The ancient town of Rye nestles inland on a hill, lying at least a couple of miles away from the sea. It wasn't always like this, at one time the Romans used it for exporting iron and the town was built again after 1377 when it was destroyed by the French. The town has the status of a Cinque Port, and looking at it now it's hard to believe that sizeable ships once berthed here. The map displayed in our "Navigation" Gallery shows what it used to be like when it was a thriving port. It's amazing to realise that the headland of Dungeness was once an island.
The relentless drift of shingle along the coast has moved it's entrance many times, and everything has become silted up. Even now though with the drying bar, and depths within the River at less than half a metre at LWS, commercial traffic still visits.
Apart from the occasional ship visit (approximately 50 year ) the harbour is a base for a busy fishing fleet. Visiting yachts and small craft must be prepared to take the ground, and if they are under 15 m long they can berth deep within the town itself, a long way from the sea and with perfect shelter. ... read more
For boats of 1.5m draft an approach should not be made till about 2 hours before HW and entry to harbour ideally made 1 1/2 hours before HW. This will give you time to sort the paperwork with the Harbour Office, and proceed to the Town Berths a couple of miles further in.(In a leisurely manner on a rising tide).
Pilotage Detalis... ... read more
After paying harbour dues and getting some inside information from the harbour master most boats make for Strand Quay deep within the town. These berths lie about a mile a half away from the harbour office. Boats over 15 m cannot access the town quay, and have to remain at the Admiralty Jetty. Large boats should arrange ahead with the authorities before entry. Charges (2016) are a combination of mooring fee, harbour dues and VAT and have been simplified in comparison to previous years; it will now cost £20 for boats up to 10m but that includes access to the showers and toilets on Strand Quay and shore power
River Rother and Town Quay Details... ... read more