Rye Harbour & Nature Reserve
Rye, in ancient days, was once entirely surrounded by sea, its only link with the mainland at high tide was the Land Gate, one of the finest relics in the south of England, which still stands to this day only a few yards from The Lookout. Although, now some way from the coast, Rye is not completely landlocked. The fishing fleet moors on the river Rother estuary just below Rye Lodge and fresh fish from the boats each morning ensures that the famous Rye Bay Plaice is always on the menu at one of the many fine local restaurants.
A Site of Special Scientific Interest, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve lies within a large triangle of land extending south from Rye. The reserve is a mosaic of habitats beside the sea with shingle, saltmarsh, sand dunes, rivers, pits, grazing marsh, reedbeds and farmland. Built on land built up by the sea over the last 500 years, there are four hides that overlook the pools formed from pits made during gravel mining. Each pool has islands that provide shelter and nesting sites for native and migrant birds all year round (don’t forget to bring your binoculars!). There is a paved road from the car park down to the sea, take a leisurely stroll along the many miles of paths within the reserve (map here) and you could even end up at Camber Castle. Don’t forget to visit the new discovery centre; a social hub for the reserve that houses an education zone, toilets, information point and the glorious Lime Kiln cafe.
Rye Nature Reserve is open all year round and free to visit.
The Discovery Centre is open daily between 10am and 4pm.
Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Rye Harbour, TN31 7TX