Image by joe daniel price / Getty Images


Possibly southeast England’s quaintest town, Rye is a little nugget of the past, a medieval settlement that looks like someone hit the pause button on time. Even the most hard-boiled cynic can’t fail to be softened by Rye’s cobbled lanes, mysterious passageways and crooked half-timbered Tudor buildings. Tales of resident smugglers, ghosts, writers and artists abound.

Rye was once one of the Cinque Ports, occupying a high promontory above the sea. Today the town rises 2 miles from the briny; sheep graze where the Channel’s strong tides once swelled.

Explore Rye


Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Rye.