I enjoy travelling and visiting new places, especially pretty villages in the UK that are only a train journey away!
I went to Rye for the day last year during the May bank holiday with my friend Jade. We managed to book a return journey for less than £25 each, making good use of the 1/3 off travel with the rail card. The train journey took just over an hour, and was a stress-free way of travelling because if we had driven there, I’m unsure on where the best parking spots would have been.
Whatever budget you have, there’s lots you can do in Rye!
Things to do in Rye
There are plenty of things to keep you busy in Rye, whatever your budget may be. You can spend time walking around the ancient medieval cobbled streets and exploring the history of the town, or spend time in the local pubs and restaurants for a day of feasting and drinking…
Walking down the cobbled highstreets
The streets of Rye are super pretty to explore because of their old cobbled roads and traditional old cottages and inns. Rye is also home to one of the prettiest streets in the UK, Mermaid Street. Take a stroll down this beautiful cobbled road and you will find the Mermaid Inn hotel and restaurant, which dates back to 1156. I read about the haunted stories beforehand so I was a little anxious to go in there… but the building is truly stunning with exposed beams, traditional wooden windows and ivy intertwined into the walls which changed colour with the seasons.
The Landgate Monument
We took a stroll down to the water and came across the Landgate Monument – the last remaining gateway in the town. Four were originally built here in 1329, and this is the only one that is left standing today. The ancient English monument isn’t open to the public but you can walk through it and admire from both sides, and it looks great nestled into the new and old businesses in Rye!
St Mary’s Church
To finish off the days activities, we went to St Mary’s Church and paid to head to the top of the bell tower for some beautiful views over the medieval town. For just £4, you can have a look around the beautiful little church, and climb through little corridors and up the stairs to reach the rooftop of the church. If you’re afraid of heights and small spaces then I wouldn’t recommend this as an activity for you, but if you can put your nerves aside then the views when you get there are definitely worth it!
Where to eat in Rye
There are lots of different independent restaurants, pubs, cafes and ice cream parlours in Rye. You can talk a way around the town and choose where takes your fancy, but here are the places that we checked out whilst we were there:
The Ship Inn
We stopped off for lunch at The Ship Inn, and ordered a tapas-style lunch of small plates to share including a bread basket, calamari, halloumi sticks and sweet chilli chicken wings. The food was hot and tasty, and we enjoyed sharing something small rather than ordering a big lunch as we had more walking to do afterwards. The pub was nice and cosy, with low ceilings, exposed beams and a quaint village feel with a centrepiece fire and fairy lights intertwined into the beams.
The Cobbles Tea Room
We fancied something sweet, so we went to the Cobbles Tea Room to have cake and a hot drink (and to shield from the rain that came from nowhere!). The tea room is hidden down a little alleyway, in a tiny little terrace house that has been converted into a tea room with a few tables indoors and a little section in the garden. There were lots of different home made cakes and sandwiches to choose from, and plenty of hot and cold drinks too. Cobbles Tea Room has been open for over 50 years, and is known as Rye’s ‘premier’ tea room. It’s a lovely hidden gem that you just have to check out!
If you’re looking for somewhere to have a UK break then Rye is certainly worth checking out. There are lots of cosy pubs and boutique hotels to choose from, and you can do as little or as much here as you please!
Have you been to Rye before?