By / 28th December, 2014 / Rye, Things to do / No Comments

Bird Watching and Nature Reserves near Rye

    swans at Rye Harbour nature reserve

    Nature lovers and twitchers will find Rye a delight. Just a short walk from Rye Lodge is Rye Harbour nature reserve, recently named as one of the top ten sites in the UK for bird watching.

    This internationally important site is on largely flat terrain with paths and bird hides that allow disabled access, and is open all year round. Here you will find coastal and wetland wildlife not found in other parts of East Sussex. Over 70 species may be seen on the reserve in one day in a wide variety of habitats including shingle, saltmarsh, sand dunes, rivers, grazing marsh and farmland.

    Birds regularly breeding at the site include redshanks, wheaters, ringed plovers and oystercatchers, with many species of terns, waders and ducks. Rare bitterns may be seen and new reedbeds are being introduced to attract more of them to the reserve. In autumn and spring the reserve is visited by a great variety of migratory birds.

In addition to birds, the reserve is home to specialised plants such as Sea Pea and Sea Kale – spectacular in summer, with many more species in flower throughout the spring and autumn. You can discover interesting military fortifications from the 16th, 19th and 20th centuries, including Camber Castle. Rye Harbour nature reserve has a visitor centre at Lime Kiln Cottage, Rye Harbour Road or visit the Rye Harbour nature reserve website, at

Bittern at Rye Harbour nature reserve near Rye Lodge

Though cafes can be found at Rye Harbour, Rye Lodge is pleased to prepare a packed lunch for our guests, with drinks, fruit and extra snacks for you to take with you if you wish to spend the day exploring. Just let reception know during the previous evening (or when you book if you will need a packed lunch on the first day of your stay).

In addition to Rye Harbour Nature reserve the Sussex countryside around Rye offers many opportunities for river and canal side walks where wildlife can be seen as well as the wide sandy beaches at nearby Camber, another area popular for birding. The Firehills of nearby Fairlight are named after the yellow gorse which blooms every year, and there you can enjoy cliff top walks with accessible areas for wheelchairs with many birds, butterflies and flowers to be seen.

After an invigorating day in the countryside, what better way to unwind than in the spa bath or Sauna at Rye Lodge, perhaps followed by a swim. A truly comfortable bed will soothe tired limbs. Next morning a hearty breakfast can be enjoyed in your room, or even in bed to set you up for the next day’s adventures.

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