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Standard Edition - 29 January 2015
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Rye, East Sussex - Bring your Camera
The town itself is absolutely beautiful, cobbled streets, quaint house-names (‘The House with Two Front Doors’ & ‘The House across the Street’ were particular strokes of genius) and even
Much as we were drawn to the town via the medium of television, as have many others before us. Indeed, Rye has been featured on screen in The Monuments Men (2013), The Invisible Woman (2013), Dunkirk (1958) and Cold Comfort Farm (1995) to name but a few. Rye has also featured prolifically in television dramas, the aforementioned Mapp and Lucia, Foyles War and the Darling Buds of May have all filmed in the town.
Rye’s history can be traced back to the Norman Conquest, then later under the rule of Edward III (romantically referred to throughout history as the Black Prince). During Edward’s reign, he commenced construction of the castle, which still stands today as the Ypres Tower. The Ypres Tower is the second oldest building open to the public in the town, pre-dated only by St Mary’s Church.
Members of the public are allowed up onto the church tower, but take heed as it is an extremely steep and narrow climb. The views from the tower are spectacular, and prove to make the laborious climb wholly worth it. For viewers of Mapp and Lucia, you may remember Miranda Richardson peering from the tower down onto Anna Chancellor, onto the gardens of Lamb House.
Unfortunately, Lamb House; which is owned by the National Trust; was closed during our stay, but is generally open to the public from March through to October. The house was actually home to E F Benson, author of Mapp and Lucia, along with many other noted literary figures. Henry James lived there at the beginning of the 1900’s, writing amongst other works, The Wings of a Dove. Many noted figures have graced the rooms of Lamb House throughout history, including Edith Wharton, Rudyard Kipling and H G Wells.

So, a few weeks later, we packed up the car and headed eastwards to Rye.
Just after Christmas, Kieren and I settled down to watch the BBC drama ‘Mapp and Lucia’. Enchanted by the costumes, we were even more enamoured of the silent but prolific star of the show – the location. Scanning the closing credits, we discovered that the show was filmed in the picturesque town of Rye in East Sussex.
For the duration of our spell in this quaint town, we choose to stay in the marvellous Saltcote Place, a wonderful manor house gifted to Captain Hennessy (of Hennessy Cognac) and his bride in the early 1900’s. The house is truly spectacular, with luxurious rooms suitable for royalty! The owners Paul and Alan were the most thoughtful hosts, and ensured we were completely at ease during the term of our stay.
When it comes to shopping, Rye offers an abundance of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. We found a few rather spiffing antique shops, and of course we had to peruse the vintage clothing shops whilst we were there (picking up quite a few hats along the way).

The locals and shopkeepers were all extraordinarily friendly, indeed the town very much retains the ideals of a close-knit village community. This was particularly evident when after an enjoyable day shopping throughout the town; in our usual vintage attire equipped with our hand cranked camera; we returned to Saltcote only for Alan to inform us that one of the locals had telephoned him with the news that ‘something was afoot in the town’. Delightful!

Visit Saltcote Place's website here: http://www.saltcote.co.uk/
Rye has the perfect mix of quaint cobbled streets, interesting independent shops, beautiful buildings and wonderfully friendly people. It is easy to see why the town is favoured as a film and television drama location, every single street is a joy to behold, which easily translates through a camera lense. Better yet, why not visit this splendid little town yourself, and experience the delights it has to offer as we did.
featuring whimsical street names like ‘Mermaid Street’.
A Picturesque Town
29 January 2015