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Home > Walks > Region > South East England > Rye and Winchelsea Return to Walks

Shifting sands

tooltipDiscovering Britain walk

Explore the changing fortunes of Rye and Winchelsea

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A harbour two miles inland. A town that fell into the sea. Sheep that like to live by the coast. Smugglers sneaking across tidal marshes. Pilotless planes appearing from across the water. A coastal walk where you only glimpse the sea from afar. 

Some surprising stories await you on this walk around the historic towns of Rye and Winchelsea.

Discover how coastal processes – tides, waves and currents – have created a distinct physical landscape. Find out how people have made a living from an ever-changing environment subject to the whims of the sea. And explore how the coastal position has influenced military fortifications and defences.

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This walk is a fascinating story of human resilience, adaptation and survival in response to the forces of nature.

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Walk Info

Distance:

6 ½ miles

Level:
A mostly flat route with some steep hills in Rye and Winchelsea

tooltipA mostly flat route with some steep hills in Rye and Winchelsea

Suitable for:
Dogs should be kept on a lead in towns, on roads and on grazing land

tooltipDogs should be kept on a lead in towns, on roads and on grazing land

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Region:
South East England
Setting:
Seaside
Landscape:
Historic landscapes Shaping the landscape Working landscapes
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Start:
Rye railway station
Finish:
Rye old harbour
Getting there:

tooltipLocated on A259 between Folkestone and Hastings; accessible from M20

tooltipNearest station Rye; two trains per hour

tooltipLocated on National Cycle Network Route 2

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Rye and Winchelsea

Rye old harbour
Rory Walsh © RGS-IBG Discovering Britain

Rye and Winchelsea

Camber Castle and Romney Sheep
Rory Walsh © RGS-IBG Discovering Britain

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Route map

Select pins on the map to find out more about each point of interest on the walk

Walk kit

Choose between an audio or written guide: download and enjoy!

Downloads

Written guide
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double-click the icon to download this PDF file. You can save it to your computer or open it now. The file is designed as a booklet. To print it choose ‘Booklet Printing’ from your printer options.

Audio guide
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double-click the icon to download this ZIP file of the audio commentary (mp3 files) and accompanying booklet (PDF) which contains maps and directions. You can save the audio files to your computer then add them to your mp3 device. This will vary for each device but you can use any supplied software (such as iTunes, Windows Media Player) or drag and drop the files. The PDF is designed as a booklet. To print it choose ‘Booklet Printing’ from your printer options.

Extras
A flat route mostly on urban streets

tooltipHelp with downloading - Double click to download this GPX file and load it on to your GPS device.

Photo Gallery

Find out what you might see on the walk - click on an image to view full size

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Reviews

Find out what other people said about this walk

A walk to fall in love with - so breathe in the sea air as your feet move at a steady pace across a coastal landscape while learning about the historical, working and physical aspects of this environment. A wonderful seaside walk which is good for the soul and lifts the spirits.

Laura Shawyer, Kent

Thank you for another great walk! The instructions are really clear and the additional information on the route itself was most interesting. Anyone seeking sustenance at the halfway mark could do far worse than the New Inn in Winchelsea.

Toby, London

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Links

Find out more about the walk story and places of interest along the route

External links open in a new window


The Ancient Town of Winchelsea

http://www.winchelsea.net/

The Mermaid Inn

http://mermaidinn.com/

Rye Harbour Image Library

http://www.ryeharbour.net/

RX wildlife

Weblog of wildlife sightings from the Hastings, Rye Bay, Dungeness and Romney Marsh area

http://rxwildlife.org.uk/

Self catering cottages in Sussex and Kent

http://www.freedomholidayhomes.co.uk/

Credits

The RGS-IBG would like to thank the following people and organisations for their assistance in producing this Discovering Britain walk

 

Raymond Molony for creating the walk and providing photographs

 

Jenny Lunn for editing the walk materials

 

Rory Walsh for taking photographs

 

Caroline Millar for editing the audio commentary

 

Nick Stanworth and Alex Ricketts for additional assistance with compiling walk resources

 

Jonathan Webb for allowing us to use his aerial photographs

 

Rye Harbour Image Library for kind permission to reproduce maps from their collection

 

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve for kind permission to use images of birds

 

The National Archives for granting permission to reproduce the Tudor map of Rye Harbour

 

www.villagenet.co.uk for permission to reproduce their map of the Cinque Ports

 

Rye Tourist Information Centre and the Mayor of Winchelsea for providing useful information

 

Laura Shawyer for testing the walk and providing additional photographs

thank you
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