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The Ultimate Dog Friendly Guide to Rye, East Sussex
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The Ultimate Dog Friendly Guide to Rye, East Sussex

Nestled between the rollings hills of East Sussex and the English Channel sits the small, ancient town of Rye. Once surrounded by sea, this historic hilltop town was originally built as a citadel to defend the South Coast of England. In the centre of this medieval town you will find cobbled lanes lined with half-timbered houses, art galleries, curiosities and cosy pubs, as well as stunning boutique hotels and a whole host of independent traders. Rye has endless nooks and crannies to explore as well as distant views across Romney Marsh to enjoy. A real gem showcasing the best of what Sussex has to offer, we think Rye is a must-visit for all, including your canine companions. In our ultimate dog-friendly guide to Rye we will share with you all of our favourite places to shop, eat, drink and stay as well as some fur-bulous activities for you and your furry friend. So what are you waiting for? There's no better time to visit...




The foundation to a good holiday is finding somewhere amazing to stay! Rye has plenty of brilliant dog friendly places to stay, from cosy Airbnb rentals to luxurious boutique hotels, there is something to suit every hound and human. 


The Standard Inn

The Mint, Rye TN31 7EN

This lovingly restored 15th century pub and guesthouse is the ideal cosy accommodation for you and your dog. Situated right in the heart of the old town, The Standard Inn features five gorgeous bedrooms named after the five historical sync ports situated on the south east coast. Inside you will find beautiful carved beams, warming fireplaces and many original period features. This multi-award winning gastropub is a favourite amongst travellers and locals alike, so be sure to dine in at least once! Dogs are welcome to stay with you for a £25 surcharge per pet. The entire establishment is dog friendly so your canine companion can also join you for dinner or a drink. A delicious breakfast is included in the cost of your stay, starting your mornings off on the right foot... or paw!



24 High St, Rye TN31 7JF

In a heritage-listed building in the heart of Rye, Whitehouse is a modern all day eatery, in-house bakery and guesthouse with 6 bed and breakfast rooms for overnight guests. Featuring everything you will need for a comfortable stay including free toiletries, Netflix, Nespresso machine and en-suite bathrooms in every room. Each room is named after a different baked treat, a detail that we love! With their delicious bakery open from 8:30am, Whitehouse is a great place to start your day. It’s spacious with a friendly atmosphere and frequently full of other pups to make friends with.


The Playhouse

100 High St, Rye TN31 7JN

This unique property sits behind Rye's High Street, the perfect starting point for your adventures. This architecturally important building has been completely restored and renovated. The Playhouse is home to the quirky finds of its stylish owners, with an eye for colour and modern comforts, mixed in with playful vintage signs, it creates a fabulous spot from which to explore. This 1 bedroom property also has a private patio, perfect for soaking up some sun with your dog. Featuring everything you'll need from a fully kitted out kitchen to a Smart TV to the smokeless bio fuel fire. There is a £35 charge for up to 2 dogs per stay which must be added at the time of booking.


The Gallivant Hotel

New Lydd Rd, Camber, Rye TN31 7RB

Located in nearby Camber, The Gallivant is a dog-friendly, motel style property with a distinct Hamptons vibe. A fabulous coastal hideaway, it is situated right opposite the dunes of the famous Camber Sands beach - a beautiful stretch of golden sand where your dog can run free all year round. The hotel has a focus on restoring people’s happiness and wellbeing, because of this under 16's are not allowed. Beautifully decorated throughout with a washed wood beachside feel, the hotel is super dog friendly. The Garden rooms are particularly suitable for a dog-friendly stay as they feature double doors that open onto their own private deck with enormous bathrooms and rainforest showers. Dogs are allowed in the bar area and in four of the available bedrooms, where they can stay for an additional £25 fee. 



Rye has many unique activities and attractions that you are bound to want to explore. From art galleries to quirky museums to picturesque walks, there's plenty to sink your teeth into. Luckily, many of our favourites are dog-friendly. 


Rye Heritage Centre

Strand Quay, The Old Sail Loft Rye, Rye TN31 7AY

A great first stop on a visit to Rye, we highly recommend the Rye Heritage Centre. This wonderfully quirky museum 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, just be aware that there will be noise and lights! The centre also features a collection of old amusement machines and games from piers all across the UK. They have all been beautifully restored and are in working order, and you can buy some old pennies from the centre to have a go yourself. So many interesting sights and sounds are sure to be captivating for your inquisitive pooch. We think this is one of the best things to do in Rye with dogs! 


Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Harbour Road Rye Harbour, Rye TN31 7FW

A great way to spend a day with your dog in Rye is with a walk around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, a large coastal nature reserve with an abundance of wildlife. Your four-legged friend will need to be kept on a lead around livestock, but will undoubtedly enjoy the fresh air and changing terrains. With coastal habitats including shingle, salt marsh, saline lagoons and grazing marsh, this watery landscape is a haven for wildlife. It is home to thousands of seabirds, countless species of plants and even one of Henry VIII’s battlements, Camber Castle. The best walkies you and your dog can enjoy in the area.  


Rye Town + St Mary's Church

Church Square, Rye TN31 7HF

One of the best dog-friendly attractions in Rye is the town itself! The maze of medieval streets burst with character and are lined with dog-friendly cafes, shops and curiosities galore. Admire all the sights as you wander around, and don’t miss the UK's most photographed street, 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 wander around town, and maps are available from inside the train station. Don't miss St. Mary’s church tower, it offers the best viewpoint to gaze down at all the terracotta roofs. Dogs can accompany you into the church and up the steeple but it’s quite a narrow, steep climb so bear that in mind before setting off.


Camber Sands

TN31 7RT

Within 40 minutes walking distance of Rye, or 10 minutes drive, Camber Sands is home to soft sand and impressive sand dunes. Recently dubbed "the UK’s answer to Long Island," this unique beach is the the only sand dune system in East Sussex and is the perfect place for setting up for the day. The “blue flag” beach is over 2 miles long and half-a-mile wide at low tide.  Camber Sands is also a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and is of nature conservation importance. Your four-legged friends will have the best time running along the beach and splashing in the sea. Dogs are allowed all year round, but between May and September, they can’t go within certain zones. These areas are clearly signposted so you won’t miss them, but it's always best to check before you travel.


Rye Harbour Sea Safari & Boat Trips

Harbour Rd, Rye Harbour TN31 7TU

Get out on the water to spot local river wildlife and even seals! Rye Harbour Sea Safari & Boat Trips off a fantastic range of boat excursions. With convenient pick ups from the slipway jetty next to Rye harbour Lifeboat station, friendly dogs are welcome aboard. Skippers Luke and Jeff onboard the Safari Princess both have a vast knowledge of Rye Harbour as well as the Southern English Channel off of Rye Harbour. Choose from a 40 minute seal spotting safari or a 90 minute safari of the Rye Bay. Children under 3 go free, making this the perfect activity for the whole family.


Charles Palmer Vineyards Tour

Wickham Manor, Wickham Rock Ln, Winchelsea TN36 4AG

Head a little further South towards Winchelsea on the East Sussex/Kent border for a fantastic vineyard tour and wine tasting experience. On the outskirts of Winchelsea on the Wickham Manor Estate is the Charles Palmer Vineyard, a small-batch winery with just 35 acres of vines. Close to the sea, it's perfect for combining a beach walk with a wine tasting. After a wander along the vineyard trail, which has spectacular views over the Brede Valley, settle down with your hound under the pergola and sample the estate's excellent cuvée and rosé wines.



All that exploring is sure to work up an appetite! Rye's foodie scene is huge and we guarantee you will be spoilt for choice of places to dine with your canine companion. Whether you're looking for a quick bite, a sweet treat or an Instagram-worthy brunch, we've got the lowdown on all the tastiest spots.


The Ship Inn

The Strand, Rye TN31 7DB

Family friendly and dog friendly, this welcoming pub called The Ship Inn, with its exposed wooden beams and charming cosy decor, is the perfect place to tuck into a delicious meal with your pup by your side. Originally a warehouse used to store goods seized from smugglers, it is a lovely location to spend few hours soaking in the history and enjoying the characterful interior. 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 help you plan ahead. 


Rye Waterworks Micro Pub

Tower St, Rye TN31 7AT

As dog-friendly places in Rye go, this has to be one of the coolest! This tiny building has a colourful history, including use as a pump house, soup kitchen and even public toilets! The little pub offers a modest menu of locally made scotch eggs, pork pies and vegetable samosas, all of which perfectly complement the local ales and local ciders available from behind the bar. This small but perfectly formed menu of snacks has earned them quite the reputation as one of the best places to stop for a bite alongside your canine companion. The pub even has a wood burner which is perfect for those chilly days. Listed with CAMRA (campaign for real ale), this pub welcome families, dogs and people just wanting to have a nose around.


The Fig

2 High St, Rye TN31 7JE

With walls lined with colourful art and prints, The Fig is vibrant, quirky, super dog friendly and does some of the best brunch and lunch options in town. They have a focus on fresh and healthy food and serve an excellent selection of cocktails too. Their changing menus always feature options for vegans, vegetarians, gluten frees and meat eaters. We highly recommend trying the aubergine shwarma. Day times are for walk-ins and this is when dogs are welcome, unfortunately dogs are not allowed during evening meal times, after 5pm. 


Mermaid Street Café 

Strand Quay, Rye TN31 7AY

The Mermaid Street Cafe serves Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch every day from 9am to 5pm. They serve up excellent homemade Scotch eggs, sausage rolls and quiches and will welcome your dog with open arms. In the holidays their roof terrace bar is open until 8.30pm on sunny days and weekends and is an excellent spot to unwind alongside your dog. They have a fantastic selection of award-winning cakes and bakes, from cakes and brownies to flapjacks and cinnamon buns, they are all are handmade and delicious. They also have a hatch serving up coffee and the best ice cream in Rye, the perfect treat to grab to take on your dog walk. 



You're bound to need a pit-stop to refresh yourself during all of your exploring around Rye! With a great selection of cafes, bars and micro-pubs, there is no shortage of welcoming watering-holes for you and your dog to enjoy. 


The George in Rye

98 High St, Rye TN31 7JT

As the central coaching inn in Rye, The George’s Dragon Bar has long been one of the town’s most popular drinking venues. Housed within the 16th-century inn, the pub serves Sussex ales, draught cider, and continental beers. There’s also a wide selection of wines by the glass, featuring lots of choices from local English vineyards like Chapel Down in Tenterden. Nestled next to the restaurant, The Dragon Bar boasts a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. You can also enjoy luxurious bar snacks such as Maldon Rock oysters, Nocerella olives and Cornish white crab. Dog are welcome here, as well as on their beautiful terrace. Be aware dogs aren't allowed in the main restaurant, but will be more than welcomed at the bar and terrace. 


The Globe Inn Marsh

10 Military Rd, Rye TN31 7NX

With an food menu featuring fresh seafood and traditional British fare, the real stand-out at The Globe Inn Marsh is their extensive, full bar. A quirky pub with modern, eclectic interior details, we love the cosy atmosphere and friendly service here. There is ample outdoor seating to enjoy on a warmer day in their suntrap of a patio. Dogs are welcome both indoors and outside so you are free to sit wherever you like. Open daily, they believe in showcasing the best of the local community. That's why they stock a wide range of beers from local breweries, from small batch ales, to unique craft beers and traditional ciders. They also offer a carefully curated wine menu, as well as a selection of classic and innovative cocktails. 


Old Bell Rye

33 The Mint, Rye TN31 7EN

This classically British pub is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink after a long day of exploring with your dog. Also known as Ye Olde Bell, the pub is a Grade II listed historical inn. It was built in 1390 and has a turbulent history. It was once used for smuggling, connected by a secret tunnel to the nearby Mermaid Inn to the south. It was used by the infamous Hawkhurst Gang in the 1730s and 1740s. This friendly pub offers a selection of quality wines, premium gins, world beers and cask ales. And they even have Jude's dog ice cream, so your pup can enjoy a treat too! They have a lovely terrace to enjoy on a sunny day, where you can sit beneath an 80 year old wysteria tree. 



24 High Street, Rye, TN31 7JF    

In a heritage-listed building lying the heart of Rye, Whitehouse is a modern bakery and Bed & Breakfast. Offering a great range of hot drinks, including some of the best coffee in Rye, as well as juice and smoothies. Whitehouse is also a great place to pick up a sweet treat alongside your coffee! Your pooch will be made most welcome here by the friendly staff and will probably even bump into some new four-legged friends. 



Home to many independent shops and quirky boutiques, Rye is a real gem when it comes to shopping. Don't worry about leaving your pup outside, in Rye it is easy for them to enjoy some retail therapy alongside you!



22a Lion Street, Rye, TN31 7LB


Situated in the characterful Lion Street, AARVEN stocks a stunning selection of ethically and sustainably sourced homewares, jewellery and gifts, AARVEN is an Aladdin's cave of one-of-a-kind pieces. Designed with care by their small team in Margate, every treasure is carefully hand crafted by the world's finest artisans. AARVEN is also home to Hiro + Wolf, a luxury pet accessories brand that designs and produces all of their collections here in the UK. If bright, colourful and unique leads, collars, harnesses and doggy bandanas are your thing, Hiro + Wolf have got you covered! Dogs are very welcome in store, and there are even treats behind the counter for them. Plus, shop dog Wolf and his puppy sister, Squirrel will be on hand to lend a paw. 


McCully & Crane

27 Cinque Ports St, Rye TN31 7AD

Marcus Crane and Gareth McCully moved from East London to Rye with their family of rescued dogs over fifteen years ago. They opened McCully & Crane in the spring of 2009. Blurring the lines between art and interiors, McCully & Crane offers a relaxed and welcoming environment. The walls are covered with daring artworks, amongst beautifully crafted and cleverly reworked statement furniture, lighting, and unique objet trouvé. They work with both local and international artists and makers. Dogs are most welcome! 


Ethel Loves Me 

105 High St, Rye TN31 7JE

Ethel Loves Me is a concept store in Rye where you will find that one off gift or original artwork, all made by local creatives. Expect to find original pieces, limited editions and collectables amongst the ever-changing goods in this store. They have a real focus on sustainability and ethics, with no-leather and cruelty free policies in place in store. Plus there is a focus on up-cycled, natural materials. Dogs will be made most welcome when visiting this store. 


Merchant & Mills

14a Tower St, Rye TN31 7AT 

This stunning fabric shop is a must-visit for any craft lovers and sewists out there! A treasure trove of sewing patterns, fabrics, sewing notions and tools, you're sure to find whatever you're looking for (and probably a little something extra, too!) The super friendly staff will make sure you and your dog both feel welcome and are always on hand to offer advice on your next project. 


We hope you found our Ultimate Dog Friendly Guide to Rye helpful! Rye is packed with incredible independent businesses that are thrilled to welcome you and your canine companion. If you were thinking about a trip to Rye, now is definitely the time to visit! With frequent, high speed trains from London St Pancras only taking under  1 hour and 10 minutes, it's the perfect place for a day trip (or make the most of it and stay over for a long weekend!) What are your favourite dog-friendly businesses in Rye? Let us know in the comments!

*Please note, all information is correct at time of publishing. Please check before you travel as opening times etc may be subject to change. Dogs may be refused entry at individual businesses discretion. 

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