Eight great reasons to visit Rye
I'm going to let the pictures and captions do most of the talking, partly because Rye is so ludicrously photogenic, but also because, frankly, I'm so deep in holiday mode, I can barely string a sentence together.
1: It's seeped in history
A quick romp through Rye's back story: It started as a small fishing community before the Norman Conquest; was one of the five towns to be granted a Charter of the Cinque Ports by King Henry 111 in 1260; grew in prosperity during the 18th century thanks to the proliferation of smuggling and became a popular inspiration and base for artists (including Anthony van Dyck, Paul Nash and J.M. Turner) and writers (Henry James, G.K. Chesterton, H.G. Wells, Joseph Conrad and John Ryan, creator of Captain Pugwash, all lived in the town)
2: It's bursting with fabulous old houses and buildings
3: It has a 900 year old church and a 13th Century castle
Which has the oldest working church turret clock in the country.
4: There are lots of wonderful quirky independent shops
5: There's a wide choice of places to eat
We ate at these two restaurants, and I'd recommend them both
6: It has two weekly markets
There's a smallish farmer's market from 10-1 on a Wednesday and a bigger, general market from 8-4 on a Thursday, where the usual market stalls selling clothes, beauty stuff, and general household goods are on offer, along with a few food stalls. There's also some marvellous bric-a-brac to enjoy.
7: There's a wonderful nature reserve by the harbour
8: It's the closest town to Camber Sands Beach
And honestly, if there's a more sensational stretch of beach on the south east coast, I'd like to know about it. True, if you don't have a car you need to take a taxi or a bus to get there from Rye. But it only takes about 15 minutes from the town centre and it's worth every one of those minutes.
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