Great Britain

Things to do in Rye

If you’re dreaming of a coastal holiday by ferry to the UK, a visit to the picturesque Rye town is like stepping back in time.

Visiting Rye in the UK is a simple journey when you arrive at the port in Dover as it’s just a 52-minute drive away via the M20.

Visiting this Kentish town is a great holiday idea as our list of things to do in Rye has something for everyone, whether you love history, food or just want to explore the very best of what the UK has to offer.

Just a 10-minute drive from the town of Rye, you’ll find one of Britain’s sunniest beaches at Camber Sands. This stunning beach stretches almost 5 miles and caters to water sports enthusiasts, dog walkers and sunbathers.

Once you’ve checked out our Rye travel guide, this beautiful town might well be part of your next family holiday. With flexible booking from Calais, our no amendment fee offer means that any trips booked before the end of 2021 can be changed with no extra charge for doing so. 




















Things to do in Rye, England

Rye Travel Guide

Things to Do in Rye

Rye’s beautiful cobbled streets transport you back in time and its historical heritage is all around you. The Mermaid Inn, one of Rye’s most famous landmarks was built in 1420.

Along with beautiful scenery, there are plenty of outdoor activities to make for a memorable day trip. Walking around the streets of Rye, you can marvel at its hilltop views of the surrounding area and coastline.

Be sure to take a walk up Mermaid Street, often pictured on postcards of Rye. You can have a fun game of eye spy looking out for The House with Two Front Doors.

Mermaid Street, Rye

Rye Castle, England

Rye Castle

Rye Castle dates back to 1249 and was used as a defence against French attacks in the 14th century. The tower was later used as a prison and you can still peek into the cells where prisoners were chained up.

For history lovers, Rye Castle contains part of Rye Museum, so make a visit if you want to learn more about the town’s past.

Once you’ve explored Rye Castle, the gun deck and garden outside have stunning views, so be sure to explore the whole site on your trip as it’s one of the best things to do in Rye.

Best Places to Eat in Rye

When it comes to the best places to eat in Rye, you’re spoilt for choice. The Mermaid Inn has an award-winning dining room for lunch and dinner. Its historical charm has attracted famous guests including Johnny Depp, Charlie Chaplin and Queen Elizabeth I.

The Globe Inn Marsh is a great spot for local produce and seafood or pizzas and serve meals from breakfast to dinner. This is definitely among the best restaurants in Rye.

Alternatively, if you want to try a traditional English cream tea, the Mermaid Street Café is the place to be.

Pub in Rye, England

Rye Harbour

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Beyond Rye’s historical heritage and fabulous food, it’s also a nature lover’s paradise. Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is one of the largest in England.

Located in Rye Harbour and just an 8-minute drive from the town centre, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is doing its bit for the planet as it’s home to 300 endangered species of plants and animals.

Local guides will let you know what to look out for and the Discovery Centre that welcomes you has stunning sea views which you may well want to enjoy with a coffee and cake from their café.

Rye Beach

Rye’s beach is the nearby Camber Sands which you can reach in a 10-minute drive from the centre of town.

If you’re planning a day of sunbathing or swimming, be sure to check tide times. Driving on board with P&O Ferries is perfect for this kind of adventure as you can fill your car with all the gear you need for a day of paddling.

As P&O Ferries are ideal for bringing your pet on board, you may well want to let your four-legged friend explore the area. From May to September you must keep your dog on a lead but if you visit during winter, dogs can roam freely.

Camber Sands beach near Rye

Winchelsea Beach, Rye

Cycle rides in Rye

You can also bring bikes on board when you travel with P&O Ferries or hire them locally for cycling near Rye. There are plenty of great routes to try out with views across the water, just one of Rye’s amazing outdoor activities.

The Winchelsea Beach Loop is ideal for any fitness level and takes just under two hours or you can even do a circuit of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve in under an hour.

Now that you know about all of the great things to do in Rye, book your Calais to Dover ferry crossing and travel there with P&O Ferries.

Rye’s beautiful cobbled streets transport you back in time and its historical heritage is all around you. The Mermaid Inn, one of Rye’s most famous landmarks was built in 1420.

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