Our monthly meanderings found us heading to the south coast this month, and we found ourselves in the gorgeously charming medieval town of Rye in East Sussex. About an hour and a half from London, its easily do-able in a day. You can even get a train from London to Rye from St Pancreas, in around an hour!
Years ago, we had visited Rye as, in our pre kids life, we had a love of browsing antiques shops, and Rye has them in abundance. (It also has some amazing, independant, one-off shops so fab for shopping if you have time). The cobbled streets, ancient buildings and winding, secret passageways are reported to be the historic stomping ground of highwaymen and smugglers. This all adds to the charm of Rye. You really feel the history wherever you walk and there are hints of its 18th Century pirate and smugglers past with some of the street and building names. The Mermaid Inn and The Old Bell Inn were used by the smugglers, and a secret passageway connects them. There are lots of unusually named houses too, such as ‘The House Opposite” and “The House With Two Front Doors” Its such a quirky town.
Although our house decor style has changed from the time we previously visited Rye, I do still love browsing an antique shop. Just like I have a huge love of old book shops, (which Rye has an amazing one to enjoy), I just love old furniture. I love running my hand over it and imagining the stories it has to tell. I love the memories old items evoke of my own childhood, and the house of my much missed grandparents. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see things that I remember my nan using. Ahhhhhh, happy days.
At this point, I need to share my anguish. I literally fell in love with a beautiful, large victorian writing desk in one of the shops. As I mentioned in a previous post (my shoe wall dilemma post can be read here) I am in the process of renovating my current office into a creative space for my blog writing/degree work. This desk just had such an amazing feel about it, I am so gutted I didnt buy it. I cant stop thinking about it. There was just no way of getting it home as we were in my car, which literally has room for a tiny child in the back! My husband, bless him, has said we can go back with his big car to get it if I really want it. We will see…
Wandering up the gorgeous cobbled Mermaid Street, you eventually come to the Normandy St Marys Church, where the original town water pump, (built in 1735) is still at the wall of the church. Further still, you come across small but perfectly formed Rye Castle with its cannon garden, beautiful views and amazing history.
Rye has so much to offer. I could go on and on in this post about everything it as to do and see, but I dont want to send you to sleep, so will just pop a link here if you want to learn more. We fell in love and have decided to go back and have a few days there. We did pop to Camber Sands when we left Rye, which is literally 2 minutes away, and as it was a grey ole day, had the beach to ourselves. (I personally think Camber Sands is one of Englands best beaches). I cant recommend visiting Rye in East Sussex enough if you like a cultural, slow paced wander. Stopping off in one of the traditionally English tea shops is a must too! Just to rest your weary feet of course, nothing to do with the Victoria sponge….ahem.
Id love to hear of anywhere you think we should visit on one of our monthly trips. All recommendations welcomed!