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Hannah Summers

Hannah Summers

Contributing Writer, Rye

Hannah is a freelance food and travel writer based in Hastings, with bylines in The Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, Lonely Planet and Conde Nast Traveller. When she’s not reporting on street food in Italy, retreats in Thailand or the best burgers in the USA, you’ll find her behind the decks at her Bruce Springsteen-dedicated club night, Hungry Heart.

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Articles (2)

The 12 best things to do in Rye

The 12 best things to do in Rye

Believe it or not, the tiny and picturesque East Sussex village of Rye was once one of south-east England’s most important ports. These days it’s difficult to see much of the bustling trading hub that Rye was in the Middle Ages, but the place retains much of the historic charm – as well as many of the tales of smuggling and maritime conflict – of those bygone days. Over the years Rye has transformed into a hip and happening sort of seaside getaway destination. Its rich history, gorgeous buildings and traditional-style pubs are now boosted by quirky shops, swanky cafés, trendy restaurants and more. So, want to know what’s really worth your time? Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, week-long vaycay or just a day trip, here are the best things to do in Rye right now. RECOMMENDED:📍 The best Airbnbs in Rye📍 The essential guide to Hastings📍 The essential guide to Kent This guide was recently updated by Hannah Summers. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

The 11 best things to do in Eastbourne

The 11 best things to do in Eastbourne

Previously just escaping under the radar, all eyes are now officially on Eastbourne – not just because we crowned it as the Best Place to Visit in 2023 a little while back, but because the East Sussex seaside town is hosting the world-famous Turner Prize until 14 April 2024. This alone is a reason to swing by, but there are plenty more. From one of the world’s greatest secondhand bookshops (you have to see it to believe it) to a brilliant roster of independent cafes and restaurants, trendy new hotel options and seriously special countryside and coastal views, Eastbourne wraps up a lot into one genteel getaway. Day trip or longer, here’s what to do. RECOMMENDED:🏘️ The best things to do in Rye🏖️ The best things to do in Hastings🎡 Our essential guide to Brighton📍 The best places in the UK in 2024 This guide and its photos are by Hannah Summers, a writer based in Hastings, East Sussex. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

Listings and reviews (3)

Rye Castle

Rye Castle

What is it?  One of the oldest structures in Rye, Kent, is this three-story sandstone castle – also known as the Ypres Tower – which was built in 1249 as a main defence for the town. Details on who actually built it are hazy – some say it was the property of John de Iprys, hence the name – with additions made by Henry VIII. It’s been a residence, jail and now exists as the fascinating Rye Castle Museum.  Is it worth visiting? Absolutely – for the view from the first floor alone, which looks out over one of the most important harbours in England’s history, a stretch of water that prompted Elizabeth 1 to visit the town, no less. Visit today and you’ll be able to stroll around the newer Womens Tower which was built as a women’s prison, the Medieval Garden, which is full of herbs and flowers, and the Still Room, which shows visitors how those herbs were used for medicinal purposes.  When can I visit? It’s open seven days a week (excluding Christmas and New Year’s Days) from 10.30pm to 5pm, with slightly shorter hours over autumn and winter. Tickets are £5 per adult and children under 16 go in for free (if accompanied by an adult). The second half of the museum is located nearby in a former bottling plant. It’s open on the weekend from April to October. Where’s good to eat nearby?  It’s a short stroll to the Rye Fish Market and Seafood Bar, where you can make the most of locally caught fish plus oysters, lobster rolls and a great wine and beer menu.  📍 Discover more of the best

Tillingham Winery

Tillingham Winery

What is it? A picturesque and seriously stylish working vineyard, hotel and set of restaurants in one, located around a 15-minute drive from the historic town of Rye, Kent. Tillingham is leading the way on the UK’s natural wine scene, and bottles of chardonnay, pinot blanc and pinot noirs are packaged up with quirky labels. Taste them on a tour or at the restaurants, then grab a few souvenir bottles from the shop. Is it worth visiting? If you’re heading to Rye and looking for a romantic and stylish place to spend the night with a more countryside setting, this could well be it. But it’s so much more than a place to sleep (and drink wine, of course). There are two excellent restaurants: one is a more laid-back pizza barn, the second is a relaxed Michelin Green-awarded dining room with bare brick walls and vineyard views. The Sunday lunch is worth a pilgrimage here in itself, but three- to five-course weekday menus are also excellent. There are also daily vineyard tours (with all important tastings), so make an afternoon of it. How many rooms are there? There are 11 rooms located in the former hop barn – all dog-friendly but no kids under 10 are allowed. You can also book one of the cute bell tents for an overnight stay in spring or summer. It’s possible just to day trip here for 90-minute-long vineyard tours (£35pp, book ahead on the website) and lunch, but it’s a tranquil countryside setting for an overnight stay (check out the midweek and Sunday night deals) How far is Tilli

The Mermaid Inn

The Mermaid Inn

What is it?  A 600-year-old pub in Rye, Kent, that’s packed with history – with low, sloping ceilings, beams, cosy nooks and fireplaces, and a cellar that dates back to 1156.  Smugglers drank here in the 1730s and now it’s frequented by locals and visitors who come for ales and more. Is it worth visiting? Definitely. Truly historic pubs are few and far between – especially ones that hold this much history. It’s a great way to take in Rye’s smuggler secrets and tales, with a pint in hand, of course. What can you do there? Settle in for a long cosy evening by the fire (choose from over 90 whiskies) or pop in for lunch (the menu features pies and filled baguettes) or a fancier evening meal in the white-table-clothed dining room. Want to make a night of it? There are rooms (or ‘bedchambers’) too, many with four-poster beds, stained glass windows and beams. On the last Sunday of each month at 4pm and 5pm the owner, Judith, does guided tours through the building, from its secret passageways to Elizabethan bedchambers – fascinating stuff. Email info@mermaidinn.com to confirm your spot. What should I visit nearby? Take your time exploring the cobbles of Mermaid Street and the nearby Rye Castle tower and museum. 📍 Discover more of the best things to do in Kent