Towns nearby to explore
Rye - Perched on an outcrop of sandstone overlooking the marshes, Rye is probably one of the most visited small towns in England and Mermaid Street is almost certainly the most photographed street. The Mermaid Inn itself may date back to 1156, but like most of Rye, it was burned in 1377 by the French and only the cellar survived. However in 1420 it was re-built as it is today. Rye is steeped in history and its buildings and cobbled streets have changed little in the last 500 years.
Rye has a long literary history too, having been home to many authors over the years, including EF Benson who used Rye as the setting for his Mapp and Lucia stories. The BBC’s recent dramatisation of Mapp and Lucia was filmed on location in Rye.
Today Rye is a vibrant hub for the local community. Its streets are lined with many and varied independent shops, ancient inns, great eateries, tea shops and cafés and other historical buildings, many of which remain private homes.
We would encourage all our guests to take a least half a day to explore Rye, wandering through the cobbled streets and narrow alley ways and enjoying the views from its elevated position over the surrounding marshland towards the sea. www.visitrye.co.uk
Winchelsea - This historic town founded in 1288 as a port, although it now lies inland, is a splendid example of a medieval planned town, with a grid pattern of streets. - www.winchelseatown.co.uk, www.winchelsea.net
Hastings - Once the premier port of the former Cinque Ports, Hasting's maritime heritige still clear today, it is still home to Europe's biggest beach launched fishing fleet.
Battle - home of the great Battle of Hastings in 1066 the town grew around the Abbey of St Martin, now cared for by English Heritage as a visitor attraction together with the battlefields. The town has some lovely Georgain buildings and a Norman church.
Historic Houses and Castles
Scotney Castle - National Trust
Batemans, Burwash - National Trust
Smallhythe Place, Tenterten - National Trust
Lamb House, Rye - National Trust
Battle Abbey - English Heritage - www.english-heritage.org.uk
Camber Castle - English Heritage
Great Dixter, Northiam - www.greatdixter.co.uk
Sissinghurst - National Trust
Derek Jarman's Garden, Dungeness
Biddenden Vineyards - Kent’s oldest commercial vineyard producing award winning wines, ciders and juices. The vineyard is open to visitors throughout the year, admission & tastings are FREE www.biddendenvineyards.com
Carr Taylor Vineyard - a family estate producing award-winning sparkling, still and fruit wines since 1971. The vineyard is open to visitors throughout the year, with self-guided tours and FREE tasting available all year round. Guided tours and tutored tastings available on selected dates, and need to be pre-booked. www.carr-taylor.co.uk
Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard - England's oldest organic vineyard (Est 1979). Biodynamic since 2010. Produces award winning whites, rose red and sparkling wine, as well as fruit wines, cider, liqueurs and fruit juices. Open daily for Self-guided Vineyard and Woodland Nature Trail + Wine Tasting. Situated 4 miles East of Battle and 7 miles north of Hastings on B2244 road, 1.5 miles north of Hastings.
The Chapel Down Winery - The largest producer of English wine in the country. Chapel Down offer a variety of tour and tasting experiences, a well stocked shop and award winning restaurant. www.chapeldown.com
Things to do with the kids
Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway - www.rhdr.org.uk
Blue Reef Aquarium, Hastings - www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk
Kent & Sussex Steam Railway - www.kesr.org.uk
Smugglers Adventure, Hastings - www.smugglersadventure.co.uk
Clambers Indoor Play Centre, Hastings - www.clambers.co.uk
Hastings Castle 1066 Story - www.visit1066country.com
Port Lympne Wildlife Park - www.totallywild.net/portlympne
Dungeness Lighthouse - www.dungenesslighthouse.com
Wildlife & Nature
Rye Harbour Nature Reserve - www.WildRye.info
Wldlife news and events from the coast covered by the RX fishing boat registration – www.RXwildlife.org.uk
Dungeness RSPB Bird Reserve - Nature trails, hides and excellent visitors centre - www.rspb.org.uk
Rye Water Sports - www.ryewatersports.co.uk
Kitesurfing - Kites on Board - www.kitesonboard.com
Kitesurfing, Landboarding & Powerkiting - The Kitesurf Centre - www.thekitesurfcentre.com
Power Boat and RIB Charter - www.fullthrottleboatcharters.com
Waterskiing, Wakeboarding and Jet Skiing - www.actionwatersports.co.uk
"...we had the most wonderful four days you could imagine..."