilltop town full of original narrow cobbled streets and steeped in history. It is surrounded by water on three sides with the Rother River to the east, the Tillingham to the west and the Royal Military Canal to the south. The area is named 1066 country, as both the towns of Hastings and Battle are nearby, where the famous 1066 battle of Hastings took place.The very fine Norman Church of St Mary is perched on the top of the hill and can be seen from miles around. It is distinctive for its ‘quarterboys’, which are gilded cherubs that strike the bells on the tower clock every hour.The heart of the town is best approached on foot as there are some vehicle restrictions to help maintain and preserve the historic architecture of the buildings.One of the oldest buildings is the Mermaid Inn based on the steep cobbled Mermaid Street. This half-timbered building was once a haunt for smugglers and is still used as a hotel today, a great place to stop for some lunch or afternoon tea. The 13th century Ypres Tower is all that remains of Rye Castle and this is now used as a museum with an assortment of exhibits. The tower overlooks the Gun Garden, where cannons still point out to the sea as a reminder of the part that the castle played in defending our land many years ago.Rye has been maintained beautifully, the shops within the town are almost all independent with boutiques and antique shops dotted along the streets and refreshingly there is a visible lack of high street chain retailers. Rye is a popular tourist destination so gets busy in the summer months and with Camber Sands being close by attracts a lot of day trippers. But don’t let that put you off - it is definitely one to put on your list!For more information on this quintessentially English town visit www.1066country.com