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 a W-A-L-K 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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Best dog-friendly attractions near Rye
Rye Heritage Centre
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!
Also 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!
The medieval town itself
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.
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!
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!
Spread across 2 acres, the market takes place every Thursday from 7am, hosting a huge variety of stalls and traders. 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.
Your dog will love it here: Dogs who love a spot of people watching will have a field day!
The True Crime Museum
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!
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!
Great dog walks near Rye
If you’re looking for gentle dog walks in Rye, East Sussex, taking in some of the peaceful countryside surrounding the town, this one’s for you. Wander across fields, through woodland and past farm buildings, taking in Iden Moat.
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.
Rye and Winchelsea Walk
This wonderful circuit reveals some of the mysteries of Rye – the town that was once surrounded by sea. 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.
Detailing so many features, from buildings within Rye to military facts and reclaimed land, it is a fantastic guide and makes for a truly interesting walk.
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.
Rye Harbour to Camber Sands
This peaceful 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.
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.
Top dog-friendly beaches near Rye
Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Dog friendly year-round, dogs must be kept on the lead in livestock areas
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.
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.
Dog friendly year-round, but with restrictions in clearly marked zoned areas May - September
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.
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!
Seasonal restrictions apply on parts of the beach, please see the signage
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 Co-op 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.
Why your dog will love it: They can run, run, run to their heart’s content!
Best dog-friendly places to eat in Rye
The Standard Inn
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.
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!
The Ship Inn
Family friendly and dog friendly, this welcoming pub 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.
Why your dog will love it: The relaxed atmosphere is conducive to a wonderfully cosy nap!
Rye Waterworks Micropub
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 veg samosas, all of which perfectly complement the eight local ales and twelve local ciders available from behind the bar.
Why your dog will love it: The wood-burning stove will go down a treat on a chilly day, while the diminutive size of the pub means they’ll never be more than an arms reach from a pat on the head or a rub under the chin!
There are a few dog-friendly cafes to choose from in Rye, and Corridor Café is no exception. Lovely, warm and welcoming, its quirky interior is a lovely place to enjoy locally sourced food and homemade fare in the company of your dog.
Why your dog will love it: The aroma of delicious baked cakes and scones is sure to have their mouth watering, and we’re sure a titbit or two from your plate will go down a treat.
Charming dog-friendly cottages in Rye
Sleeps 1 dog and 6 humans
A seriously stylish interior awaits behind the door of Taskar, an immaculate holiday apartment in the centre of Rye. Set down a charming, cobbled passageway, which is so characteristic of the town, the Indian-inspired décor unites an eclectic mix of antique furniture, pops of colour and luxurious modern touches.
Spiral flights of stairs, exposed beams and rooftop views add to its unique allure and make it a top choice for a trip to Rye with family and friends.
Why your dog will love it: There are dog-friendly pubs just a short walk from the front door!
Sleeps 1 dog and 4 humans
This beautifully decorated cottage exudes charm and style; it’s the ideal retreat for family and couples and their canine companion. The welcoming lounge/diner is a chic space with a neutral colour palette and wooden floorboards. From here, patio doors open out onto the patio area, with steps leading down to the mature garden.
Canal Cottage is at the heart of the historic city of Rye and just 4 miles from the dog-friendly beach at Camber Sands. At the end of a fun day out and about, relax outside while the pooch plays on the lawn.
Why your dog will love it: An enclosed garden and the proximity to all Rye’s dog-friendly attractions as well as a b-e-a-c-h make this property an instant canine hit!
Make your stay in pretty 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.
Rye dog-friendly cottages
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.