Day trip to Rye
Rye Travel Blog› entry 10 of 14 › view all entries
Sleep was good, and the weather in about 12 hours had done a complete flip. When we reached London it was clear skies and mid 20Cs, now it was London-Londoney sort of weather, a bit gloomy, and surprisingly very chilly. I normally pride in not wearing a jumper even in this kind of weather, but I succumbed.
I saw my parents off who were headed to Edinburgh on the train, and then I made my way up to the plush new platforms of St.Pancras. I was quite impressed with the new timetable boards and the fast trains. These trains are so much better than the ones I saw in Italy. The journey to Rye was a bit of a bore.
I don't know what to make of Rye - I can tell you why I decided to visit this place. I was going through my "25 great day trips from London" and figured that Rye is one of the few places I've not been to (the others were a bit far, or seemed like a full day was needed unlike Rye where a couple of hours would suffice). When I left the railway station and started walking towards city centre, there was a part of me that was thinking "why did I choose this place, looks rather dull"; be that as it may, in the cold I might add, I walked towards the tourist information centre.
A little history about Rye - Rye was considered one of the finest of the Cinque Ports even though constant work had to be undertaken to stop the gradual silting-up of the river and the harbour.
With a tourist map in hand and the "path" drawn out, I made my way towards the biggest attraction of the town - Mermaid Street. I could see now why Rye is so popular with tourists. It's nothing new. I swear I didn't have any "ooh" or "aah" moments like I did when I first saw the Cotswolds, or the Lake District or more recently, even Whitby.
Mermaid Street for example - it's narrow, it's winding, it's uphill, it's got COBBLED PAVEMENTS and it's got houses with creepers growing on the walls. AND - lest we forget, it has an INN! Throw in some football stars and some rock stars and that's "cliched England" for you! I never thought that I'd be taking so many pictures here, but I did succumb. None were "new", but all were pretty nonetheless. I walked along the path to the Church, and from there to the tower, and in and around the city. One of the advantages of arriving in a "touristy town" early is that the crowds haven't come in yet. So I got plenty of time to take pictures of empty streets (and trust me, in every corner, there's half a dozen photo opp's!) and lovely gardens and the general English countryside.
By noon, the crowds had started to pick up. I treated myself to some cream tea (I hadn't so far!) which was sort of my lunch, bought a bag of crisps and headed back to the train station for the hourly train to London. I was sleepy! The weather still was a bit chilly but nothing too unbearable. All in all, very pleasureable trip so I'm glad I went.