Nestled just above the south coast of East Sussex next door to the scenic dunes of Camber Sands, Rye is a charming village of whimsy-filled cobbled streets lined with a mishmash of attractive architectural styles. Some are textbook Tudor with their medieval timber frames covered in lush creeping vines, others are red brick Georgian terraces with bay windows and iron lamps reaching from their façades — but all are equally beautiful, so very beguiling and a perfect accompaniment to a weekend away. Be sure to stroll along Mermaid Street to see the beautiful cottages, and after tea, take a peek into the life of author Henry James in the grade II listed Lamb House.
Rye’s proximity to the sea makes it a good option for a weekend split equally between romantic evening walks along the coast and daytime steps along the cobbles of the village. The best overnight option is the sophisticated former motel — The Gallivant at Camber Sands. Here quirky British charm is weaved beautifully into laidback luxuries, with relaxing, lovingly furnaced spaces looking out to the estuary and the harbour, as well as elegant gardens and a charmingly breezy wrap-around terrace. Most of the rooms have sea views and there are complimentary Gin and Sherry trays too, but the Luxury Garden rooms, with their understated stylish finishings, super kingsized beds, freestanding baths and direct access to the gardens are best.