January 07, 2009

A Trip To Rye

After a couple of days of eating fine seasonal food and a day getting cold on the terraces watching Dover Athletic win against Maidstone United, it was time for a day out with time to walk around get some fresh air and take some pictures.

Rye is a small coastal town in East Sussex, a short drive away from Folkestone. Historically it was closely connected to the Cinque Ports, and used to be renown for its fishing and smuggling. Whilst it still has a small number of fishing boats, it is mainly tourism that is at the heart of the town's commerce these days.
Many of the older buildings near the quayside have been restored and converted to cafes or antique dealers, attracting a steady crowd of visitors. This shop had a sinister looking Santa trying to lure the kids in.

Many of the buildings in the town centre date back many centuries, such as this one built in the late fifteenth century.

At the top of the hill that forms the heart of the old town, there is St Mary's Church, and for a small fee you can climb up the very steep and narrow steps to get a view from the church spire. The view is pretty spectacular, but it's not for the faint-hearted, since there just a tiny wall and no hand rail around the edge of the tower, and also in the middle of winter the wind is bitingly cold. Despite that it was worth doing.

I didn't go in, but Simon the Pieman looked as though he was offering a nice variety of baked food.

The view up towards St Mary's Church.
After walking around for a couple of hours, it was time for lunch, and what better place for a Sunday lunch and a pint than a pub.

This gallery (sadly I forgot to note down its name) had some great bits of hand made jewelry and ornaments made by local craftsmen on sale, and the shop interior was also well thought out.
A great day out and a place which is thoroughly recommended.

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