Support local shops

Lion Street - free of traffic on this occasion

If we are not to lose them, we all need to support our local independent shops and restaurants. Thankfully work has now started at The George hotel, but it is going to take time to get back to how things were.

During that period, local businesses will rely more on local customers. Whether you have bought things locally or not in the past, please do so now. In particular navigate obstructions near The George in the High Street and Lion Street to get to the shops.

There are fabulous shops locally, with quality products and you will get personal service from people who will help you find what is right for you.

Buy locally with pride and help to keep Rye as the special place that it is.

Image Credits: Rye New library .


  1. Many years ago, a friend related how he had woken up in a panic not knowing where he was. He travelled extensively, and had been on the road for several months. His sanity was saved by the book matches in his bedside ashtray. It had the name and address of the hotel. Now with smoking banned, he would have to get dressed and look outside. In most towns an cities his panic would spiral into a breakdown. Sadly, most high streets are identikits of others, indeed go abroad and it’s much the same there too.

    This corporate mayhem may cut costs, or persuade some that brand recognition is valuable – not bland. For me it’s a sad reflection on a world where words seem to have opposite meaning. Choice is actually, in many cases, restrictive sameness.

    Choice through genuine difference is the spice of life. All of us can, and should, do our bit to support local traders and the wonderful local produce many of them sell. I also hope the unfair, business strangling, rate system will soon be replaced.

  2. I and my husband would love to go to the shops in the high street but even holding a blue badge we can no longer find a parking space, not even to pick up urgent medication.

  3. Why don’t more people come to shop in Rye? The answer is simple and straightforward – parking, or lack thereof, which must also have a similar effect on visitor numbers as well.
    Rye by its’ very nature was not constructed nor has been adapted to cater for the modern desire to go everywhere by car, to then be able to park as close as possible to the destination and leave it there for the rest of the day.
    Rye was originally a pedestrianised town. The roads and alleyways in some cases are not even suitable for a horse and cart, Conduit Hill for example, so why are motor vehicles even allowed into old Rye?
    There are towns and cities where vehicles are not permitted, The Shambles in York does not allow motor vehicles or even cyclists, to use the roads between 10.30am and 5pm, which makes it a very pleasant place to wander around on foot. There is no reason why Rye should not adopt a similar policy.
    Such a scheme would mean some changes and would not receive universal approval, but it could work.
    The undoubted pleasure of meandering around the High Street and Citadel area without the ever present threat of being mown down by a passing vehicle would be utopia to most people. Parents could allow their children to roam more freely without worry, the traders would benefit and Rye would prosper.
    With old Rye being built on a hill there would obviously be access problems for some people, that can be overcome with a modicum of forward thinking.
    Canterbury city centre, also a pedestrianised area, has a very efficient park and ride service which caters for the needs of both motorists and pedestrians. Rye could have a similar system.
    Currently car parks on the periphery of the town offer limited parking at best, insufficient to accommodate vehicles that would no longer be allowed into the centre, so car parks would have to be expanded or other places found to provide suitable parking.
    Rye and District Community Transport (Rye C T) currently operates a very useful but limited service to local residents that could be expanded to a park and ride service from the car parks to the High Street area, thus allowing access by the less mobile and wheelchair users. The cost of providing this service being met by inclusive car parking charges, or pay to ride fares.
    I appreciate that such a proposal may not sit well with residents in the area who have hitherto enjoyed unrestricted parking seven days a week due to the lack of enforcement of the established time limited restrictions, but I have to come back to the fact that Rye was not built for cars but for people.
    Before the proposed new parking regime is set in stone – a scheme that will not alleviate the parking problem but will encourage parking and vehicle movements, along with eyesore parking meters which will do nothing to embellish the street scene, there is just time to consider an alternative approach.
    By all means have parking enforcement in Rye, but leave the old centre of the town traffic free during the day and everybody, residents, visitors and traders, will all benefit.

  4. There are only a few shops that are worth shopping in you can’t expect people to get what they want.That’s why I shop in priory meadow.

  5. So the George is the reason Rye is struggling to attract visitors, now locals are being asked to help and buy local.
    I assume that once the George is up and running the visitors will be back and the locals can take their usual back seat in the town.

  6. Even though I live only a couple of miles outside of the town I no longer shop in Rye due to the impossibility of parking. I would come by public transport but our local bus service now runs every two hours at best, which is next to useless. But crucially, Rye now has few useful shops left, having succumbed to catering mostly for visiting tourists with premium priced trinket shops. Fair enough, that’s business – but if shops choose not to support the locals, then please don’t expect the locals to support the shops.

  7. Wandering along Cinque ports street,and seeing so many shops empty amongst the junk shops, and charity shops it paints a depressing picture of what will become of Rye in the future, its probably about time landlords reduced their rents, and got tenants in these empty shops, we lost a thriving kings street, a few years ago,and although the fronts are still like shops, the net curtains gives this street a soulless look.


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