South Kent to Rye and back through Romney Marsh

Small Hyte, (5 miles S of Tenderden on the B2082) once a flourishing port and ship-building center with the river Rother flowing past, is now a dry little hamlet. Its bus stop is called the Ferry, a reminder of past times.

Delightful , half-timbered 700 year old Smallhyte Place (TNT £4.50), home of the enchanting actress Ellen Terry, queen of Victorian theatre is a museum that exhibits personal momentoes and stage memorabilia, including playbills, props and costumes.

Stocks Oast house and restored Windmill Stocks Mill

Iden, East Sussex Bell Inn

Playden, East Sussex Peace & Plentiful Inn, romantic B&B, and Oast Hotel

Rye, East Sussex , romantic medieval town for (window) shoppers; car parks at Fishmarket at river Rother, where fishing boats can be seen lying at low tide on riverbed of  Rother, climb the few steps via Ypres Castle Inn (FP, dates back to 1640, bar meals and restaurant offer fresh local produce & fish on the menue, serves Harveys Best, Adnams Broadside, Wells Bombardier, Timothy Taylor Landlord)

via Ypres Tower and Gun Garden to historic town center with pebble-stoned streets: church sqare around St. Mary’s church, police station on church square, down Watchbell street via Traders Passage and up a picturesque cobbled street, step back in time to experience the unique atmosphere of one of England's oldest and loveliest inns, the famous Mermaid Inn (Mermaid Street,  01797 223 065; FP, AA***), 13th century, appealing atmosphere of beams hewn from ancient ships’ timber, secret passages and cosy log fires; bar meals and ***restaurant, serves Greene King Old Speckled Hen, Scottish Courage Courage Best). The cuisine is excellent and many of the ensuite bedrooms have four poster beds.  

via West Street to  High Street, down The Mint to Cobbles Tea Room, up on High Street along interesting small shops and pubs till Hayden’s, a charming modern ecological-oriented coffee shop. Back through East Street Market Street and Pump Street to Castle and down to carpark.

More shops and pubs along the town wall along Cinque Ports Street and Wish Ward till A259.

Winchelsea, East Sussex: New Inn, (Greene King, 18th century Inn, situated in the centre of the beautiful ancient town with a charming rear garden; popular dishes) and Church

Hastings, East Sussex: non-appealing typical run-down seaside town with standard all-year fair at the beach and lots of standard low class tourist shops. First-In-Last-Out Pub (15 High Streeet)  bar & mini brewery , is atmospheric traditional pub where locals meet, cartoon over men’s toilet worth noting , serves Crofter’s Best Bitter and Crofter’s Gold.

Great Dixter House & Gardens, (Northiam, 15 miles N of Hastings on A28; run by the Great Dixter Charitable Trust, £7.50) family home of Christopher Lloyd who created one of the most experimental, exciting and constantly changing gardens of our time: from yew topiary, carpets of meadow flowers, mixed borders incl. the famous Long Border, natural ponds, a formal pool and exuberant Exotic Garden. The house was stripped from later alterations to restore the medieval splendour of the Great Hall. Domestic quarters for the household were added, incl. a hall house of 1500 from nearby Benenden (dismantled piece by piece and re-assembled). Great Dixter nurseries offer direct and mail order sales, with descriptive catalogue.

Lewes (East Sussex) small town with historic kernel: High ST and its back alley ways leading to the old town wall, Bulls Lane, St. Andrews Lane & Church Twitter, Keare St, Priory Rd

Anne of Kleve House (52 Souther High St, Tu-SA 10-17, Su 12-17, £2.50) displays furnished rooms and an cosy tudor-style garden.

Harvey’s Brewery (Bridge Wharf, shop and brewery tours) produces bitters and old mild & pale ales and specialty beers

Bluebell railway (Sheffield Park Station - Kingsgate)

Brighton (East Sussex) TBD

Madeira Dr, Kings Road, Kingsway,

Grand Hotel (thatcher bomb in xxxx)

Royal Pavillon (10-17, £7.50) Indian style fairytale castle

Palace Pier (old-fashioned), West Pier

Arundel (East Sussex, 2 miles E of Brighton) sleepy & charming village TBD

Arundel Castle (Su-Fr 9-5, £7)

Arundel Swan hotel (High St 27) good resto & traditional bar

St Mary’s Gate Inn (London Rd) good pub

Bignor (5 miles N of Arundel) arcadian landscape; Petwork House & Park (3 miles N of Bignor; Mo-We, Sa-Su 11-5 TNT £8) castle park representing best retained landscape garden by Capability Brown

back to Rye, return via Romney Marsh on A2070

Brookland (12 SE of Tenderden on the A259) has an unusual church St. Augustine with a free-standing 13th century Belfry built in 3 vertical wooden stages (from fear that the damp marshland would not support its weight). Inside the parish church is a Norman font exhibiting a wonderful slice of medieval daily life.

At Brenzett follow B2080 N to Appledore to Warehorne (9 miles E of Tenderden), the Royal Military Canal (TNT) was built 1807 as a means of flooding Romney Marsh in case of an Napoleonic invasion. The Martello towers along the coast were also part of this defense strategy.

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Events 2020