Visit Rye

The picturesque hilltop town of Rye seamlessly combines a rich history and modern living.  Nestled in the cobbled streets you will find a mix of art galleries, independent shops, boutique hotels, cosy beamed inns with log fires and a wealth of restaurants, cafes and bars.

Rye has always been a draw for artists and writers.  Lamb House, once home to American writer Henry James and Mapp & Lucia creator, E F Benson, is owned by the National Trust and is open to the public. The annual Rye Arts Festival offers an exciting programme of literary events, exhibitions, contemporary and classical music, exhibitions and tours.  The Jazz Festival brings big names to Rye and events are held in venues across Rye.  

We’ve given a taste of Rye below but you may also like to read Time Out’s 17 Best Things to do in Rye

Visitor Attractions

Art Trails in Rye

Rye has a thriving arts and culture scene which is reflected in the large number of art galleries in and around the town. Exhibitions and events are held throughout the year including the annual Rye Arts Festival in September.

Browse the Independent Shops

Visitors will love the range of independent shops in the High Street as well as in the surrounding cobbled streets, nestled among historic houses, pubs and cafes. Creative shops sit alongside the art galleries and eateries so it is easy to take a break and enjoy an exhibition or a cream tea.

Climb the Church Tower

Climb the Church Tower of St Mary's for a magnificent view of Rye and to see the workings of the oldest working church tower clock in the country

Films and Events at Kino Cinema

State-of-the-art cinema in the heart of Rye offering a varied programme of films and events. Indoor and outdoor cafe/bar.

Foodies Delight

Rye offers a great range of restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs to suit all tastes and budgets. Whether you are looking for gardens with views, log fires and cream teas, local fish and chips or high cuisine, you will find something to please.

Literary Rye – Lamb House

Visit Lamb House, owned by the National Trust and once home to Henry James and E F Benson who wrote the Mapp and Lucia series, or book a Mapp and Mapp & Lucia tour. The Annual Rye Arts Festival includes many literary events.

Rye Castle Museum

Find out more about the historic town of Rye by visiting The Rye Museum which is split over two sites in the medieval town. Opening times differ as a result of the pandemic but while closed the Rye Museum website is packed with tales of battles, smuggling, Cinque Ports and much more.

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve & Discovery Centre

Discover the wildlife in a mosaic of coastal habitats - shingle, saltmarsh, saline lagoons, coastal grazing marsh, freshwater gravel pits and reedbeds. Explore its changing coastline and military history, or simply enjoy a walk beside the sea. Take a break in the newly opened Lime Kiln cafe with fabulous views over the harbour.

Rye Town Model at the Heritage Centre

We are now open daily and we invite you to experience the Rye Town Model. The shop also has new and exciting lines.

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