Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7TX

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a photograph of Rye Harbour visitor centre. Wooden and glass structure against a blue sky.


Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is an important wildlife site that is the size of 600 football pitches and is set in an exceptional coastal and wetland landscape. It is home to more than 4,355 species of plants and animals including 300 that are rare or endangered.

Come and visit our mosaic of shingle beaches, saline lagoons, saltmarsh, grassland, scrub, gravel pits and reedbeds. Our flowers are at their best from late May to July, but our birdlife is varied all year round and changes each month. We now have information boards posted all around the reserve, which show you what you can see. Click on the QR codes to listen to birdsong, see a wildlife video, or find out more about our wildlife or local history. A network of footpaths throughout the nature reserve gives easy access to many seats and five birdwatching hides - four of which are wheelchair accessible.

Sussex Wildlife Trust has been pleased to welcome many visitors to our flagship visitor centre, the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre, since it opened in May 2021.

The Discovery Centre is currently open daily from 10am - 4pm and it offers an accessible hub for Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. Facilities include the glorious Lime Kiln Café, which serves great coffee and homemade cakes, promotes the best of local produce – and offers a range of fantastic views across the nature reserve. We have a shop and accessible toilets. Come and learn about the diversity of wildlife through our information boards, photos, videos and touchscreen displays showing the kind of wildlife you can find on the reserve, as well as the history of the area, military and geographical. We have excellent education facilities and put on a range of events for adults, children and families, throughout the year.

Talk to our staff and volunteers who are on hand to welcome visitors and help everyone visitng Rye Harbour engage with the special wildlife on the reserve. 

We have an outdoor seating area, dogs are welcome, plus we have cycle racks.

Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is great to visit all year round and whatever the weather – but bring sensible clothing, because it can be a very windy location. 

First photograph of Discovery Centre © Oliver Bates.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Admission FREEFree

Note: Prices are a guide only. For further information please visit the website.



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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    Recent Reviews:

    • 857geoffh
      Sissinghurst, United Kingdom
      An amazing place
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 19th December 2023
      An amazing place for walking and nature-watching, especially on a sunny day. One roadway to the beach is well maintained and both wheelchair and pushchair friendly. The other paths round the... Read full review
    • Denise S
      Annoyed local resident.
      2 of 5 stars
      Sunday, 7th January 2024
      I happen to live locally to this nature walk and sadly the place has been terrible for residents ever since the new cafe opened! Too many cars for the area to cope with cannot even move my car... Read full review
    • therichastill
      Stevenage, United Kingdom
      Wonderful For Your Wellbeing
      5 of 5 stars
      Monday, 25th March 2024
      Rye Harbour is on the estuary leading into the English Channel. Alot of the the land around here has been reclaimed from the sea and many years ago the only land masses would have been the Cinque... Read full review

    Map & Directions

    Road Directions

    Nearest major road is A259. From Rye turn left off A259 towards Rye Harbour. Follow the road round until reaching the large car park on the right. Entrance to reserve is opposite the car park.

    Public Transport Directions

    Visit by train to Rye and then walk ten minutes to the north part of the reserve (40 minute walk to the Discovery Centre), or catch a bus (one an hour) or take a taxi to Rye Harbour village to visit the coastal section of the reserve, which is also easy to explore with pushchairs, wheelchairs or bikes.



    • Facilities for Hearing Impaired Visitors - Induction loop systems in bird hides and information centre.
    • Guide Dogs Permitted
    • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
    • Ramp/Level Access
    • Toilets for Disabled Visitors
    • Wheelchair user accessible - Motorised scooters hired out at Reserve - contact Chris on 07884 494 982


    • Picnic Site

    Establishment Features

    • Dogs Accepted
    • Printed Material in Foreign Languages

    Payment Methods

    • Groups Accepted
    • Max group size - 30
    • Min group size - 10

    Printed Material in Foreign Languages

    • French printed material

    Provider Preferences

    • Outdoor Attraction

    Tours and Demonstrations

    • Educational Visits Accepted
    • Guided Tours Available for Groups

    Opening Times

    Discovery Centre opening times (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
    Monday - Sunday10:00 - 16:00


    • RHNR

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