Travel - Rye & Camber Sands, Sussex

August 27, 2015

I wanted to get this post up earlier in the week but I've been distracted with my Husband's birthday {more on that next week}, a trip to London, pilates {I'm now obsessed with a brilliant studio in my village and it's finally sorting my back and running injury out yay!}, shopping and making the most of the sunshine when it finally makes an appearance {not very often this week, so so much rain}. But anyway, better late than never. A little travelogue of our trip to Rye and Camber Sands last weekend. There's more on The Gallivant where I was staying and reviewing for So You're Getting Married online today too. It's a place I've always wanted to visit but we've never got around to it, that's part of why I love my job so much is all the new places we get to explore.

We headed straight for the beach as the sun was shining last Sunday morning {it's just under 2 hours door to door from us in Hertfordshire}, we parked at the hotel which is just across the road from the sand dunes but there's plenty of car parking for about £5 a day if you're just going for a day trip. I was immediately in love with Camber, you can't see the sea at first, you have to climb up a steep sandy hill to reach the dunes but then you're rewarded with the sparkly sea in front of you and the softest sand. You wondered if we were really still in England, it was hot sitting in the sand dunes and so remarkably quiet for the summer holidays. I loved the soft grasses framing the beach. We went for a paddle and then sat in the sunshine, sand on our toes.

The tide was out all three times when we visited the beach! Because it's so flat it felt like we had to walk for ages to get to the sea.

It was coming up to lunchtime so we decided to drive into Rye, it's only about five minutes from Camber Sands. On the way we came across this cute farm stall selling locally picked fruit, I love places like that and everything is guaranteed to taste so much better than your regular supermarket. We had some of the best cherries I've had all summer from this little stall. There's miles and miles of fields around too.

We found some free parking for Rye by the Globe Inn Marsh pub and then it was a short walk into the town. I'd heard lots about the old town but really didn't imagine just how beautiful it would be. To even get into the main high street you have to walk through a huge old fort gate! It's not huge so you can wander and see everything without needing a map.

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know how I love a good doortrait picture, so I was in heaven looking at all the pretty old houses in Rye. They nearly all have unique knockers too, the anchors were my favourite.

Every building was so different, some with wonky roofs or going down a hill. There were shops to explore, art galleries to pursue and so many cafes to choose from for lunch. I think they were almost all independents, I didn't recognise any chains. 

Mermaid Street was my very favourite, it's one of the most famous in England too.

We had lunch at The Old Grain Store. But the Mermaid Street Cafe across the road looked lovely too, we got ice cream from there after {it was Movenpick, I don't think I've ever had it before but boy was it amazing!}

Fuelled up on food, we started antiques shopping! There were so many little shops filled with treasure, we took some home!

We spent the rest of our time in Rye just exploring the rest of the pretty streets and the area around the old church. There's also an old castle and a church spire to climb although we felt we'd seen enough by this point.

Tired out with a camera full of photos, we went back to The Gallivant to check in. Every afternoon they offer afternoon tea where you can have some cake and relax in their lounge or outside in the garden which we took full advantage of!

I've talked more about the hotel and the different room types over on SYGM. If you do stay then make sure you book a new Deck room {unless you're taking a dog in which case book a big outdoor room}. But by next Spring all rooms will have been refurbished.

The Gallivant calls itself more of a restaurant with rooms rather than a hotel, food is the main priority in it's little Eat Sleep Beach motto. And dinner didn't disappoint, 95% of the menu is from within 11 miles so there's a big focus on local food that tastes amazing.

We had cocktails, a lobster roll to start for me, pigeon for Ben, lamb for mains and then the yummiest raspberry peanut butter pudding.

Full up from dinner we decided to take an evening walk back to the beach and across the sand dunes. It was a little too cloudy to see the sunset properly but the sky turned pink and it was so calm. 

The sand was so cold on my feet, I love that feeling so much! We walked right along the beach towards the main part of Camber {although it suddenly has a very different feeling about the place back on the main road behind the beach, a little tacky you may say...}

The next morning breakfast was delicious, poached fruit, two types of granola, yogurt, pastries, berry pots, banana bread, toast, cereals in addition to a cooked menu where you could choose from eggs/waffles/cooked breakfast etc. There was even a recovery station full of ingredients to make a Bloody Mary and berocca tablets if you needed them!

We had breakfast and then went for a walk that was in the hotel guide book across the golf course, behind the sand dunes to the river going up to Rye Harbour and then back along the beach. It was such a beautiful morning, better than a regular Monday at home! 

We said goodbye to the beautiful beach and the lovely team at The Gallivant and drove to Winchelsea, a little village just on from Rye that was so so ridiculously beautiful. Ben was on the Rightmove App as we walked around. I think I wanted every single house! Heart eyes.

There were the most beautiful views across the rolling countryside and rose covered cottages.

That whole area of England is so historic and there are numerous signs to points of interest from the Battle of Hastings and beyond. Geographically it's changed a lot over the years too, both Rye and Winchelsea used to be seaside towns! Go figure.. 

We headed home via a stop in Hastings, another town we'd heard lots about but had never been to. We parked by Hastings Country Park and walked down across the cliffs to the town for lunch. The views were gorgeous and the Old town and fishing part of Hastings lovely. But the main town was a bit run down, a typical kind of seaside town really and not really worth visiting. Brighton is just up the coast which we love and visit regularly as my Brother goes to uni there.

I love all the rooftops looking down from the cliffs out to sea.

Sometimes one night is all you need! But now we've had a whistle stop tour, it's firmly on our list for going back and making a long weekend or even week of it down there. I don't think I would ever get bored of that beautiful beach or the charming little town. Magical!

R <3 xx 

{I was a guest of the Gallivant for So You're Getting Married but all views are of course my own. I would never ever promote something that I didn't love}.

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