Rye Circular Walk
This route from Rye uses two of the area's long distance footpaths to create a circular walk around the town. You'll follow sections of the 1066 Country Walk and Saxon Shore Way waymarked trails to visit the lovely Rye Harbour, the ruins of Camber Castle and the nearby town of Winchelsea.
The route starts near the train station in the town and heads south along the River Brede to the Martello Tower and the nature reserve. Here you will find a wide range of habitats including saltmarsh, lagoons, grazing marsh, shingle and reedbeds. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including ringed plover, avocet, oystercatcher, redshank, lapwing, and sandwich terns. The path also passes close to the noteworthy Camber Castle. You can visit the interesting ruins of this 16th century Device Fort, built by Henry VIII to protect the Sussex coast against French attack.
The trail bends round to the west to visit the small town of Winchelsea which makes a great place to stop for refreshments at one of the pubs or cafes. In the town you pick up the 1066 Country Walk to take you along Cadborough Cliff back into Rye. The final section crosses the pretty River Tillingham and the Rye Windmill before returning to the town centre.
To extend the walk you can pick up the Royal Military Canal Path and enjoy some easy waterside walking to the Sussex Coast.
Rye Circular Walk Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Rye Circular Walk Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Rye Circular Walk OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Rye Circular Walk Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
There's some good choices for refreshments in the Rye Harbour area. The William the Conqueror pub is located right on the harbour and worthy of investigation. Recently refurbished, it’s a smart, friendly, traditional pub, boasting real ales, hearty pub food and a friendly welcome. There’s a large outdoor area here, with plenty of alfresco seating on the banks of the River Rother. It's a great spot to enjoy lunch while looking out for some of the local wildlife that make this a Site of Special Scientific Interest. You can find the pub near the car park on the eastern side of the reserve at postcode TN31 7TU.
The delightful Avocet Tea Room is located in the same area as well. The tea room also includes a lovely art gallery showcasing the talent of local artists. The gallery is run by award-winning photographer Peter Greenhalf and former journalist Morgan (who makes all the cakes). The gallery reflects the artists’ love of the natural world and is well worth seeing if you have time after your walk.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
The route passes the Mary Stanford Lifeboat House, a site of some historical significance. The now abandoned lifeboat house serves as a monument to rescue crew tragically killed in the 1928 disaster. It can be found on the southern side of the harbour and includes an information board with details of the tragedy.
At the northern edge of the harbour there's also the Rye Castle Museum or Ypres Tower. The museum has lots of interesting artifacts and exhibits to see including locally-made medieval pottery, an embroidery depicting many aspects of Rye life and history, medieval artifacts, activities and town maps. You can also climb to the top of the tower and enjoy fantastic views over the harbour and the river. It's a nice place to visit after your walk if you have time.
Above: Ypres Tower or Rye Castle. A worthy addition to your outing.