Rye - Iden - Rye Foreign - Rye

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Originally entitled The Christmas Bells walk, we created this as a diversion for our local walking club, The Iden Fieldtrotters' December 'jolly'. The idea was to count the bells along the way, a prize being given for the most accurate score. This was fine, until someone asked whether we should count all the doorbells in Rye! So, please feel free to count - or suggest it to your children – but assume that whatever answer you come up with is the correct one!

We begin by following a couple of miles of The Royal Military Canal. Built to discourage attacks from Napoleon's men in the early 19th Century, it turned out to be an unnecessary precaution. However, it now provides 28 miles of walking (if you choose to do it all) through the wide, flat lands of Romney Marsh. Apart from grazing sheep, you may be fortunate enough to spot the grey heron dipping among the reeds, or hear (rather than see) the croak of the marsh frog.

Looking to your left, you can see the ancient shoreline, now a very obvious change in land level. A short but steepish pathway brings you up into entirely different terrain, lanes, woods and cultivated fields. Iden, a Domesday village, is one of very few in the south-east which remains as a nucleated settlement, entirely separate from its neighbours. Do support The Bell (adding it to your score of bells), or pop into the shop for a sandwich or an ice cream!

The return is downhill, with good views over surrounding countryside and out to the sea. Approaching Rye, you'll appreciate its position on a small knoll, St Mary's Church proudly perched at the highest point. Returning to the car park, through Rye, is an opportunity to explore some of the snickets and alleyways which the casual day visitor won't usually discover. There are plenty of facilities along the High Street, to round off the trip with tea and cakes!

England - South England - East Sussex - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Museum, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
5/1/2014 - Alison and Clive Gilbert

Thanks, Nigel, for your constructive comment. I have updated the text on the walk steps, but have yet to go and re-take the photos. Hopefully, the footpath across the ploughed field will be re-instated.

4/28/2014 - Nigel Williamson

Waymark 11 Description The metal stile referred to has been replaced by a wooden latched gate. Waymark 14 The finger sign is on the ground and has been replaced by a waymarker post. The path diagonally across the field has been ploughed up and is currently (April 2014) not visible however the directions are correct and the wide gap in the hedge can be seen from the brow of the hill.

11/12/2012 - Alison and Clive Gilbert

Thanks for your comment, Dianne. I can't do much about the standing water, which as you suggest, is due to a combination of wet weather and our local Wealden Clays, but I'll report the missing sign post. Glad you enjoyed the walk otherwise!

11/8/2012 - Dianne Young

Did this walk today whilst visiting Rye - really good mix of river, countryside and town walking - and great for a stranger to the area. Thank you! The signpost at 14 seems to have been removed - you can just make out the path up into the field to then follow directions as per the route and not sure if the weather has been particularly wet in the area recently, but there was standing water on the paths at 6 and 16

8/10/2010 - George Clayton

Lovely walk, good variety of scenery and very clear directions - we thoroughly enjoyed it all. Thank you!

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1.9 Miles