Leaving medieval Rye with its narrow streets and old worlde charm, a 3-mile westward drive finds a different world. The natives simply call it “The Beach”, The village looks remarkably uninteresting from the road. However, what it does have to offer is a rare thing nowadays – a sense of space and freedom.
Winchelsea Beach is one of the few remaining comparatively undeveloped parts of the south coast. Just inland, between the coast road and the sea is this strange shingle landscape known as “The Ridges”– pebbles and rough land with a straggle of 1930’s bungalows spaced out along the unmade roads. The whole area is much valued by those who like fresh air – flocks of birds and open and empty spaces. The beach is peaceful and never crowded with shingle at high tide and level sand at the low.
When the tide is far out, there is a large, almost flat area – ideal for walking and shrimping.. Swimming is safe and best at high tide and Winchelsea has regularly received a Clean Beach Award. A wonderful 4-mile walk is to follow the sea wall eastwards- first stopping at the hides of the Bird Reserve, next following the River Rother towards Rye and then returning across the field tracks past Camber Castle.
The whole area provides a wonderfully refreshing escape from the fumes and fret of work and city life.
Text supplied with the kind permission of Jennifer Powrie.
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