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Sunday Stroll in Rye

PUBLISHED: 14:27 27 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:27 27 January 2014

Rye

Rye

Archant

If you need some space, head to Rye. Hazel Sillver and four-legged friend enjoy the wide expanses of its marshland and sandy beach

Camber Castle

The somewhat spooky castle between Rye and Winchelsea was built by Henry VIII to keep out the French. It is a sturdy symmetrical artillery fort, with five bastions surrounding a central tower. After its completion in 1544, it was only used for 93 years before being disbanded because shingle deposits meant it got gradually further and further from the sea. It is open to the public via guided tour only – visit english-heritage.org.uk for dates and times; £3 for adults, free for children.

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Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

This marshy sanctum (right) for birds and other wildlife is a 465 hectare triangle of coastal land that is enclosed by the River Brede, running from Rye to Winchelsea, and the River Rother, which flows from Rye to the sea. It is mainly composed of fields, marsh and shingle and is visited by almost 300 species of bird, including terns, oystercatchers and lapwings. There are five bird-watching hides if you fancy getting your binoculars out.

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To know...

For a pub lunch

The old Mermaid Inn in Rye town centre is wonderful – eat a delicious lunch in the bar beside the gigantic fireplace.

01797 223065; mermaidinn.com; TN31 7EY.

For a slice of cake

Avocet Gallery & Tea Room is en route at stage 14 on the map and open Thursday to Sunday.

01797 223005; avocetgalleryandtea.co.uk; TN31 7TY

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The walk

Location: Rye, East Sussex

Distance: 6.2m (10k) – 2.5-3hrs to walk

Terrain: Mostly flat; some muddy paths

Where to park: In one of the laybys beside the river and the moored boats, near the top of (Rye) Harbour Road; marked P on the ordnance survey map. NB Check tide times (tidetimes.org.uk) before setting out, to ensure that you can enjoy the sandy expanse of Rye beach at low tide.

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Route

1 At the curve in the road, walk down the wide stony track aside the River Brede. Soon the track divides – take the left hand way, passing through a gate. 2 Walk along the raised grassy path, aside the meandering waterway (on your left), which eventually leads through a gate.

3 At the waterway crossing, take the path south, going through a gate and across a field towards Camber Castle.

4 Go through the gate and take the right-hand grassy path towards the castle.

5 Follow the path past the castle entrance. Eventually go through the gate next to the patch of scrub.

6 The wide grassy (and sometimes muddy) path leads through a field. Continue along this, heading for a gate in the corner of the field.

7 Begin to walk towards the farm and immediately head left through a gate (opposite a house), and follow the path through a field.

8 As you reach hedgerow and woodland, maintain direction straight ahead, going through a gate. Follow the muddy path straight ahead (ignoring paths to the left) beneath trees.

9 You will come to a waterway. Follow the path around to the right, walking alongside the water.

10 The path curves to the left. Follow it over the waterway and eventually you will pass along the end of Long Pit (this is a lake formed by shingle extraction). The wide grassy path then leads to a junction of four paths. Maintain direction straight on, walking along a wide grassy, muddy path through marshland.

11 Cross the road and walk up the shingle bank, onto the beach. Head east along the beach for 1.5m.

12 When you reach the mouth of the River Rother, head up the beach to join the road headed north towards Rye Harbour.

13 Eventually, walk on the grassy path alongside the road.

14 Just before you reach the road junction, follow the grassy paths curving around to the right. After about 80m, take one of the narrow paths cutting left by the phone box, and then head north along Harbour Road.

15 Continue north on Harbour Road pavements. You will pass Rye Harbour church on your left. Then, after 0.5m (before reaching the industrial works up ahead on the right), take the footpath on the left, between railings. Follow this path north, between the back of industrial buildings and marshland.

16 Maintain direction north, eventually upon a wide raised grassy path beside marshland, towards a gate.

17 Put dogs on leads. Go through the gate, along a narrow muddy path through scrub, to the road. Turn right and walk back to the car.

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