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Pocket Guide: Rye

Rye is a small town located in the far east of East Sussex. Amidst its cobbled streets, visitors are met with an abundance of exquisite hotels and guesthouses.

An Enchanting and Historical Town

Thanks to its seat upon three rivers, the small town of Rye has historically been a significant town. As a member of the Cinque Ports confederation, the town once served as a military base, sending warships to protect the nearby coastline in the south. Through the 18th and 19th Centuries, the town was also known to be something of a hub for Sussex smugglers, who plied their business right under the noses of the customs men!

Today, the town sees a good deal more tourists than smugglers, and more fishing boats than warships. The picturesque town is one of the most beautiful in the county, and boasts an impressive tourism infrastructure for a place of its modest size.

An Array of Attractions

It's not just the pretty streets and friendly ambience of the town that draw so many visitors to Rye each year. The town is also well-served by attractions.

The Mermaid Inn is one of the country's oldest pubs. The atmospheric bar would be a pleasant enough place to enjoy a pint of the local ale even without the knowledge that it used to be the meeting place of the infamous smugglers group, the Hawkhurst Gang.

Other attractions include St. Mary's Church Tower, which boasts excellent views across the town, and Camber Castle, a defensive fort built for the Tudor king, Henry VIII.

Hotels in Rye

The guesthouses and hotels in East Sussex are on par with any in the county. All across town, period buildings house spectacular accommodation. The Playden Oasts Inn offers a unique retreat, just outside Rye itself. Those keen to get into the centre of Rye have plenty of options, including The George in Rye, and the Rye Lodge Hotel.