Rye and surrounding area
Our farm is only a short drive (or a relatively level 40 minute walk) from the wonderful historic town of Rye, which offers most things for most tastes. In addition, there are beaches, castles, gardens, beautiful towns and vineyards all within striking distance.
Rye is a fabulous town to have so close by - and we're not alone in thinking as much. The BBC seem to practically camp out here filming such things as Mapp and Lucia (2014) while various scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Monuments Men were filmed both in Rye and at nearby Camber Sands. It is a stunning town filled not only with tea rooms, antique shops and trendy interiors shops in which to while away your time, but an array of excellent, quirky and interesting restaurants, cafes and pubs; an independent cinema; a castle and a keep; a harbour; various galleries; a high street filled with independent shops; a 12th Century church; and hopelessly pretty cobbled streets and period houses. Bring your camera.
It's also surprisingly cultured, with two fantastic annual festivals - the Rye Jazz Festival which takes place in late August and the Rye Arts Festival in September. Both are hugely popular and feature national and international artists. In November, Rye Bonfire night is a fabulous night with a huge procession, an even larger bonfire, fireworks and much merriment. In February, many of the restaurants take part in Rye Bay Scallop Week while Wild Boar Week takes place in October.
St Mary's Church is perched on the top of the hill in what is known as the Citadel and, if the it's open (which it usually is), a climb to the top of the tower gives incredible views over the town and surrounding farmland.
While you may struggle to leave the comfort of The Hut or The Hide Out behind, a trip to Rye is an absolute must while you are in the area.
Whether you're after sunbathing, a wintry dog walk or frolics in the dunes(!), Camber Sands is the place to go. A stunning 2 mile stretch of beach, dunes, wildlife and sea that begs to be explored. There is parking nearby, a couple of places to eat and it is something of a mecca for all things wind-based - kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing etc. The nearby Gallivant restaurant is a cracking place to eat and drink and they serve a mean afternoon tea.
Other good stuff
This is a picture of Bodiam Castle which is a gentle 15 minute drive from us. As far as castles go, this is the sort that wouldn't be misplaced in fairytale. Not much further is Battle Abbey where William the Conqueror took on King Harold in 1066 and won.
Aside from castles, there is a wealth of other fun stuff to explore like Chapel Down Vineyard at Tenterden, the steam trains of the Kent and East Sussex Railway, the charming Old Town at Hastings along with the nearby Jerwood Gallery and newly rebuilt Hastings Pier. There's bird watching and gentle meandering to be had at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, the ancient town of Winchelsea is but a stone's throw and if you're up for something a bit more active, there's wind surfing, kiteboarding, paddleboarding, and sailing at Rye Watersports as well as a cracking eatery there called the Hoolie Cafe.
If there's anything else you're keen on, just ask Johnny who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.