Rye and Dungeness

May 15th 2013katie

Rye

During the daytime of ATP when the bands weren’t on, we made the most of being on an unfamiliar stretch of the south coast and did a couple of little local trips. I’m always amazed to find places so close to home yet so startlingly different to what I’ve ever seen of the UK before. It’s a little island of surprises that I really should explore more.

Rye

On Saturday we went to Rye, which we both really loved. It’s packed with vintage shops, tea rooms and pubs and an amazing sense of history. For once I didn’t do a ton of obsessive research before arriving, but it was actually nice to wander without a set plan in place and just see what we discovered.

Rye
Rye
Rye
Rye
Rye

You can feel the history seeping out of the old brick walls.

rye1
rye2
rye4

Some of the superb vintage shops – I picked up a little vase and some Scandinavian-looking etched glasses for under a fiver.

Rye
rye3

The gorgeous Merchant and Mills flagship shop, where I drooled all over the beautiful linen, denim and twill fabrics. I didn’t know the company was founded in Rye until we stumbled across the shop.

Rye
rye5

We had lunch and a delicious scone at Edith’s House, a sweet retro cafe set up by two ex-Londoners and their cheeky scraps-loving French bulldog Roux.

Rye
Rye
Rye

Pretty flowers everywhere around the churchyard

Rye

We had a pint in this pub which dates from the 15th century.

Dungeness

On Sunday we took a cab to Dungeness, a little further down the coast towards Kent. Again we didn’t really have a clue what to expect other than a vague urge to hunt down some post-war acoustic mirrors. The cabbie told us about the old lighthouse and the mini railway, and dropped us off by the lighthouse.

Dungeness
Dungeness
Dungeness
Dungeness
Dungeness
Dungeness

First we took a trip up the old lighthouse. I loved the room with the coloured lenses, and the view from the top.

Dungeness
Dungeness
Dungeness
Dungeness
Dungeness
Dungeness

We started to walk towards where we thought the acoustic mirrors were. The landscape is like nothing else I’ve seen in England – so flat, barren and desolate, littered with dead boat carcasses, little rusting metal shacks and incinerator chimneys. I’ve never really seen anything like it. Even though it was a lovely sunny day the wind was extremely strong which made walking quite an endurance feat. My inappropriate slip-on footwear didn’t help matters at all.

Dungeness
Dungeness

Mystical gifts and angling parties are the height of entertainment around here.

Dungeness

One randomly cool Grand-Designs-esque house. We also spotted Derek Jarman’s old house, Prospect Cottage, but didn’t realise until afterwards. Apparently all the shack-like houses are highly valued, particularly from people looking to get away from it all. You’d certainly do that here.

Dungeness

We stopped at a level crossing to watch the little railway train go by. Despite looking cute, apparently it was used to convey messages and help shoot down the Luftwaffe during the war.

Dungeness

We realised the mirrors were a bit further up than we originally thought, so took a quick chips-and-pint pit stop in the lovely pub The Pilot, and hopped on the hourly bus to speed us up the road.

Acoustic mirrors
Acoustic mirrors

After a bit more exploring including a fun diversion through a motorhome park, we did finally find the mirrors – but unfortunately we couldn’t get very close so they were a bit less than spectacular. After all that! (You can take proper tours to get up close to them in the summer months.)

Dungeness

Still, it was a fun adventure and it’s inspired us to take more day trips around the southern coast. Might be easier to hire a car next time, though.

Comments (12)

  • Jess

    May 15th 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I thought the title of this post was ‘Rye and Dungarees’. I expected to see you wearing a questionable demin outfit and holding a sandwich.

    p.s. I read your blog through an RSS so haven’t seen the actual ‘look’ for a while – I like what you’ve done with the place!

    1. Katie

      May 15th 2013 at 6:50 pm

      That made me laugh!

      And thanks.. it’s still kind of a work in progress that I haven’t quite found time to finish. Why yes, I am a web designer.

  • Eleanor Jane

    May 16th 2013 at 12:49 pm

    What a pretty village – lovely pictures! The shacks in Dungeness remind me of those old west American ghost towns.

    1. Katie

      May 16th 2013 at 12:53 pm

      It felt like a ghost town – I fully expected actual tumbleweed to blow by.

  • Cate

    May 16th 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Wow I love the old signs in the first few images and the psychedelic ones in the lighthouse. I went to Dungeness a few years ago for an architecture field trip, the vast pebble beach is a intriguing landscape indeed!

  • Michelle

    May 19th 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Such pretty street names. I am eager to go to Rye, Dungeness sure looks surreal. I can imagine some awesome fashion shoots there.

    1. Katie

      May 19th 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Indeed, it’s famous for fashion shoots and music videos, album covers etc. We even saw a fashion shoot as we were walking!

  • Charlotte

    May 19th 2013 at 5:22 pm

    We went to Rye a couple of months ago for the day when staying in St Leonard’s. It is SO lovely. I managed to bring 11 plates and six old champagne glasses safely home with me on the train. I could’ve bought so much if we’d driven…x

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  • Tone

    August 15th 2014 at 7:42 am

    Wow! That actually made me want to pack my bags and take my husband for a weekend trip. All the way from Norway, to where ever this is.
    I have to google up the place! Love the second hand shops and the bricked lanes:D

  • Vicki

    September 4th 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Wow! You have some fantastic photos! I love Rye and Dungeness. I don’t live near by but visit often! If you haven’t been, you should try and visit the Mermaid Inn in Mermaid Street, Rye it’s beautiful in there and known to be incredibly haunted. I’ve stayed there with my sister; it was fantastic :D

    Also, I loved the fifth quarter mystical shop; they have some interesting and beautiful items in there. You’ve made me more excited to visit again! :)

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