Next month’s scallop festival is just one reason to visit the pretty seaside town. Exploring the old town’s streets and a trip to the sandy beaches nearby make for an idyllic weekend break, too
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It was probably the jumble of fine Georgian and medieval houses, cobbled streets and views of Romney Marsh that drew writers EF Benson and Henry James to Rye. Both lived in Lamb House, the setting for fictional town Tilling in Benson’s Mapp and Lucia books (as seen in the recent BBC adaptation). Seafood is the other draw: the town is two miles from the sea and perched above the river Rother. Next month the annual Rye Bay Scallop Week (21 Feb-1 March) is on, which encourages local restaurants to dish up this toothsome mollusc in ever-more inventive ways.
I’ll need a drink to wash them down.
On the town’s outskirts, The Globe Inn Marsh is an eccentrically furnished clapboard building with log fires to hunker beside while nursing a well-kept pint. The George in Rye is a smart hotel with a bar perfect for sipping a chilled glass of white.