The sought after Cinque Port Town of Rye can be found approx. 11 miles east of Hastings on the A259. The Town is arranged around the Church which sits on top of the hill. Rye is situated a few miles from the coast, however during the Middle Ages it stood on a promontory. It was linked to the mainland by a narrow, easily defensible neck of land, guarded on either side by the wide estuaries of the Rivers Tillingham and Rother. The Saxons called it ‘Atter Ie’, meaning ‘on the island’. Over the years this was altered to ‘Atte Rie’ and finally to just Rye. During 1287 AD a severe storm hit the Channel and the movement of shingle from Dungeness blocked the outlet of the Rother at New Romney. The river changed its path to its current position into Rye. Due to this major piece of good fortune the town was, together with its neighbour Winchelsea, linked to the Cinque Ports as an 'Ancient Town' in 1289 AD and was responsible for supplying ships to the English Fleet. The Town’s fishing fleet remains important - the boats unload their catches on the Quayside on the eastern side of the town. In 1573 Queen Elizabeth I visited Rye and was so pleased by her reception that she gave the town the right to call itself 'Rye Royal'.


Parts of Rye still look today very much as they did in the Middle Ages with its enchanting cobbled streets, lined with beautiful old houses. The town is almost suspended in time and has a uniquely unhurried atmosphere. It is one of the gems of the East Sussex coast with its superb setting between the rolling Sussex countryside and the levels of Romney Marsh with the sea beyond stretching into the distance, providing some magnificent views. There are a host of unusual shops in Rye; Antiques, Collectors' Book and Record Shops and many Art Galleries, selling works by local artists and potters with changing exhibitions throughout the year. A general Market takes place by the station every Thursday and Rye Farmers’ Market takes place on Strand Quay every Wednesday morning.

The Hastings to Folkestone hourly Bus Service travels through the town, with less frequent services to Tenterden. The town has its own Railway Station on the Ashford to Hastings line, with an hourly service during the day, and more frequently during rush hour. Ashford and Hastings Stations provide Rail Services to Central London.

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