More highlights from places you’ll want to visit but can’t, as we make what looks a direct journey to Rye.


With the automation of the Dartford Toll barriers you’ll only need to slow down as other folk slam on their brakes at the Tonbridge turn to point out where Paul Bailey lives.

Almost 20 years between visits, then 4 visits in 4 years.  That’s the magic of the GBG.

Catch it on a good day and it’s unbeatable.

Your gateway to craft
Nice bit of levels for you

Rye has a little bit of central Durham or Bridgnorth about it, cobbled streets packed with interest if not students and pubs.

You’re not in Chicago now, Tonto

As you can see, the streets aren’t quite as packed as you might expect for a honeypot Cinque Port with retiredmartin award winning calamari and chips. And a proper sweet shop.

Fried egg sweets – ugh !

I can only assume the French schoolchildren and German coach parties are heading straight for Gillingham and Gravesend having read my blog.

It’s nice to have the lanes to yourself so you can look at your phone while walking.

Watch your step

Just think what great micropubs these little houses would make.

Lil’ ol’ England

Last year I had the always delightful company of Kentish Paul, who was game for climbing the tower of St Mary’s for some brushes with aggressive birds and stunning views.

Paul clings to the ledge for dear life.

Oooh, there’s a castle.

Not THAT castle

Let’s go pubbing, starting with the Ypres Castle.

Wikipedia gives a motley collection of “People of Rye”, including Tom Baker, Radclyffe Hall, the Cheeky Girls and Spike Milligan. I’d have liked to have been in a pub with them at the same time, probably the Ypres Castle, the big draw after the ancient Mermaid.”

View from the loo ramparts

This Jeff Bell’s gaff, but frankly it’s the team I’ve raved about here.  They’re a credit to his skills as a landlord, producing a professional but friendly atmosphere I though was hard to beat.

Some people are interested in beer, of course.

Wot no Harvey’s

3 pints, all NBSS 4 or above.  Mrs RM and Paul loved it.


The Waterworks was the newbie in GBG20, more a small craft bar than a basic micro.

Outdoor handpumps the way forward

We were lucky/unlucky to catch it on a Friday night.  On the upside it was packed with all human (well, Rye) life and the beer was great; on the downside I think we had to sit on the knees of a couple from Hamburg.

Not for claustrophobes like me

The Globe was EVEN smarter.

If you’re a Pashmina Pauline (or Paul, sexist) you may well love the Globe, which feels like the charcuterie department from Fortnum Mason has been stuck in a traditional weather boarded pub with the bench seating ripped out.

Oddly alluring

There’s a lot more to Rye of course, but if you’ve an hour I suggest 2 pints in the Ypres, a jog up the tower, and calamari and chips from Marino’s. Just save the chips till after the jog.

27 thoughts on “LET’S CELEBRATE…..RYE

  1. Of all your surprises this one surprises me the most. Rye is not a town I thought you would review favorably. You really made me want to visit in the off season when it isn’t overrun with fellow tourists. I’m sold too.


    1. I don’t think I liked it on first visits, pubs very pashmina and prosecco and town overrun, as you may have noticed on your trip.

      But the Ypres Castle, the chippy and some quieter visits have changed that. It’s a lovely place to walk round at dusk.

      There’s also two excellent pubs at Icklesham to the west, and of course Snargate to the east.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t it the way that many tourist spots are gems once the tourists have hopped on their bus and departed. Early mornings or evenings give you a real sense of a place.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Martin, that late February day we spent in Rye was truly magical. We caught the town at just the right time of year, before the coachloads of tourists and day trippers – where are they all now?

    With the sun shining, a great view over the rooftops from the church tower, top class Old Dairy at the Ypres – plus an appearance from Jeff himself, followed by equally first class fish & chips at Marino’s all the ingredients were there for a perfect day out.

    We must do it again, once all this is over, and perhaps invite our respective spouses along to join us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’ve seen Christine’s post-Covid 19 bucket list and “Climb narrow steps to the topof church tower” is definitely on there, a mere 3,988 places below “2 pints in the Ypres”.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. T’other Paul,
      The only thing missing from the BPF’s regular Proper Days Out is our respective spouses but they might make the rounds too expensive – and absence makes the heart grow fonder.


  4. If we go to Rye it is usually during the week ,off season & it’s always empty -even the Ypres Castle was empty last time we went & the (famous ) landlord tried educating my husband in beer,offering a taster which was swiftly declined.Never been to The Globe & have yet to climb the tower ! best time for us to go is about now (sobs ) because the fields will be awash with cute but tasty lambs

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Is it true you’re legally able to take lambs home now ? Asking for myself.

      If your husband really did refuse a taster he’s in the running for my coveted “Pubman of the Year”, currently held by Joan Southworth. There may not be a lot of competition.

      Rye is the sort of place I’d love to walk around for my exercise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If we’d have been allowed out there would be a couple frolicking in my garden now -as it is I’ve got some from Iceland in oven now (a first -don’t generally frequent the place but needs must ) Mr Sharp always refuses tasters & gets very grumpy when valuable drinking time is wasted by someone indulging in several nips

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I was lucky enough to spend considerable time in both the Waterworks and Wipers just over two months ago. God knows when I’ll be allowed to visit again.


  6. Ypres Castle is easily in my top five pubs (albeit from visiting far fewer than most of the commenters here have) – above all the service is just right, not many pubs manage to get the right balance to appeal to so many different kinds of pub-goers. The Waterworks is fun, but certainly less fun when busy. And there are a couple of good pubs down the road at Rye Harbour too. Rye is definitely an underrated place. I wonder if its pashmina-y reputation keeps it from ever getting too trendy, which is No Bad Thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent analysis, Steve. The Ypres has the best service of any pub I’ve been in recently, similar to the feel Jeff Bell created in the Gunmakers in That London.

      Yes, it could seem a bit genteel on the wrong day, but I’m sure Sidcup can seem genteel in the wrong light.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. is that the Gunmakers at Mount Pleasant ?
        I remember about ten years ago someone making an inappropriate comment to the lessee after which we weren’t welcome there.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s it. Never quite sure if it’s Farringdon but I walked there from the well known pub at the Post Office sorting office. Jeff Bell left there for a pub near Chelsea over a decade ago.

        NB Is there a book of ALL the places you’ve been barred from for rowdy behaviour, Paul. It would make a great crawl. ;-0


      3. The Penny Black on Farringdon Road with an early morning license was the pub for postal workers many years ago.
        Contrary to popular belief I never been barred from a pub and only once been refused a pint.


    2. Rye has a surprising number of old-school unpretentious pubs that will never make the guide too. Cheap and cheerful places that get decent trade from locals from when they open. It is a bit posh, but a surprisingly good pub-town.

      Liked by 1 person

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