Enjoy a leisurely drive through the bucolic English countryside and on to Rye, which you will have free time to explore after gaining an historical perspective of the city.
After departing from the pier, you will drive deep into the southeastern corner of England, a land of fertile farms and lovely villages lying in the folds of green hills. This is the scenic route to Rye which travels along rural country lanes and through charming areas such as Tenterden.
Driving through the center of the village on High Street, be sure to note the façades of the shops, which date to the 16th century. As hops were grown extensively in this area for the production of beer, you will also see conical oast houses, where the crop was once stored. Many of them are now elegant, although unusually shaped, private residences.
Approaching Rye, you will see that it rises above the level green pastures, stretching from the sea to the far hills. Once surrounded by the sea, this fortified hilltop town played a key role in the defense of southern England. Today, the river no longer harbors warships but is home to boat building and fishing industries. This market town is also where you will find a thriving pottery industry. Pottery has long been important to Rye and you will find a wide choice of potteries for you to visit, together with several shops and galleries selling pictures, prints and craftwork.
Upon arriving, you will stop at the Heritage Centre to view a replica of the town and watch a historical light-and-sound show. With this detailed understanding of medieval Rye in mind, you will then have free time to meander about the city and do some shopping or exploring on your own. The layout of the town remains largely unchanged, and the enchanting narrow streets reveal some of the most charming houses in England. During your visit, you may also wish to visit the local church which stands on the highest part of Rye. The views from the top of the tower are well worth the climb.
Rejoining your coach at the appointed time and place, you’ll make the scenic drive back to Dover and your awaiting ship.
Please note: This tour includes nearly 3 hours of travel by coach. Walking on this tour is mainly at the guests’ discretion during free time; however, there are steps, significant inclines and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns who are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain.