Tourist info returns

Peter Colling, managing director of Tourism South East, with Tracey Young (left), Rye TIC manager, and (centre) Emily Truby, Rye TIC information assistant,

Once upon a time Rye had a Tourist Information Centre (TIC) at the top of Lion Street which was closed in 2015 when Rother District Council decided to employ a brochure company instead and farm out phone and on-line enquiries to the 1066 Country website.

Ironically enough, Tourism SouthEast which had been contracted to run the centre won a prize (see top photo) for providing visitor information just as it closed down.

The Heritage Centre (shown below) on Strand Quay then took over the task of handling face to face visitor enquiries, but was less able to deal with on-ine and phone inquiries as it was also handling showings of the historic Town Model as well as selling souvenirs and local produce.

However the Heritage Centre lost money in recent years, partially because of disruptions to tourism and drops in visitor numbers, and the Town Council decided last year not to underwrite it any longer – and it has now been taken over by a charity, and will re-open when the Covid-19 pandemic permits, and it has been re-organised.

The Covid-19 lockdown started just as the Town Council was removing its goods from the centre and before the charity had time to do much in the way of preparations before re-opening.

In the meantime the Town Council has taken responsibility for visitor enquiries and expects to open a Tourist Information Centre on the ground floor of the Town Hall (a stone’s throw from the former Lion Street TIC) from August 4, provided everything is in place and they can comply with the most recent Government advice.

Rye Heritage Centre,


Image Credits: Tourism South East , Nick Forman .


  1. A couple stopped me at the bottom of the Mint this week and asked if there was anyway of getting into the town centre without climbing a hill, after telling them no they said “oh well, we’ll go to Hastings to have a look.
    While I appreciate that Rye is built on a hill and has been for some 900 years I do wonder at the decision to put the information centre at the highest point.
    When we’ve visited other towns the information centre is normally on the approach to the town, call in and find out where the attractions are before you start the visit.

    • We (Town Council) did try and identify suitable premises in the vicinity of Crownfields/Station Approach – but were unsuccessful.

  2. Having read this article, I wonder whether Rye Library would be a more convenient place to have
    the Tourist Information Centre when/if it opens again. There is sufficient room in that building and
    it would not be so much of a climb to the Town Hall.

    • We (Town Council) had a meeting with the Library Service becaise Rye Library ticked a number of boxes. Unfortunately, we could not proceed because the County Council would not allow our staff to work in the building on their own outside of the Library’s opening hours.


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