Winchelsea Beach is a seaside village in the parish of Icklesham in the Rother district of East Sussex, England. Winchelsea is a small, rural hidaway with a gently sloping beach is made up of shingle. Rye Bay Caravan Park is directly behind the beach and Rye Harbour Nature Reserve a short walk to the east. From the top of the sea wall there are views to the south-east towards Camber and the Dungeness headland. Looking west, on clear days it is possible to see the red cliffs at Fairlight.
A natural yarn studio and candle gallery communicating the essence of creativity through colour, light and warmth, Plaristo is a unique family business. It is full of surprises for those in search of something decorative and unusual. Beautiful glowing glasses and porcelain dome-lights are a speciality. Weavers, Dyers, Knitters, Crocheters or Felters find inspiration amongst the unusual yarns and products.
Unique, honest art for sale at the Art gallery, Mermaid street Rye. Free tea and coffee, free to browse, free to express an opinion. Formerly Rye Boys club, the art gallery is part of a programme to start community events.
Not just a pie shop, Simon the Pieman claims to be the oldest tearoom in Rye and true to its word serves a range of pies as well as tea and cakes and home made fudge. Not to be missed for travellers on the go are the take-away pasties which are hot, delicious and very filling, perfect for busy bees on the run.
St Mary's has been one of the most iconic features of the skyline for more than 900 years. Held under a Royal deed by the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy and an important member of the Cinque Ports Confederation, work on a church which befitted the powerful town began in the early 12th century. In 1377 the town was looted and set on fire by French invaders. The church was badly damaged and the bells carried off to France. The following year, men from Rye and Winchelsea sailed to Normandy, set fire to two towns and recovered much of the loot, including the church bells - one of which was subsequently hung in Watchbell Street, to give warning of any future attack. St Mary's is open every day of the year, except for Christmas Day, from 9.15am - 5.15pm in summer and 9.15am - 4.15pm in winter. The Tower, which is open every day (weather permitting) has become a popular place for marriage proposals!
The 'new' clock was installed in about 1561-2 and was made by the Huguenot Lewys Billiard. It is one of the oldest church turret clocks in the country still functioning. The pendulum, a much later addition, swings in the body of the church. The present exterior clockface and the original 'Quarter Boys' (so called because they strike the quarters but not the hours) were added in 1760. Today, if you wish, you can climb the church tower where you will see the 8 bells now hanging there. These are not the same bells that were stolen in 1377 as they were re-cast in 1775 and new bells added.
Home to an inspiring display of contemporary art and craft and a fine Permanent Collection as well as a variety of supporting events, the gallery has a slightly quirky layout, because it has been combined from two domestic houses in different streets. Artists Howard and Mary Stormont lived in in the Ypres Studio on Ockmans Lane where Mary created the Rye Art Gallery Trust in 1957. She bequeathed the studio to the Trust at her death in 1962. Their friend, painter Eileen Easton, one of the original trustees, later bequeathed her High Street house to the Trust as well. The artists two homes now make one premises, which is light, fresh and modern inside.
Well worth a visit for the sheer volume of art and beautifully curated collections, Rye Art is also home to some treasured works by artists of national and international importance as well as regional favourites, which are usually shown in their top floor studios, Galleries five and six. With a strong team and support from the Arts Council and Rother District Council, Rye Art maintains a very high standard in their collections and houses many valuable pieces.
Rye Art also features some of the artists whose work is currently on show on their website, usually supported by the Artist's Statement on their vision and how they work. See the 'Exhibitions and Events' page for their mixed and named shows as well.
Rye Creative Centre runs an exciting and eclectic exhibition programme featuring contemporary artists and makers. Through a mix of group and solo shows, their energetic and visionary gallery curator Paula MacArthur has compiled a program that aims to showcase resident artists alongside local , national and international artists. They do close during exhibition change over weeks, so please check their website, email or phone ahead and check dates to avoid disappointment.
Open Weds-Sat 11am-3pm
A contemporary art gallery mostly exhibiting work by Marina Kim – one of the founders. Marina is a painter and printmaker specialising in portraiture. Born in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Uzbekistan when the Soviet empire was at it’s height, she comes from a culturally, politically and ethnically mixed background. Marina spent her formative years during this period of great change and she says, it made her realise her adaptability and gave her trust in her creative power. Now Marina is a successful gallery proprietor and portrait painter and her artworks are held in many private collections around the world.
Several times a year they have special events with invited artists. ROCHE gallery opens Thursday – Monday, 10-5.30pm although they are often out on meetings, so please Please make an appointment prior to your visit to avoid disappointment. You can contact the Roche Gallery through their website.
Just Ten is a unique concept, featuring photographic works by Clive Sawyer, with each image available in a strictly limited edition of JUST TEN or less. Featuring vibrant colourful edits, his work has been published in over 100 travel books throughout the world in a number of different languages. Well worth a visit if you love a pop of colour, his bright and bold images are vibrant and totally unique.
Visit his website to view a portfolio of works.
The Purdie Gallery is a completely unique gallery showcasing the contemporary landscape photography of David Purdie. Selling a range of original handmade, limited edition and signed canvases, as well as posters and greeting cards featuring his work, David also holds one day workshops once a month, where photographers can join him for the day. Well worth a visit for his truly stunning landscapes, colourful renderings of the local area and impressive large format photographic wall art. You can also browse online and book courses through David's website.