Rye

Lady at the Beach in East Sussex

As a Californian, there are certain things I do year-round. BBQ, for example. Or wear far too few layers in the winter. And let’s not forget going to the beach. When I moved to London, I took those traditions with me. Which is how I found myself at the beach in East Sussex in February.

Stones on Pett Beach in East Sussex

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Lady Winters in Rye

It’s winter in Rye. The streets are dark when I arrive. A black cat runs across the cobblestones, and I fear it is a bad omen. Then a second crosses my path and I start to worry. Looking up, I see white doves sleeping in the stone nooks of the church above the cemetery, and up ahead the mist obscures the narrow streets and timbered houses.

Tudor House in Rye

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Lady Returns to Rye

England has no shortage of story-book towns. From the impossibly picturesque villages of the Cotswolds to the quaint towns of the Lake District, most of the highlights are on the well-beaten tourist trail. But there’s one place in the country that has all of the charm and beauty of the others, but has somehow managed to escape their crowds. It’s Rye, and it is England’s best kept secret.

Houses in Rye England

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Lady in Rye

Yesterday I traveled to the medieval town of Rye on England’s southeastern coast. A two hour train ride from London, Rye is an intimate, picturesque town near the sea. I say ‘near’ the sea and not ‘on’ the sea because much of the town’s history hinges on its relationship with the fickle body of water to which it owes its great beginnings and its historic preservation.

Historic buildings in Rye England

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