Situated south of the Cinque Port of Rye, Sussex, on the Rother Estuary, Rye Harbour is a lovely place to relax and unwind.
In the village itself, there is a pub, shop and public toilets, while at the harbour there is another pub, café and sailing huts. Just before you get to the village, there is a lovely church on the right, Church of the Holy Spirit (1849) which is well worth exploring.
As you walk past the Martello Tower from the car park, remember that when it was built during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) it was actually constructed on the shoreline. A great example of how our coastline has changed over the centuries.
With a history of fishing and smuggling, the reclaimed shingle is now home to a Nature Reserve, giving refuge to numerous species of birds who thrive on the mix of habitats.
There is a lovely circular walk that gives great views of the reserve, which is flat and easy to follow so bring your binoculars! You can also walk, run, cycle or wheelchair all the way to Winchelsea Beach, a great afternoon out.
A lifeboat station has seen service here for over 100 years, coming a long way since the days of rowing boats. Sadly, the station is remembered for the cruel fate that befell the Mary Stanford, which set out in November 1928 to help a stricken steamship in terrible conditions. Unbeknown to the crew, the steamer had already been rescued and all hands were lost trying to return.
For the more adventurous, if you can make it to Winchelsea Beach and return along The Ridge, the homes and gardens, some incorporating old railway carriages, are a delight to see.
The walks here are not long and there is always the beach for a paddle, or at high tide, the estuary is great for fishing.