If you are visiting somewhere as enigmatic and eclectic as Rye, you surely want to stay somewhere equally as enigmatic and eclectic? Of course, there are hundreds of places to stay in Rye and the surrounding area, from Airbnb to the more luxurious but we’ve been on the hunt for the quirkier and most charismatic! Here’s what we found:
Your starting point has to be Mermaid Street. The Mermaid Inn almost needs no introduction. Dating back in parts to 1156 (the cellars) and 1420 (the building), it has ghosts, smuggling stories, hidden passageways, and more personality than you can shake a stick at. Depending on when you book, you can get a double room for £150 / night (September rates) and you are right in the heart of Rye and its history here.
Alternatively, just down the hill but still in Mermaid Street, is Jeake’s House – a 17th century property that over the years has been a wool store, a school, a chapel, and the Baptist ministers’ residence. It’s seen visitors such as Elizabeth Fry, and the writers E.F. Benson, T.S. Eliot, Malcolm Lowry, John Burke, and Radclyffe Hall. An en suite double / twin room is £135 a night.
Around the corner is The Hope Anchor Hotel which also boasts a few ghosts if that’s what fills your dreams and has views across the surrounding countryside. We stayed in a room called Nooks and Crannies but sadly, we didn’t meet any ghosts. It cost £125 for a twin room for the night.
Set your sails for something different. Just outside the main citadel and close to Strand Quay is Rye Windmill, a grade II listed building with 10 marvellous windmill-esque rooms.
There is a minimum two-night stay but their double rooms start at £220 for two nights with their beautiful four-poster room costing £360 for two nights in September.
Playden Oast Inn
As unusual places to stay in Rye go, what about an oast house? Just a mile outside Rye town centre is Playden Oast Inn. You can stay in their king-sized Roundel Room for £125 a night with a king-sized round bed! They also have two restaurants one of which is pet friendly.
Why not stay in a refurbished train carriage?
Northiam is 10 miles from Rye and you can hop on the Kent and East Sussex steam train here or stay in one of Railway Retreats‘ customised carriages. Two nights (minimum) in their Great Western Railway 1940s “Toad” Brake Van is £365 and sleeps two.
Five miles from Rye, down a winding country lane, Tillingham Vineyard has eleven double rooms, in what was formerly a hop barn. All the rooms have views of the estate and Victorian farmstead. In September their standard double rooms are £250 whereas their feature room is £300. They also have a bell tent and a restaurant on site.
If you’re staying in Rye, you may enjoy: