If you are looking for a day trip from London to a postcard-perfect English town filled with historic buildings dating back to 12th century, endless cobbled streets, charming tea rooms and medieval inns, look no further.
Rye is located in East Sussex, just over one-hour train ride out of London, thus making it for a perfect day trip to the English countryside.
Once a seaside town and centre of smuggling activities is now best known for its charming character and history that attracts people who are looking for an authentic English Town Experience.
You can find the cost breakdown of this trip at the end of this post.
Find your perfect easy day trip from London by train
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How to get to Rye by train?
Rye can easily be reached by train. It will take you just over an hour to reach Rye from London St Pancras International, but you can also take trains from London Victoria, London Bridge and some other train stations. I use Trainline to plan my journeys and to find the cheapest train tickets available.
5 Things To Do in Rye
Have scones for brunch at The Outlook Tea Rooms
Explore cobbled streets
Visit Ypres Tower
St Mary's Church Bell Tower
Have afternoon tea at Cobbles Tea Rooms
1. Have scones for brunch at The Outlook Tea Rooms
I have stumbled across The Outlook Tea Rooms by accident as I was looking for a quiet place off the main road to get some food in me before starting with exploring the city.
These tea rooms are part of The Hope Anchor Hotel which is located on top of the hill. Tea rooms are cosily decorated and their menu also offers gluten-free options.
2. Explore cobbled streets
Walk down the famous Mermaid Street and admire Mermaid Inn that dates all the way to the 12th century.
Check numerous independent and antique shops selling all kinds of trinkets and souvenirs.
Treat yourself to the best hot chocolate or chocolate milkshake at The Knoops.
So many cute door fronts
3. Visit Ypres Tower
Also known as Rye Castle, has served as a castle, private residence, court hall, jail and now a museum.
Learn about the town's rich history by visiting Tower's ground, lower and first floors, terrace with great view to the English Channel, medieval garden and country's first specially built women-s prison.
4. St Mary's Church Bell Tower
Climb on top of St Mary's Church bell tower for the best 360 view of Rye.
View on the Ypres Tower
Be aware that the steps are very steep with low ceilings and there are some very narrow passageways so might not be suitable for all.
5. Have afternoon tea at Cobbles Tea Room
Cobbles Tea Room is probably one of the most Instagrammable places in Rye and it has been voted as one of 16 best tea rooms in Sussex in 2019.
They have a good selection of loose leaf tea, cakes and they also have gluten-free options available. You can get a full afternoon tea for £10 which I think is a very reasonable price.
The place is quite popular so if you are visiting on a weekend be prepared to wait for a table. I would advise visiting it on a weekday or after 3 PM when the rush slows down a little.
There is a cute seating area in front of the house, cosy tea room inside the house and also a cute back garden area at the back of the house perfect for an afternoon tea.
How to get to the Cobbles Tea Room
Tea room is hidden away and can be tricky to find if you don't know where to look. Once you reach The Old Bell Inn on The Mint street look for a side alley on your left side (The Old Bell being on your right-hand side).
Southern Cross Travel will be on one side of the side alley and Curious & Curiouser shop on the other. Keep to the right side of the alley and look out for signage leading you to the Cobbles Tea Room which is located down a cobbled pathway off the side alley.
Train Ticket: £30.75
The Outlook Tea Rooms: £3.25
The Knoops: £3.10
Ypres Tower: £4
St Mary's Church Bell Tower: £4
Cobbles Tea Rooms: £5.30 - cash only
Total cost: £50.40
Discover more day trips from London by train here.
If you are after a quick break from London city and like picturesque English countryside towns, cobbled streets and/or photography, Rye is a perfect day trip choice for you!
And check out my other day trips from London by train to Southend on Sea, Canterbury and Mayfield Lavender Farm.
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