About two hours out of London is the small town of Rye in East Sussex. I only knew of Rye because of the famous Mermaid street (photo above), a cobble street that looks very picturesque. We spent four days in Rye and it was a really nice and relaxing trip.
We were in Rye during storm Dennis, but despite the weather being awful, we still made the best of it and explored as much as we could.
Behind the scenes:
- The one thing I knew about Rye was surprisingly the most disappointing. I’ve seen photos of Mermaid street but visiting it in real life just wasn’t as exciting. It was nice to see, but I don’t think I’d recommend someone to go solely for this ‘iconic’ street.
- If you like jazz music, there’s a cute jazz bar called The Grapevine. Good live music (so many classics I hadn’t heard in ages) and a good vibe. Their champagne cocktail didn’t live up to my expectations though, so stick to a glass of wine.
- The best hot chocolate is from Knoops. I can recommend the 34% milk chocolate one – we had it three times in four days!
- There’s a really nice pub called The Globe Inn – good atmosphere and tasty pizza.
- Super delicious breakfast/brunch spot – The Whitehouse Rye. Really good sweet/savoury veggie options.
- A few nearby towns are Camber Sands, Hastings, and Dungeness. We visited all three on this trip, but due to weather, it could’ve been better.
- Watching the rough waters by the seafront at Camber Sands was an experience. Despite the stormy weather, there was something calming about standing in the rain and watching the aggressive waves.
- Dungeness was a very cool/strange place – I can’t describe it but it feels industrial with abandoned ships on the shore.
- I’ve visited Hastings before and old Hastings is very quaint with nice cafes and quirky shops. But visiting it during a storm just wasn’t the same (it was also empty). I would recommend going in better weather. There’s also a bus that goes straight to Hastings from Rye.
- Overall, this was a really good trip. While Rye itself is quite small, it’s a nice place to relax and try new spots within town. You will walk from one end to the other on your first day, but it’s quite nice to become familiar with your surroundings. There are also plenty of neighbouring towns/places to visit for the day or even a few hours.
- A few places we didn’t make it to on this trip, but would consider for another visit are: Olde Worlde Wines (local wine bar in Rye), Cobbles Tea Room, and Chapel Down Winery.
PS – I tried a cheddar cheese and marmite (!!) savoury scone at The White House and it was surprisingly good!
The Grapevine jazz bar
The Globe Inn