Holidays, visitors, things to do

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A KESR train chugs through the countryside

School holidays around here have started – for some, but not all – and visitors may be heading this way, and thinking caps may need to be put on.

A good place to start however, whether you are a visitor or a resident, is Strand Quay, and the town council’s Heritage Centre which has re-opened for this year’s visitors.

I visit each year to plunder the wall racks of up to date leaflets and guides to what is going on in the area.

“Discover Rye Bay” is always a good resource as it is fairly comprehensive and one of the most useful things is a map showing how long it takes to drive to various places.

I once persuaded a visiting driver that it would be nice to pop over to Sandwich, another Cinque Port, for lunch and a nose around – and I had forgotten (from days working on the Kent Messenger in the 60s) how big Kent is – and how far away Thanet actually is (even by train).

Flaming torches lit the streets

The “Discover” booklet contains lots of useful information including key dates for other possible “visits” like the fireworks procession on November 9, the Christmas fair on December 7, and the Rye Arts Festival from September 14-28.

However in terms of more immediate dates the National Trust produces lots of leaflets for its nearby properties, and Rye’s own Lamb House has Easter egg hunts on April 19-21 between 11am and 5pm.

Needless to say the Kent and East Sussex Railway is also hyperactive over the Easter holidays with an additional Lego Civilizations exhibition up to April 22. For more information visit www.kesr.org.uk.

The Rye Harbour Nature Reserve also produces a hefty leaflet, stages many events for children and can be found at sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/ryeharbour.

I came away from the Heritage Centre with about 15 leaflets and booklets, and I was reminded of places I had seen when I first arrived – and had not revisited – and places I had forgotten to visit, as well as lots of information I never knew.

For example Rye was part of France to the 13th century because it was owned by a French abbey and the whole coastline was changed (including the course of the River Rother) in a massive storm in 1287 – and the Isle of Thanet ceased to be an island then, although our near neighbour, the Isle of Oxney still remains one – just!

Pop into the Heritage Centre – and discover what you (or your visitors) may be missing.

Image Credits: KESR, Rye News library.

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