From £119
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Relax at this historic hotel and restaurant located in the picturesque town of Rye. Originally built in the 12th century as a smuggler's hideout, today it's a popular destination for travellers seeking a memorable and authentic experience in an historic setting. With its ancient beams, cosy fireplaces and elegant rooms, guests can enjoy a charming blend of old-world charm and modern comfort, whilst its award-winning restaurant serves up delicious, locally sourced cuisine.

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Rooms available from £119 per night

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Tracey Davies
Freelance journalist
A travel writer for 20 years, Tracey has written for a wide variety of national newspapers, magazines and websites including Metro, Guardian, The Times and Good Housekeeping. A self-proclaimed connoisseur of hotel breakfasts, she's also the East Sussex hotels expert for the Telegraph.



You'll find the Mermaid Inn on Mermaid Street, a cobbled lane peppered with small fisherman's cottages and quaint, uneven timber-framed houses. Just a stone's throw away, Fletcher's House presents a tearoom from the Tudor era and Lamb House, once the residence of renowned author Henry James, can be reached within a leisurely two-minute walk.

It's a convenient six-minute walk from the station and close to Rye's main shopping street and attractions.

By car: 2 hours 15 minutes from London, 1 hour 30 minutes from Brighton and 30 minutes from Hastings. There is a small car park at the back of the hotel with space for 15 cars.

By train: Rye station is a five-minute walk from The Mermaid Inn, with a 20-minute connections Ashford International. Ashford has high-speed links to London St. Pancras (35 minutes) and Paris (4 hours). Book trains to Rye.

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The Mermaid Inn has a rich history that traces its roots to the 12th Century. However, the original establishment was destroyed by fire during a French raid on Rye in 1340. It was reconstructed in 1420 and hidden beneath its charmingly uneven timber-framed exterior lies a network of concealed tunnels, low-ceilinged rooms and corridors that add a unique and captivating atmosphere to the inn.


The inn thrives under the ownership and management of Judith Blincow, a lifelong resident of Rye. Judith has been involved with the establishment since she was 18 and took ownership in 1993. With her deep connection to the inn and the local area, she and her team possess extensive knowledge of its medieval origins. They enthusiastically share captivating stories and legends about the inn's eerie inhabitants, ensuring that guests are entertained and immersed in its rich history.

  • Restaurant
  • Bar and lounges
  • Terrace
  • Family rooms
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


One of the notable rooms at the inn is the Elizabethan Bed Chamber, which served as the accommodation for Queen Elizabeth I during her visit in 1573. Maintaining their character in harmony with the overall charm of the inn, bathrooms in this area are a touch outdated.

Room types: Single Rooms, Double and Twin Rooms, Superior Double and Twin Rooms, Four Poster Rooms, Historical Bedchambers

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with shower, tea and coffee-making facilities, antique furniture, exposed beams, free Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

Snuggling up by the fire in the Giant's Fireplace bar with a bolstering Blackdown Sussex gin nightcap is a treat. The Linen Fold features candlelit snugs and low-slung beamed ceilings. Head chef Ben Fisher revels in his Cinque Port location, with Rye Bay scallops and Romney Marsh Lamb featuring on the modern British menu.

Linen Fold Panelled Restaurant: 2-AA Rosette, British fine dining, local produce. Three Courses £39.50. Open for lunch and dinner (also available as room service).

Giant's Fireplace Bar: British pub classics, al fresco dining, local wines. Lunch served 12-2.30pm. Large plates from £10.95.

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