Rye in six stops

From su­per-fine sand to an old pi­rates’ haunt and jazz fes­ti­val, the Sus­sex town has it all, says Imo­gen Lepere

Food and Travel (UK) - - Arrivals -

1 Rye’s cho­co­late-box cob­bled streets are home to all man­ner of quirky in­de­pen­dent shops. There’s Gram­mar School Records with its ec­cen­tric, ex-rocker pro­pri­etor, Wish­barn An­tiques and The Black Sheep of Rye, which stocks

2 clas­sic jumpers knit­ted by lo­cal women.

Cov­ered with golden pow­der and backed by rolling dunes with plenty of wildlife, Cam­ber Sands is re­garded as the best beach in East Sus­sex. Don­key rides and ice cream shops with nos­tal­gic names like ‘Viv’s’ will have you rem­i­nisc­ing

3 about sum­mer hol­i­days from your youth in no time. Once a favourite with pi­rates and smug­glers, The Mer­maid Inn was built in 1420. There are three out­door pa­tios where you can sip sparkling wine from Sus­sex vine­yard Chapel Down; make sure you go into the Gi­ant’s Fire­place Bar to find

4 the en­trance to the priest’s hole. mer­maid­inn.com

In­spired by coastal mo­tels in Cal­i­for­nia, The Gal­li­vant is a beau­ti­ful bou­tique bolt­hole at Cam­ber Sands. Rooms feel laid­back yet lux­u­ri­ous with vel­vet seat­ing and drift­wood de­tails. The restau­rant was named the best in East Sus­sex in 2016 and boasts mod­ern Bri­tish plates with plenty of lo­cal seafood from The French Laun­dry and

5 Tom Aikens alum­nus Ben Fisher. the­gal­li­vant.co.uk

A gen­teel 18th-cen­tury man­sion, Lamb House was once the home of novelist Henry James and has hosted Ki­pling, Con­rad and HG Wells. While away a morn­ing in the beau­ti­ful walled gar­den, where trum­pet vines and roses still scent the air and

6you can see the graves of James’ beloved dogs. Be­tween 24 and 28 August, the Rye Jazz & Blues Fes­ti­val will keep lo­cals swing­ing to mu­sic from Kan­dace Springs, Seth Lake­man and Eric Bibb. The Rye Arts Fes­ti­val, 16 Septem­ber to 1 Oc­to­ber, brings the­atri­cal, lit­er­ary and artis­tic events to venues around town. vis­it1066­coun­try.com

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