Rye Harbour

Three Circular Walks (PDF) or Your Guide to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve (Sussex Wildlife Trust, PDF)

  • three walks of 1 to 3 hours, 2 miles, 4.5 miles, 5.5 miles
  • see How Rye Repelled the Enemy for alternative description of walk two, 4.5 miles (AA)
  • Mostly flat
  • Camber Castle is passed on walk three but see also Camber Castle Walk.
  • Inkerman Arms, William the Conqueror and Bisun’s Bite Cafe at Rye Harbour
  • toilets at Rye Harbour
  • accessible by bus
  • a private tarmac road runs through the southern part of the reserve and the four bird-watching hides here are suitable for most wheelchairs. The northern part of the nature reserve, Castle Farm, is served by shingle and grassy paths.

buscup of teachurch castledisabled access sign

These walks offer wide skies, lonely seas and lagoonsRye Harbour Nature Reserve is large coastal nature reserve with shingle beaches, sandy shores at low tide, grassland, saltmarsh and reedbeds bordering lakes and pools hosting a vast array of wildlife. It is excellent for birdwatching with a number of birdwatching hides.

Camber Castle is within the Nature Reserve and was built in 1539 by Henry VIII to defend the threat of being invaded by France and Spain, and is one of a series of forts along the south coast. The castle, once on the edge of the sea, is now two miles from the coast. It has taken around 500 years for the land to fill up with silt, and this has helped form the land that make up the nature reserve. Camber Castle is open to the public on the first Saturday of the month from July to September at 2pm for a guided tour (check website first)

Disabled and Buggy Access: The northern route is possible with more robust wheelchairs and all-terrain buggies but is challenging. It is not a hard surface. The southern section, including the route from Rye Harbour to the sea and along the coast, is on a good tarmac surface. Several of the birdwatching hides are accessible.