Gloriously characterful house for 6 in the centre of town; ancient meets modern perfection
If you’d like the romance and character of a medieval citadel stay, without compromising on a single modern luxury, look no further: this is an interior lover’s dream. The original timber frame, inglenook fireplaces, mullioned windows and brick floors feel like they hold centuries of stories, some told in the vintage books on the shelves. But the clever juxtaposition with chic modern interiors means comfort is the top priority. Deep linen sofas, rolltop baths and cosy bathrobes… they’re just more conducive to a fun weekend than the no-central-heating days of yore. With 3 kingsize bedrooms this is perfectly suited to friends or family in search of a chilled-out break by the seaside. There’s beautiful countryside and coast to explore on foot or on bike, plus Rye’s best pubs and cafés on the doorstep. Just mind your head on those wonky ceilings.
Getting here: drive, or train to Rye then walk (5 mins)
- Spend a day in the historic old town, full of artistry and antiques. Start with coffee and croissants at The Whitehouse Rye, who bake everything in house (we’d also recommend their Turkish eggs). Then, after a few hours of rifling through objets d’art, pull up a bar stool at The Standard, with its low beams and local ales on tap.
- Wander through Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and on to golden Winchelsea Beach. If you’re after a longer walk, head along the coastal cliffs to Pett Level Beach. When the tide is out you can see the prehistoric remains of a sunken forest on the shoreline.
- The stunningly desolate Dungeness is 30 mins away. Home to fisherman’s huts, rare birds, exotic plant life and architectural holiday homes – including the late artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman’s renowned Prospect Cottage, with its wildflower garden sown on the shingle beach – it’s a must-see for creative minds. Children will love watching the steam trains puff in, as you lunch on fresh lobster and crab at the Snack Shack.
- If you can time your trip with Bonfire Night, do! Known locally as Rye Fawkes, the town hosts a torch-lit procession of macabre characters, ending with a huge bonfire and fantastic firework display.