South Coast of England: Things to Do on a Day Out Staying at Camber Sands or Rye Bay, Part 1 – North
September 23, 2022
Part one – North of Camber and Rye
Things to do and where to go for Camber and the Rye Bay area of Sussex and Kent. If you are looking for a “Chessington World of Adventures”, “Disney” or “Lego Land”… then holidaying anywhere along the Kent and Sussex coast between Dover and Brighton is certainly not for you.
If this is your first visit… life in this part of the world and in particular the triangle and surrounding areas of Hastings (WEST), Tenterden (NORTH) and Hythe (EAST), is definitely in the slow lane where most of the things to do hark back to a time when all you needed was a bucket and spade, good walking boots, sunshine, a picnic hamper or all of the aforementioned!
If you are staying in Camber or the Rye Bay area and looking for some suggestions for a day out and things to do, then below we offer some interesting suggestions that will help you and allow you to appreciate the area and this beautiful part of the country.
All of the suggestions of things to do will help you pass the time away and can be a great day out. All distances mentioned are approximate from Camber to the location and we strongly recommend that (out of season) if travelling any distance you check or phone to see if the facility is open.
North of Camber and Rye
Smallhythe Place. TN30 7NG. Built in the early 16th-century Smallhythe Place was purchased by renowned Victorian actress Ellen Terry in 1899. Her daughter Edith Craig set up the museum in 1929 which houses a fascinating personal and theatrical collection. Children’s activities: quizzes and trails for all ages.Open 11am-5:00pm (closed Thur/Fri)… from here and only a few hundred yards further up the hill (on the same road is)… The Chapel Down Winery.
The Chapel Down Winery. Small Hythe, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 7NG. Plenty of free parking – Chapel Down Winery produces World Class Award-winning still and sparkling wines from grapes grown at their home in Small Hythe near Tenterden. The winery also support and partner vineyards across the South-East of England – purchasing the grapes from local harvesters and then bottling at their winery. The Winery welcomes visitors throughout the year – mini tours are available and there is a great shop selling award winning English wines. The winery has now introduced Harvest Tours 2012 and advance bookings are now being taken for these tours which will take place on Friday 5th, Tuesday 9th and Friday 12th October 2012. Alongside Chapel Down Winery is The Swan English Restaurant and this is now open and worth a visit…
Tenterden – Kent & Sussex Steam Railway. TN30 6HE. The Kent & East Sussex Railway is one of the country’s finest example of a rural light railway – The Kent & East Sussex Railway All day hop-on, hop-off Rover fares allow unlimited travel along the full 10 miles (16.8 km) of the railway. You can stop off to explore at any station – to visit Bodiam Castle for example, or to look over the loco yard at Rolvenden. Hampers are available. Catering is also available in the Station Refreshment Rooms at Tenterden. The children’s play area is adjacent to the Refreshment Rooms and offers shaded picnic tables. Free parking is available at Tenterden (260 spaces) and Northiam. Visitors who would like to start their journey from Bodiam may park at the National Trust’s Bodiam Castle car park for small fee. National Trust Members can park free.
Tenterden is also a lovely town to visit with plenty of antique, individually owned boutiques and coffee/tea shops.
Great Dixter (Gardens). TN31 6PH (near the Mill Toy Museum). Great Dixter House & Gardens in Northiam was built circa1450 and is the birth place of the late Christopher Lloyd, gardening author. Light refreshments, hot and cold drinks and ice-creams are available all day with seating in the Gift Shop garden.
Bodiam Castle. TN32 5UA. One of the most famous castles in Britain, Bodiam was built in 1385. The exterior is virtually complete and the ramparts rise dramatically above the moat. Open 10.30am-5:00pm
SissinghurstGardens. TN17 2AB. Sissinghurst’s beautiful garden was first laid out in the 1930’s. The gardens surround the remains of an Elizabethan mansion.There are refreshment facilities including a coffee shop and restaurant. Open 10:30am-5:30pm (closed Wed/Thur).
Pashley Manor Gardens. TN5 7HE Pashley Manor Gardens.English Garden of the Year Winner. On the border of East Sussex and Kent and a winner of Christie’s Garden Of The Year Award, lies One of the finest gardens in England. Picnics may be taken in the Car Park field, and the adjacent field, with a fantastic view of the front facade of the house and surrounding hills. There are some tables and benches. (Not in the gardens). Times Plus get in 2 for 1 but need membership card. Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Bank Holiday Mondays and Special Event days. Opem 11.00am to 5.00pm.
Scotney Castle and Gardens. TN3 8JN. One of England’s most romantic gardens designed in the picturesque style around the ruins of a 14th-century moated castle, set in a beautiful wooded estate. There are always lots of things to enjoy for the whole family here. The house has been opened in phases and 2011 saw the final phase of rooms being opened. Open 11.00am-4:00/4:30/5:00pm.