Hello dear Fodorites!
Bikerscott and I just got back from a lovely long weekend spent in and around Rye, Sussex. To put it frankly - we both LOVED it! The town itself is really exactly what you picture a town in England to look like with tonnes of great pubs and restaurants.
On Sat morning we dropped the pugs at the kennel in Kent and continued on to Brookland to our first country pub stop, The Royal Oak: http://www.royaloakbrookland.co.uk/
This lovely pub had a roaring fire (cant believe we needed a fire in May!) and great food. After lunch we visited the medieval church beside the pub which has a very distinct bell tower. http://greatenglishchurches.co.uk/html/brookland.html
We then headed out for Rye. We stayed at Hayden's right on the High Street: http://www.haydensinrye.co.uk/Haydens/Home.html
We stayed in Kingfisher and would highly recommend it. Our friend stayed in the Red room and it was fabulous. The beds were a bit hard for our tastes, but not enough to not have a good sleep.
Rye is a fantastic little town, the best thing being that its high street is still full of independent shops - not a Tesco or Next in site! And the restaurants are high quality and full every night - reservations are definitely recommended. Even country pubs around were packed and required reservations for Sunday lunch.
The first night we visited several great pubs, which included:
The George on the High St - this was our least favourite but it was convenient and had a decent atmosphere: http://www.thegeorgeinrye.com/
The Mermaid on Mermaid St - this place was awesome, very olde worldly! http://www.mermaidinn.com/
And finally ended at The Ship, where we had a great dinner: http://www.theshipinnrye.co.uk/
After a great night's sleep and a delicious breakfast we headed out to Battle, where the battle of 1066 changed English history forever. Battle itself is a cute place, but we went into the 1066 Battleground and thoroughly enjoyed the included audio tour. Great way to spend a couple hours!
We then headed to the White Horse for Sunday lunch. This was the third pub we called as everyone was booked solid! http://www.thewhitehorsehurstgreen.com/ Yummy roast beef really hit the spot.
We made our way back to Rye and wandered the cobbled street for a while before hitting the local curry place across from our hotel for dinner. Excellent as well.
Today we packed up after another great breakfast and headed out to Cranbrook. I am originally from Cranbrook BC, named after the Cranbrook in Kent so I couldnt resist a visit. It was a great little village with the tallest remaining (wind)mill in the British Isles.
From there we headed out for a final pub lunch at the Three Chimney's: http://thethreechimneys.co.uk/about.html
This pub was excellent (but not cheap!) and was also fully booked - we got the last available table!
From here we drove home to London following the small roads through countless well preserved villages.
We absolutely loved this area of England and would highly recommend it to travelers wanting to see more of the beautiful countryside. Its a great alternative to the Cotswolds, with lots of history, great country and village pubs, and some lovely villages.
You can see the pics here:
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