A Day Trip to Rye East Sussex

So following on from my last blog post, which you can read here, we took a day trip to the Cinque port town of Rye, whilst staying in St Leonards.

It’s only about a 1/2 an hour drive and is a well established town, with a rich history and amazing historical architecture and is bordered by the beautiful beach of Camber Sands. There are lots of lovely shops and places to eat, including a great pub, with rooms to stay, above. The George, has a beautifully designed interior, with a bustling bar and great food.

Photos of The George Booking.com

As you enter Rye, you’ll be directed to one of the car parks near the train station, which is a good place to start your exploration of the town, as it’s situated next to one of the loveliest shops we visited. Soap & Salvation, is housed in a former chapel and stocks an abundant range of vintage and antiques, many sourced from Europe, including bread boards, stools, textiles and some really interesting mid century furniture, studio pottery and a vintage book section, situated on a mezzanine overlooking the ground floor shop. The lovely white interior is offset by the gothic arched chapel windows and it’s all just a wonderful, visual delight.

Pretty much next door to Soap & Salvation, is Merchant & Mills, a must for any sewer or anybody interested in making their own garments. This drapers store stocks a range of natural fabrics from linen to wool and checked and striped cotton textiles, as well as a range of Japanese Shibori fabric and a selection of their own garment patterns. A one stop shop for modern contemporary patterns and textiles.

Another favourite shop that we visited, was Sailors of Rye, which was tucked away at the time of visiting, but has now has a larger presence on the High Street. The stock all has a nod to the outdoors and includes work wear garments, knitted items, simple contemporary homewares and candles and skin care. They guys that run the shop are super friendly too.

This town again, like St Leonards and Hasting up the coast, offers many opportunities for antique shopping. One of the best shops, that I covet every time they post new stock online, is Puckhaber. It’s gallery like space, is sparse but everything they display is stunning and is the shop I would definitely buy from to furnish my home, should my lottery numbers ever come up.

Photo Puckhaber

McCully & Crane, run by two former Londoners, Marcus & Gareth, is an interesting and diverse shop for purchasing a mix of old and new art and objects d’art. The space is very cleverly and stylishly curated.

Rae lifestyle store offers an eclectic collection of vintage and antique homewares, mixed with textiles made from Rae’s own independant makers, together with a range of better known, branded, modern Scandi homewares. This is a shop I regularly buy from when sourcing props for shoots as there is always something just that little bit different.

Photo Rae

If you like to rummage to find your antique treasure, then you’ll enjoy a walk along The Strand to the quay side, where there are a myriad of antique and vintage shops, selling all kinds of household items and clothes. We bought a set of Judge Ware enamel pans from this area around 30 years ago, when we were in our first home and we’re still using them!

A walk along Mermaid Street is almost a requirement when visiting Rye. It’s one of the prettiest streets in any town I’ve visited. The gently sloping cobble stoned hill, is flanked by tudor buildings and period properties and in the summer months, each property is enveloped in flowers. As you turn from Mermaid Street onto west Street, you’ll come across Lamb House, former home of many literary greats, including US novelist Henry James. It’s now a National Trust property which you can pay to visit. As well as the house, which includes the library of Henry James, there is a beautiful well stocked walled garden and kitchen garden. A lovely place to sit with a book for a while if you can resist the pull of the retail experiences Rye has to offer 🙂

Photo National Trust

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