The Canine guide to Rye holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Rye

Clare Willcocks 15 April 2024

The beautiful, historic town of Rye is steeped in character, with cobbled streets, timber-framed buildings and terracotta roofs whisking you back to medieval times. Set atop a hill above the lush, green pastures of East Sussex, it would have once been surrounded by sea – a magnificent citadel built to defend the South Coast of England.

Nowadays, its historic features make it a scenic spot for a holiday, and with lots of natural spaces, riverside walks and coastal days out on the doorstep, it’s perfect for our four-legged friends too. We’ve rounded up our top suggestions for dog-friendly things to do in Rye, from the best places for walkies to great dog-friendly restaurants.

Read on to find out more, or head off to browse our wonderful collection of dog-friendly holiday cottages in Rye to find your ideal base for adventures with your pup.

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The best dog-friendly attractions near Rye

Rye Heritage Centre

Restored arcade machines, the likes of which you can see at the Rye Heritage Museum

A great first stop on a visit to the town, the Rye Heritage Centre houses the ‘Story of Rye’ Town Model Sound and Light Show, which transports you back through 700 years of history. Dogs are welcome to accompany their owners into the centre and the show if they don’t mind noise and lights!

Good to know: In the centre is a collection of old amusement machines and games from piers across the UK. All are beautifully restored and in working order, and you can buy some old pennies from the centre to have a go yourself.

Why your dog will love it: So many interesting sights and sounds will be captivating for the inquisitive pooch – one of the best things to do in Rye with dogs!

Stay nearby: Riverside Cottage, Rye | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs 

The medieval town itself

Ypres Tower in Rye

One of the best dog-friendly attractions in Rye is the town itself! Jumbled streets burst with character and are studded with dog-friendly cafes, shops and curiosities galore. Admire all the sights as you wander around, including Ypres Tower, Lamb House and St Mary’s Church. Don’t miss enchanting Mermaid Street, with its delightful cobbles, quirky timber-framed houses and charmingly named cottages.

Good to know: There’s an audio tour available to help you make the most of your mooch around town, and maps are available from inside the station.

Why your dog will love it: This glorified walk will exercise your pooch while offering interest around every corner!

Stay nearby: Canal Cottage, Rye | sleeps 4 + 1 dog 

Rye Market

Delicious fudge on a market stall

This 150-year-old traditional market is one of the best dog-friendly attractions in Rye – not least because your pup will be captivated by the flurry of sights, sounds and smells, all vying for their attention! Take the opportunity to stock up on some goodies to consume back at your holiday cottage, and don’t forget a few souvenirs for people (and pups!) back home.

Good to know: Spread across 2 acres, the market takes place every Thursday from 7am, hosting a huge variety of stalls and traders. 

Your dog will love it: Dogs who love a spot of people-watching will have a field day!

Stay nearby: Providence Cottage, Rye | sleeps 4 + 2 dog 

The True Crime Museum

Old-fashioned stocks

Just 12.5 miles down the road in Hastings is The True Crime Museum – a shocking, thought-provoking and fascinating attraction which delves deep into the dark world of crime. With exhibits including love letters from a serial killer, voice clips from the confessions of killers and other terrifying artefacts related to crime, it’s not one for the faint-hearted!

Good to know: Don’t miss your chance to have your photo taken against the museum’s wall of shame – your four-legged friend can even join in too!

Why your dog will love it: We’ll bet they’ve never been anywhere like this before, so it’ll certainly give them something to bark to their doggy friends about when they get home!

Stay nearby: Sea Shadows, Hastings | sleeps 6 + 1 dog 

Great dog walks near Rye

Peasmarsh Walk

Happy dog in long grass

If you’re looking for gentle dog walks in Rye, East Sussex, taking in some of the peaceful countryside surrounding the town, the Peasmarsh Walk is for you. Wander across fields, through woodland and past farm buildings, taking in lovely Iden Moat.

Length of walk: 4 miles 

Good to know: The circular walk is relatively level, with some stiles, beginning and ending at the Cock Inn at Peasmarsh, which, conveniently, is a dog-friendly pub!

Why your dog will love it: There’s nothing like a good old countryside walk, rewarded with a rest in a cosy pub.

Stay nearby: Tree View - Peasmarsh, Peasmarsh | sleeps 4 + 1 dog

Rye and Winchelsea Walk

Pretty cottages in Winchelsea, East Sussex

This wonderful circuit reveals some of the mysteries of Rye – the town that was once surrounded by sea. You'll discover many enchanting and intriguing features; from buildings within Rye to military facts and reclaimed land, it makes for a truly interesting walk.

Length of walk: 6.5 miles 

Good to know: A written and audio guide is available, with fascinating information on how the landscapes around Rye and Winchelsea have been formed over time by coastal processes.

Why your dog will love it: Beginning and ending from dog-friendly Rye, this is a chance for you and your pup to explore and learn about the local area together.

Stay nearby: Winchelsea Haven, Winchelsea | sleeps 6 + 1 dog 

Rye Harbour to Camber Sands

Birds at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

This peaceful Rye Harbour to Camber Sands walk takes in not one, but two of our suggested dog-friendly beaches near Rye: Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and Camber Sands Beach. As you roam with your pet through the tranquil landscapes of the nature reserve, keep an eye and ear out for the colonies of terns and other birds, including ringed plovers, avocets, oystercatchers, redshanks, lapwings and wheaters.

Length of walk: 11 miles 

Good to know: One of the highlights of the route is Camber Castle which Henry VIII built to protect Rye from invasion. The final part of the route is a linear detour off to Camber Sands.

Why your dog will love it: This is the perfect route for a dog who can manage longer walks, with the opportunity to burn off energy on Camber Sands.

Stay nearby: May's House, Rye | sleeps 4 + 1

Top dog-friendly beaches near Rye

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

A building with a striking red roof on Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

It’s not technically a beach, but there is sand, and it is right next to the sea, so Rye Harbour Nature Reserve has earned itself a place on our list! With coastal habitats including shingle, salt marsh, saline lagoons and grazing marsh, the watery landscape is a haven for wildlife. It is home to thousands of seabirds, a myriad of species of plants and even one of Henry VIII’s fortifications: Camber Castle.

Good to know: It's dog friendly year-round, but they must be kept on the lead in livestock areas

Why your dog will love it: While they’ll have to be on their best behaviour, and kept on a lead if there’s livestock around, they’ll thoroughly enjoy the fresh air and new scents.

Stay nearby: Flobea, Rye Harbour | sleeps 4 + 1 dog 

Camber Sands

View across Camber Sands and of the sea

This colossal beach, with mile-upon-mile of golden sand, backed by dunes is an exciting playground for a fun-loving dog. Play a long game of fetch, let them splash along the gently shelving shoreline, and blow away the cobwebs with the fresh sea air.

Good to know: Dog friendly year-round, but with restrictions in clearly marked zoned areas from May to September.

Why your dog will love it: With sand under their paws and the sea breeze in their fur, they’ll be in full holiday mode!

Stay nearby: Westwick, Camber | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs 

Winchelsea Beach

View down the length of Winchelsea Beach

Another epic stretch of coastal heaven is Winchelsea Beach. Mostly pebbles, with sand revealed at low tide, the expansive beach goes on for miles, making for a long and invigorating walk.

There’s a shop if you need to pick up snacks along this otherwise deserted stretch, but keep an eye on the horizon on a clear day and you might just be able to make out France.

Good to know: Seasonal restrictions apply on parts of the beach, please see the signage.

Why your dog will love it: They can run, run, run to their heart’s content!

Stay nearby: Winchelsea Haven, Winchelsea | sleeps 6 + 1 dog 

Best dog-friendly places to eat in Rye

The Standard Inn

Fish and chips meal from above

When looking for dog-friendly pubs in Rye, you’ll truly be spoilt for choice, but one of the best has to be The Standard Inn. With a mouthwatering menu and dogs welcome inside and out, there are plenty of cosy spots in which to enjoy a hearty meal.

Good to know: With open fires inside and sheltered outside booths, you can visit and dine into the evening whatever the weather. Dogs are welcome on request so make sure you let them know that your canine pal is tagging along! 

Why your dog will love it: One of several dog-friendly places to eat in Rye, The Standard Inn is frequented by many patrons of the pup variety, so they may even make a friend or two.

Stay nearby: Station Cottage - Winchelsea, Winchelsea | sleeps 4 + 1 dog 

The Ship Inn

Bottles and glasses of beer or cider clinking

Family friendly and dog friendly, this welcoming pub called The Ship Inn, with its exposed wooden beams and charming casual decor, is a lovely place to tuck into a delicious meal with your pup by your side. Originally a warehouse used to store goods seized from smugglers, you can now happily while away a few hours in its characterful interior.

Good to know: Dating back to 1592, it's a truly historic gem. You can also see the pub's deals and events on their website before you go to plan ahead. 

Why your dog will love it: The relaxed atmosphere is conducive to a wonderfully cosy nap!

Stay nearby: Tree View - Peasmarsh, Peasmarsh | sleeps 4 + 1 dog 

Rye Waterworks Micropub

Scotch egg on a plate

As dog-friendly places in Rye go, this has to be one of the coolest! A tiny building whose colourful history includes use as a pump house, soup kitchen and even public toilets, the little pub offers a modest menu of scotch eggs, pork pies and vegetable samosas, all of which perfectly complement the eight local ales and twelve local ciders available from behind the bar.

Good to know: They have live music nights at this fantastic and fun micropub! Take a look at their website to plan your break to coincide with one of their events. 

Why your dog will love it: The wood burner will go down a treat on a chilly day, while the diminutive size of the pub means they’ll never be more than an arm's reach from a pat on the head or a rub under the chin!

Stay nearby: Airel - Camber, Camber Sands | sleeps 6 + 1 dog 

Rye holiday cottages for dogs

Make your trip to Rye one to remember with a stay in one of our charming dog-friendly cottages. With everything you’ll need for you and your four-legged friend to enjoy a comfortable stay, they are ideally situated for exploring this enchanting corner of East Sussex.

Whether you’re looking for a little cottage for a romantic getaway, or an expansive house to accommodate your extended family (pups included), you’ll find lots of inspiration amongst our dog-friendly cottages in Rye.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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