*Contains gifted items
After spending 24hrs in Hastings, we headed a 20 minute drive away to spend 24hrs in Rye. Rye had been on my bucket list for quite some time as it’s so historical and I really wanted to stay in a certain well known hotel there!
The Mermaid Inn
Rebuilt in 1420, The Mermaid Inn has been visited by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and Prince Edward, as well as celebrities and now me! This was a huge tick off my UK Travel bucketlist and my gosh, did it live up to every expectation; I spent the whole time wandering round with my mouth open and just taking it all in.
We purposely booked ourselves into the Elizabethan Chamber as the 4 poster bed and wooden panelled walls had won me over many years ago when I first saw photos. Little did I know that it was one of the most haunted rooms in the hotel, but as you’ve guessed, we survived our nights stay!
The package we booked was room, bed, breakfast and a 3 course dinner as we really wanted to make the most of our time there and do all that the hotel has to offer.
📍 Mermaid St, Rye TN31 7EY
💰 £350 – booked directly
We parked in the hotel belonging to The Mermaid Inn whilst we were staying there.
📍 Mermaid St, Rye TN31 7EY
We then moved the car down to Cinque Ports Street Car Park as this was closer to our plans the next morning and the weather stated there would be rain so we prepped ahead… of course, there wasn’t any rain!
📍Cinque Ports St, Rye TN31 7AN
Church of Saint Mary
Climb the Church Tower for amazing views of Rye and the surrounding countryside! View the mechanism of the oldest working church turret clock in the UK.
The Tower is open almost every day of the year from 10am-4pm weather, services and any other events permitting.
📍 Church Square, Rye TN31 7HF
💰 £4 Adult
Rye Heritage Centre *
The Rye Heritage Centre is home to the “Story of Rye”, a 15 minute sound and light show featuring the famous Rye Town Model made in the 1980s by local residents, that guides you through the cobbled streets and hidden passages of Rye. The amount of work that has gone not only the amazing model, but the sound and lights show is incredible. The team recently had to strip everything back and start over and what they have accomplished is outstanding.
The centre is also home to a very fun Penny Arcade, where you can throw yourself into the fun of times gone by. You can buy tokens from the reception to get fully immersed. We laughed, we played and we booed when it all came to an end.
📍 Strand Quay, The Old Sail Loft Rye, Rye TN31 7AY
💰 £3 Child / £4.50 Adult
Rye Pottery is housed in an old converted forge and showcases a wide range of pottery products. It is particularly famous for its animal figurines, which are crafted with great attention to detail and often feature whimsical and charming designs. These figurines have become highly collectible over the years!
Aside from the shop, Rye Pottery also offers pottery classes and workshops for those interested in learning the art of pottery. These classes provide hands-on experience and allow participants to create their own unique pieces under the guidance of skilled potters.
Whether you are looking for a special decorative piece or a unique gift, Rye Pottery offers a wide range of handcrafted ceramics that capture the essence of traditional English pottery.
📍 The Old Brewery, 6 Wish Ward, Rye TN31 7DH
Rye Castle & The Ypres Tower
Rye Castle, also known as Ypres Tower, is a historic landmark and it is one of the town’s most iconic and recognisable structures, offering a glimpse into Rye’s medieval past.
The Ypres Tower, constructed in the 14th century, served as part of the town’s defenses against invasions and as a fortified residence for the local authorities. Today, the Ypres Tower is open to the public as part of the Rye Castle Museum. The museum offers visitors an opportunity to explore the tower and learn about Rye’s rich history. Inside, you’ll find displays and exhibits that provide insights into the town’s maritime heritage, its role in smuggling during the 18th and 19th centuries, and the local fishing industry.
Visitors can climb to the top of the tower, enjoying panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside.
📍 Gungarden, Rye TN31 7HE
💰 £5 Adult
As we arrived into Rye around 3pm, we just wanted to grab something light to tide us over until dinner time and the Cornish Bakery was perfect for that.
We grab a couple of toasted sandwiches, a couple bottles of Diet coke and had a laugh with the staff; a perfect midafternoon break,
📍86 High St, Rye TN31 7JN
Rye Waterworks Micropub *
The Rye Waterworks was the first Micropub to open in South East Sussex so obviously we had to take a visit. And it’s not just any old Micropub, it was a water pump house for 3oo years where you can still see a lot of the workings, then a soup kitchen from the 1890s until it became the home of Rye Waterworks Brewery.
The staff were filled with banter and we joined a lovely couple at their table (that’s a thing in Micropubs) who gave us so much info on the local area which we really enjoyed.
The beers on offer included plenty of locally brewed goodness and our pints of Rye Waterworks Brewery Pale Ale went down a right treat!
📍Tower St, Rye TN31 7AT
Knoops is one of the greatest drink based ideas I’ve seen; as a lover of milk and chocolate this combo is just perfect!
Jens, owner of Knoops, took some time out of his busy schedule to sit with us whilst we drunk iced milk and tell us why Knoops not only tastes delicious but is a whole lot more than meets the eye. He had a strong relationship with chocolate since childhood and in 2013, he decided to share his passion and opened the first store in Rye, where we were sat.
Since that, the company has grown beyond belief and there’s now 10 stores around the UK to get your chocolate milk fix. But it’s so much more than just tasty milk, Jens carefully selects each of the chocolates used from the world’s foremost cacao-growing regions. Knoops will only work with only a handful of chocolate makers, both large and small, who are genuinely committed to improving the sustainability of their cocoa. Jens will spend time with the cocoa farmers ensuring there is no middle man, and there’s fair payment so the farmers and their families are cared for. Hearing Jens talk about how much care goes into the behind the scenes of being Knoops owner, it made it clear that he really is the King of Chocolate!
The concept is based around the carefully curated percentage menu which allows you to pick the level of chocolate in your drink, whether that be hot or cold, starting from 28% white chocolate through to 100% dark chocolate. After choosing your percentage, you can choose your milk, and add in extra flavours like sea salt, orange zest or chilli.
I went for 34% milk chocolate, the dairy milk with a hint of sea salt which made the drink taste like liquid salted caramel! Mike had the 80% dark chocolate, the dairy milk and a hint of orange zest. Just so bloody good!
In fact, it was so good we both went back the next day to try more and in all honesty, if we had one in our local high street it would be a serious issue!!
📍 Tower Forge, Tower St, Rye TN31 7LD
The Dining Room
The Dining Room is part of the Mermaid Inn and as mentioned, we booked a package for a three course meal in with our room.
The menu changes nightly depending on which seasonal, local ingredients head chef, Oliver Melford, can get his hands on. Our menu was filled with delights that we had never tried before so that added to the fun of the evening.
The staff were impeccable; they were so attentive, took interest in you as people and were so polite.
📍 Mermaid St, Rye TN31 7EY
Giant’s Fireplace Bar
After dinner we grabbed a glass of port or two in the Giant’s Fireplace Bar also within the hotel. And yes, you guessed it, it has one of the hugest fireplaces I’ve ever seen in it, especially for a room of its size!
The bar staff were brilliant, the other guests were all on top form and chatting away and the atmosphere was just what you wanted after a large meal and a long day!
📍 Mermaid St, Rye TN31 7EY
Globe Marsh Inn
If I were going to own a pub, I would love for it to look just like The Globe Marsh Inn on both the outside and the inside. Every nook and cranny had something quirky in and every table was different. The staff were all lovely too!
But the highlight was the food, we had no idea it was going to be so good. I ordered a pizza which had a thin base and just the right amount of cheese and toppings, whereas Mike ordered the catch of the day with saffron potatoes and samphire which he said was delicious!
📍 10 Military Rd, Rye TN31 7NX