Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Rye Harbour Discovery Centre, Harbour Road, Rye Harbour, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7FW

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Tel01797 360 960

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Rye Harbour Nature Reserve


Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is an important wildlife site that is the size of 600 football pitches. It is set in an exceptional coastal and wetland landscape and 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 have information boards posted all around the reserve, which show you what you can see. Click on the provided QR codes to listen to birdsong, see a wildlife video, or find out more about our 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.

There are 10 self-guided trail maps which you can pick up from the Discovery Centre reception. So, whether you are a family with children to entertain, or you are hoping to spot some of the rarer birds or flowers in the reserve, there is something for everyone.

The Discovery Centre offers room hire and catering for corporate or private events. You can find out more on our website.

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 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 coffees, tees, homemade cakes and lunches. It promotes the best of local produce and offers the most fantastic views across the nature reserve. 
We have a well-stocked gift shop and accessible toilets. Come and learn about the diversity of wildlife through our information boards, photos, videos, and touchscreen displays. You can learn about 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 visiting Rye Harbour engage with the special wildlife on the reserve. 

We have an outdoor seating area, bicycle racks, and dogs are welcome.

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


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:

    • 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
    • moe r
      Manchester, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Lovely day
      5 of 5 stars
      Wednesday, 1st May 2024
      Great views great walks now have a cafe and shop with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating Great information boards along the walk ways Read full review
    • Mary C
      Banstead, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Bird spotting
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 14th May 2024
      A lovely peaceful spot for a flat well guided walk. Bird hides to sit in . A cafe with wonderful views & outdoor space for a picnic. 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 01797 360 960.


    • 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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