Last weekend James and I went to Rye and I can’t tell you how much more rested I’ve felt this week. I’d like to congratulate 2015 me for booking a UK break on whim and managing to keep it a surprise from James for 4 months!
You see January was hectic. I was working for longer and later than usual and every weekend featured a trip or a celebration. Work aside, all good fun was had but I was struggling to relax at the weekend and by the end of January it felt non-stop. It always feels cliché to say it, but when the trip to Rye was on the horizon I couldn’t wait to get away from it all.
At the time of booking (back in September 2015!), I just wanted a UK break within a reasonable distance of London. I’d read so much about how lovely Rye was on other blogs that I didn’t really spend much time searching on Mr & Mrs Smith before booking The George in Rye. More recent research told me that it was a peaceful place with little to do and I couldn’t have been happier.
So on Saturday morning we packed an overnight bag and set off for East Sussex.
The first thing we did when we arrived? Sank into soft pillows and down duvet in our cute hotel room.
The George in Rye is a boutique hotel set within a building that dates back to 1575. It’s full of wooden beams, neutral colours, and bright modern fabrics.
I could have easily had an afternoon nap but hunger won the battle and we went out for lunch at Edith’s House.
(Thanks Emma for the recommendation!)
It’s a small cafe that serves Climpson & Sons coffee, cake and a light lunch menu.
I love soup for lunch right now and it was the perfect central heating for a wander around the historic town.
A few hundred years ago Rye was surrounded by the sea (it’s now a few miles away) and this lent it it’s maritime history, for which the town is well known. You could even find smugglers in the pub back in the day.
It’s been through the wars over the years and played a key part in the country’s defence.
These days it it’s known for its cobbled streets and picturesque medieval houses which have stood the test of time.
I’d read that you could take in a view of the city from the top of St Mary’s Church Tower. Of course being a fan of any type of view of the horizon on offer, we were climbing up there within the hour.
It was worth the slightly terrifying high winds to see this view. It could only get better on a beautiful clear day.
It costs £3.50 to climb up and that money goes towards the upkeep of the Church.
All that climbing meant we were ready for cream tea so we tracked down The Cobbles Tea Room (which didn’t take long!)
James and I agreed it was definitely a high point of the weekend.
We meandered back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. I was keen to have a simple pub dinner that night and although I was tempted by The Ship Inn and The Globe Inn Marsh, we went as far as the hotel’s restaurant for steak and sundaes.
I didn’t get any great photos so you’ll just have to trust me that they were both pretty delicious.
We clambered back up stairs, full, relaxed and a little bit tipsy. As soon as my head hit the pillow I was out like a light.
The next day we’d planned to go to the coast to fill our lungs with salty air. But first since the sunshine had paid a little visit, I had to have a little photo walk with my new camera.
It was blissfully empty and I got completely carried away taking in the sights (for a second time!).
The famous Mermaid Street.
You’ll find little snippets of British humour all over the town.
Isn’t it all pretty lovely?
Once I was sure I’d seen everything there was to see and photograph, we checked out and drove 10 minutes down the road to Camber Sands.
The wind turbines and the sand dunes should have been the signal to expect a bit of a sand storm. It only hit home when there was suddenly sand EVERYWHERE.
But it was manageable and it was just so lovely to stroll arm in arm down the beach alongside happy children and ecstatic dogs.
We climbed up the sand dunes.
I had to resist the desire to run down them, knowing full well that if I did I was likely to fall flat on my face.
I got a little childish by the coast instead.
Chasing the waves without drenching my feet.
We ended the day with fish and chips and I resisted those evil Sunday blues for a few more hours.
It’s funny how much you notice the pace of London life when you leave the city and get the chance to slow down a little.
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If you struggle to sit still like me but you’re in need of a rest, in my opinion Rye offers the perfect balance.
We booked a queen room at the George in Rye, hired a car from Enterprise (£45 + £36 damage waiver for two days,) petrol from Colliers Wood in a diesel car was only £15. It took us about 2 hours to get there.
You can travel by train from London and the cost of a return would be between £28 and £40 pp.
Have you been to Rye? Are there any places near London you’ve escaped to?
P.s. If you want to see it in summer, see Jacintha’s beautiful post here.