History beside the sea - Rye and Winchelsea

The area around Rye is steeped in history, for a start you have two preserved medieval towns in Rye and Winchelsea both of which have churches and town gates and Rye's castle. Hastings Old Town is worth a look with its Victorian fishermans sheds, Cliff Railways and a curious shop called A.G.Hendy Homestore which is part old ironmongers, art gallery and restaurant and on certain days you can visit the owners restored Tudor house.

But the main attraction for the area is undoubtedly the Battle of Hastings and the Abbey at Battle, which has a very good interpretation centre and lots to see in the town including a Museum of Shops. To the west of Battle is Herstmonceux Castle which is both a fortified manor house and the Observatory Science Centre and to the south at Eastbourne is the Redoubt Fortress a preserved Napoleonic fortress with a fantastic military museum.

One of our favourite heritage days out is to go to Tenterden (good for shops and afternoon teas) and take the Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway down to Bodiam Castle as not only has the railway got several displays including the wagon that brought the 'Unknown Soldier' back from France in 1919 but you can walk to the castle from the Station. Go up one stop and you can visit the Mill Toy and Pedal Car Museum at Northiam which will bring back many childhood memories.

Heading out from Rye to the North and East you can explore the Churches of Romney Marsh some of which like St Augustine at Brookland have their bell towers beside the church as the weight of the bells could not be supported on the marshy soil. Further on and you can visit the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust near Folkestone and from there move onto visit Dover Castle with its Second World War Tunnels in the White Cliffs and explore Britain's maritime heritage by going up onto the White Cliffs where the National Trust runs an excellent Visitor Centre from where you can walk to the South Foreland Lighthouse – an early Victorian lighthouse (with an excellent teashop to reward you for the walk) and can see the Swingate Chain Home Radar Station from WW2 and the Battle of Britain.

Finishing off our short tour Canterbury is always worth a visit even though it can be very busy in the summer and we have not even had time to mention Leeds Castle, Igtham Mote and Chartwell.

The area around Rye is steeped in history, for a start you have two preserved medieval towns in Rye and Winchelsea both of which have churches and town gates and Rye's castle. Hastings Old Town is worth a look with its Victorian fishermans sheds, Cliff Railways and a curious shop called A.G.Hendy Homestore which is part old ironmongers, art gallery and restaurant and on certain days you can visit the owners restored Tudor house.

But the main attraction for the area is undoubtedly the Battle of Hastings and the Abbey at Battle, which has a very good interpretation centre and lots to see in the town including a Museum of Shops. To the west of Battle is Herstmonceux Castle which is both a fortified manor house and the Observatory Science Centre and to the south at Eastbourne is the Redoubt Fortress a preserved Napoleonic fortress with a fantastic military museum.

One of our favourite heritage days out is to go to Tenterden (good for shops and afternoon teas) and take the Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway down to Bodiam Castle as not only has the railway got several displays including the wagon that brought the 'Unknown Soldier' back from France in 1919 but you can walk to the castle from the Station. Go up one stop and you can visit the The Mill Toy & Pedal Car Museum 

at Northiam which will bring back many childhood memories.

Heading out from Rye to the North and East you can explore the Churches of Romney Marsh some of which like St Augustine at Brookland have their bell towers beside the church as the weight of the bells could not be supported on the marshy soil. Further on and you can visit the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust near Folkestone and from there move onto visit Dover Castle with its Second World War Tunnels in the White Cliffs and explore Britain's maritime heritage by going up onto the White Cliffs where the National Trust runs an excellent Visitor Centre from where you can walk to the South Foreland Lighthouse – an early Victorian lighthouse (with an excellent teashop to reward you for the walk) and can see the Swingate Chain Home Radar Station from WW2 and the Battle of Britain.

Finishing off our short tour Canterbury is always worth a visit even though it can be very busy in the summer and we have not even had time to mention Leeds Castle, Igtham Mote and Chartwell.