Going on a trip should result in your coming home feeling on top of the world and satisfied. If you go away and come home feeling the same as you went, did you make the effort to make the most out of your trip? If not, then you should utilise this advice to ensure that you get the most out of your travel.
Partake in an activity out of your comfort zone
Everyone can get too comfortable on trips sometimes. We often go away wanting to do more yet stick to doing the same things. However, if you want to get the most out of your travel experiences, then you should go out of your comfort zone and experience something new.
Whether that means considering cycling holidays in italy or skiing holidays in France, you can try something new and may even find yourself a new favourite hobby. The trips where you do something different will be those that stick in your memory.
Ask for local advice
There is nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than speaking to locals in the country that you are visiting. Not only will you broaden your knowledge of the local culture, but they can become your local guide for the best places to eat, see, and stay.
Speaking to locals will ensure that you get honest and essential advice. The locals will tell you the ways of the area and how to stay and get the most out of where you are visiting.
If you want to maximise your budget and get the most for your money, then you will want to book early. Booking as early as possible will ensure that you get the best deals and get first dibs on the accommodation, transportation, and activities. If you leave it too late, what you wanted to book might get taken and you won’t be able to fully satisfy your needs from the trip.
Take pictures (but not too many)
To capture your memories, it helps to take a camera along with you. You can capture memories that you may otherwise forget about.
However, it is important to use your eyes to soak up your surroundings too. Spending too much time taking photos might hinder your experience. Therefore, remember your camera to capture memories but make sure to look up and around you at all times. You will get to soak up the surroundings and make sure to be able to take those memories home with you.
Take your time
Going away isn’t about rushing. We do enough of that at home. Therefore, to get the most out of your trip (and to not miss anything) it is essential that you take that time. Should that mean that you do less or need to extend your trip, so be it.
The slower you take things, the more you can soak up and enjoy yourself. Plus, you can relax a lot more and go home feeling energised and refreshed.
Rye is one of my favorite towns in East Sussex if not all of England, it’s full of historic stone buildings, winding cobbled streets and plenty of fun things to do! In fact, I have to be honest I first visited Rye to get some photos of famed Mermaid Street but quickly fell in love with the rest of the town. We visited Rye from the quirky seaside town of Brighton (where my husband is from) – about 2 hours away by train!
Some of my favorite things to do in Rye include having my favorite hot chocolate from Knoops, hopping on a wine tour to nearby East Sussex and Kent and catching the sunset at Camber Sands beach. For families there’s loads of fantastically unique activities – there’s a School of Wizards and Witches (big Harry Potter vibes) and a Detective Mystery Trail, which requires some serious problem-solving skills!
In this blog, I list 13 of the very best things to do in Rye East Sussex!
What are the Best Things to do in Rye East Sussex?
Cast some spells and become a a Witch or Wizard at the interactive School of Witches and Wizards
Spy some rare British birds at Rye Harbour Coastal Reserve
Be a detective for the day on the Rye Detective Mystery Trail
Join in the celebrations at Bonfire Night, held in November
Climb the Bell Tower at St Mary’s Church for the best view of Rye
Try some yummy hot chocolate at Knoops
Spend the night at the historic (and haunted?) Mermaid Inn
Test your speed at Lydd Karting
Satisfy your inner photographer at pretty Mermaid Street
Go for a walk on the golden sands of Camber Sand Beach
Pay a visit to Lamb House – the former home of writer Henry James
Most popular Things to do in Rye with Children
There’s loads of kid-friendly activities in Rye – the best things to do with children include becoming a Witch or Wizard at the School of Wizards and Witches where kids will learn spells and solve a magical mystery. Also, a lot of fun for the whole family is the Detective Mystery Tour a self-guided tour in which you will have to solve a smuggling case. Of course, Knoops Hot Chocolate is always a treat and a firm favorite with kids.
1. Become a Witch or a Wizard at the School of Wizards and Witches
The School of Wizards and Witches is a theater experience where your little ones will be taught how to make spells and all the other ins and outs of being a magical Witch or Wizard! As a group (typically group sizes of 12) the children will be tasked with solving a bunch of magical mysteries to save the magical world. On their quest the children will come across dark forests, dungeons and castles. This unique experience is led by actors and all the masks, puppets and scenes used have been created by professional movie and prop makers. Of course this exoerience isn’t just for kids – adults can join in the fun too.
The School of Witches and Wizards is located at The World of Legend, 55 The Mint. You can book your magical experience here. Please note this experience may be closed due to Covid restrictions, please check before booking!
2. See rare British birds at Rye Harbour Coastal Reserve
At the Rye Harbour Coastal Reserve spot amazing wildlife like the Marsh Frog and more unique species like the Spangled Button Beetle and the Medicinal Leech along this long coastal path which also has five bird hides where you can truly get up close to the native birds. The most common birds seen here are Terns (Little, Common & Sandwich),, Oystercatchers, Redshank, Lapwing and many more.This area is known to be one of the most important nature reserves in the country and is home to approximately 4,355 species of plants and animals including 300 that are rare or endangered.The walk begins from the Discovery Center, which also contains a shop and Cafe with fabulous views.
3. Visit Camber Castle
Camber Castle once the home of Henry VIII is one of the most important historic sites in Rye. It lies within the nature reserve between Rye and Winchelsea. It is an unaltered artillery fort which was built in 1539 to protect Rye Harbur. You can’t drive to the Castle, instead it is reachable only by a mile-long footpath from Rye.
Did you know – Camber means safe haven (you could safely anchor a vessel behind the castle). The word is derived from the French word ‘chambre’, which means bedroom.
The Castle was abandoned in 1637 and is now managed by English Heritage who have made updates to the structural work of the Castle. You can visit the outside of the Castle any day of the week – here’s where the walk to the Castle starts but guided tours of the Castle’s interior usually occur on the first Saturday of the month in Summer. On a tour of Camber Castle you can expect to see the flower like shapes on the curtain wall and the brick-vaulted tunnels.
4. Go on a Wine Tour
A wine tour may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of England but believe me this full-day wine tour is worth booking. On the tour you will get to visit two small wineries set among the glorious East Sussex countryside. Here, you will learn all about the wine-making process |(in this unique climate for wine-growing) and of course get to taste the wines. Towards the end of the tour you will visit a local brewery and try some craft beer and cider
Pick up and drop off for this tour is available from Rye Train Station.
5. Become a Detective for the day on the Rye Detective Mystery Trail
On this self-guided Detective Mystery Trail you will be searching high and low through historic cobbled streets for clues. It looks as though smuggling is still rife in Rye and the latest crimes have baffled local police – they can’t find the offender but think that the crimes are related to a well-known gang of 18th century smugglers! Can you help the police to find their culprit?
The self-guided tour starts at the Heritage Center and is great fun for the whole family (believe me, this will test your thinking skills). You will also learn loads about the history of Rye along the way.
6. Have fun at the Bonfire Night Celebrations in November
The Annual Bonfire Night Celebrations in Rye are typically held around the 13th of November. Part of this event is the naming of the year’s Rye Fawkes (a play on Guy Fawkes whom Bonfire Night in England is in commemoration of). The title of Rye Fawkes is awarded to the highest bidder and has been since 2009 prior to that it was given to a range of Celebrites including Spike Milligan and Vic Reeves.
On the night – huge crowds of people will process through Rye with flaming torches, drum bands and floats eventually ending at the Salts where an enormous bonfire is lit, followed by a spectacular firework display.
Other popular annual events in Rye include the Bay Scallop Week held in February and the New Mayor Making Ceremony held in May.
7. Climb the Bell Tower for the best view of Rye
The bell tower is located at St Mary’s Church in Church Square and it offers the best view in all of Rye. In fact, I’ve been told it’s a very popular spot for marriage proposals – the views are that stunning! On the way up you will see the 8 church bells, which weigh a shopping combined weight of 5 tons. These are not the original church bells, these ones were re-cast in 1775. The original bells were in fact stolen in 1377 by French invaders and brought to France – thankfully they were recovered the next year.
There is a small fee to access the bell tower.
8. Have the best hot chocolate in East Sussex at Knoops
If you see a large queue snaking down Tower Forge you’ve found Knoops. One of the best chocolate shops in the country.
The Knoops concept is based on a carefully curated percentage menu which offers chocolates to suit every taste and mood. In store, try out the different % chocolates and flavours in a process the staff call ‘Knoopology’. This process is simple; choose your chocolate %, milk, and extra flavours like sea salt, orange zest or chilli to be made into a hot chocolate, milkshake or iced chocolate. Delicous!
There are now 6 Knoops Stores in the country – one in Brighton and several dotted throughout London. You can buy your own Knoops chocolate in store to bring home and try to make yourself.
For your coffee fix visit – Cafe des Fleurs on Station Road,
9. Stay at the historic Mermaid Inn – a former Smugglers pub
Seeing as there’s so much to do in Rye why not extend your stay there with an overnight stay at the 600 year old Mermaid Inn. The rooms here have sloping ceilings, creaky floorboards and the hallways in the hotel have several winding staircases – all adding to the unique-factor! It is also believed the hotel is haunted – so keep an eye out for ghosts or other supernatural occurrences! Some people love that sort of thing and traveler specifically book into the Mermaid Inn in the hope of seeing a ghost! The Mermaid Inn is extremely popular and tends to sell-out quick so book early!
Not only is this a hotel it’s also a very popular Restaurant and Bar. One of the best seats in the house is at the Giant’s Fireplace Bar – it’s full of history as a local gang of Smugglers in the 1730’s frequented the bar.
There’s a secret passageway into the bar – can you spot it?
The owner offers Guided Tours through the 600 year old Mermiad Inn, providing a walk through time. These tours are held on the last Sunday of each month, commencing at 4pm and 5pm. Book the tour on the website.
10. Try go-karting at Lydd Karting
A 20 minute drive from Rye is Lydd Karting, the ideal activity for the petrol-head in your life! The 1040 meter circuit here is the fastest in the region and one of the fastest in the country.
The hire kart fleet here ranges from Bambino karts through to senior twin engined prokarts. And prices start at just £20 for 15 minutes. You can choose from a 15 minute; 30 minute; 45 minute and 60 minute session. All safety equipment is provided and the activity is suitable for children from the age of 6.
Lydd Karting also hosts many National Karting Events like the F100uk and RetroRacer
11. Take a stroll along Camber Sands beach
A 3 km walk from the center of Rye will take you to one of the best golden-sand beaches in the country. Camber Sands is 5 miles long and can get quite windy, so, it’s very popular for wind surfers and kite surfers. The Western End of the beach next to River Rother is the most popular section of the beach with locals and is especially pretty! It’s safe to swim at Camber Sands but beware of fast-moving tides that can drag you out to the deep very quickly.
If you can catch a sunset here even better, the sky sure did put on a show for us when we visited last in October.
12. Take lots of photos of pretty Mermaid Street
The poster child for Rye is Mermaid Street with its storybook charm. Mermaid Street is a winding cobbled street with great views and slightly wonky stone & timber houses. Sort of Harry Potter-ish if you’re into that sort of thing. The best spot for a photo on Mermaid Street is to stand in the middle of the cobbled street just outside The Mermaid Inn (like I have done in the photo below). The best time of day to photograph Mermaid Street is at dusk – because little lights light up the houses down the street making it seem very magical (and a little like Diagonal Alley from the Harry Potter movies). It’s also quieter at this time of the evening, beware it does get very busy here during the day and is especially busy at weekends.
Be sure to pop in to the cosiest pub in prime position on the street – The Mermaid Inn for a pint or some afternoon tea.
13. Visit Lamb House the former home of writer Henry James
Once home to writer Henry James as well as E.F Benson – Lamb House is now owned by the National Trust. And is a must visit for any literature fans. To the rear of the house is one of the largest gardens in Rye – filled with lillies and roses and even contains the graves of Henry James’ dogs. Inside the house there’s a varied collection of unique art works and sculptures. When visiting Lamb House you will learn all about its history as well as its famous past occupants.
It costs £8 to visit Lamb House and is open Friday – Tuesday every week, 11am-5pm.
How to get to Rye East Sussex
Getting to Rye from London – Rye is located 76 miles (122 kms) southeast of central London. The easiest way to get to Rye is to drive the A21 road which passes Royal Tunbridge Wells. There are also regular trains that head to Rye from Charing Cross in London – you will need to change trains at Ashford International Station. I highly advise spending a couple nights in London before coming to Rye – there’s loads of amazing things to do in London!
Getting to Rye from Brighton – it’s quite a long distance from Brighton to Rye so we recommend driving if you can. The quickest way via public transport takes about 2 hours – catch the train from Brighton to Hastings & change here for the train to Rye.
Getting to Rye from Hastings – Hastings is the largest closest town to Rye at just a 30 minute drive away. You can drive the 12.5 miles via the A259 or catch the train direct which takes 20 minutes.
Where to Stay in Rye
Of course the historic (and haunted?) Mermaid Inn is top of the list with its quirky rooms – book this one early!
With river views, a large patio and a central location (just a few minutes walk from Camber Castle) the Heart of Rye is a stylish three-bedroom house ideal for families
Extraordinary Huts is a quirky hut-style accommodation that still has all the features of a comfortable hotel room. This is one of the most unique properties in Rye!
A Grade II listed building in the center of Rye – Whitehouse Rye is top of my list for a luxurious stay in Rye. There’s a restaurant and award-winning bakery onsite.
Just 4 miles from the center of town this large Grade II Georgian building is one of the biggest properties in the area. Flackley Ash Hotel has a spa, restaurant, heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and more!
In short yes, Rye is definitely worth visiting! Not only is it undeniably pretty and photogenic – just look at Mermaid Street but there’s lots of unique family-friendly things to do like the School of Witches and Wizards; go-karting in nearby Lydd and a self-guided detective tour. There’s also lots of free things to do in Rye too – like walking the golden sands of Camber Sands beach, exploring Mermaid Street and Rye Harbor Coastal Reserve to see some native birds. I recommend spending at least a couple hours in Rye, ideally spend the night at one of the many great hotels in Rye to truly get a feel for this fairytale-like town!
If you have never visited Monaco before, then you are certainly missing out. It is full of things to do and you may even find that there are many adventures to be had as well. The country is surprising to say the least and it is very unique and full of things to do and see. It is also one of the most beautiful destinations around. If you want to find out more about Monaco and the wonders that are there, then this is the guide for you.
The Viewpoints are Stunning
One of the many reasons why Monaco is so great is because the viewpoints are stunning. If you want to explore somewhere truly magnificent then Monaco is the place to be. If you want to make the most out of your trip, then you should know that the view of the Port de Fontvielle is not to be missed. It’s also one of the best photo spots in Monaco as well. You will get a fantastic overview of the stunning houses and the stunning blue water. If you want to see this in the best light, then make sure that you pay it a visit around noon.
It’s the Second-Smallest Country
Monaco is a sovereign state. What’s impressive about the state is that it is also the second-smallest country in the world. The only one that is smaller than it is Vatican City. That’s not all though. It’s actually the country with the most people per square mile. For this reason, it’s not hard to see why Monaco is incredibly unique and on top of this, it’s an amazing holiday destination. The country is so small, that you can travel from one end to the other in a very short space of time.
The Sunsets are Amazing
The sunsets in Monaco are truly beyond beautiful. If you love sunsets, then Monaco is the place that you need to visit. There are some great viewpoints in Monaco and being able to see the sunset at a place like this is magical. The sunrises are stunning as well. If you don’t mind getting up early, then it is highly recommended that you see one. It’s very easy for you to explore the many beautiful neighbourhoods in Monaco too, especially if you are interested in buying a property there.
There are Fantastic Beaches
Another great reason why you should visit the country of Monaco is because of the fantastic beaches. The Larvotto Beach is one of the best around. The waters are very blue and if you go swimming there, then you will soon see that there is so much fun and excitement to be had. You can also see the buildings on the beach as well. There is no entrance fee, and the local restaurants make it a very convenient place to visit. If you love beaches, then you won’t want to miss out on Monaco.
So as you can see, Monaco is truly unique and it has a lot to offer as well. Why not pay it a visit for yourself?
You’ve made the decision to move to Whistler – in this blog post I list the best neighborhoods to live in Whistler, the best websites to search for rental properties and how much rent you can expect to pay per month.
Whistler has been my home for the past two years, and what a crazy, beautiful madness it is. Living in Whistler is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever lived. It’s an adrenalin-junkie’s dream with skiing & snowboarding being the sport of choice in the Winter. Which winter sport you choose will determine your destiny here, more on that below.
I’m sure you’ve already heard/ read that Whistler is one of the best ski destinations in the world. And in Summer you can enjoy downhill mountain biking or kayaking in its many lakes. You can even try your hand at the very unique sports of bobsledding and axe-throwing in Whistler. There are just so manyunique things to do in Whistler!
We faced a lot of hurdles finding a suitable rental property in Whistler and so I’ve put together this incredibly detailed blog post to help you successfully find a place to rent in Ireland. I also have a blog post on moving to Whistler, it’s an incredibly detailed guide.
As you can imagine, it can be very difficult to find decent housing in Whistler. It is a very competitive market and rent can be quite expensive (depending on the area you wish to move to). Before starting your search there are a couple questions you should ask yourself first –
How much rent can I afford?
What area do you want to live in? Try to narrow it down to at least 5 areas.
What does your ‘ideal rental property’ look like? How many bedrooms does it have? Does it have a garden? Parking? etc.
What you need to do to be successful in finding a place to rent in Whistler
Ensure you have good previous rental references (even if they are from overseas) and enough money for a bond and your first months rent
Try to arrive in Whistler before the peak seasons begin – if you’re planning to stay for the Winter season arrive in October and for the Summer season arrive in April. This way you will have more choice and slightly more reasonable rental options available to you.
How much is rent in Whistler?
Rent prices in Whistler vary massively, our two-bedroom apartment in Bayshores was $1800 CAD per month. Which was very reasonable, but the maximum number of tenants allowed was two. A big plus was it had a large wrap-around balcony and garden.
For units in Whistler village you are likely going to pay at least $2000 CAD per month for a studio, and from $2200 for a one-bedroom apartment. If you go further afield to Pemberton (a 30 minute drive) average rental prices for a one-bedroom decrease to about $1500 CAD per month. Further away in Squamish, a 45 minute drive from Whistler you’re lookign at about $1600 CAD for a one-bedroom.
If you really want to save money on rent, you can rent a bed in a room from about $500 CAD per month, this is just a bed so you will be sharing the room with one or two other people. Again this price massively depends on where the house is located and the condition of it. Some share houses are truly awful. Similarly, you can rent your own room in a share house from $1200 per room.
The best neighborhoods to live in Whistler
There are a couple of neighbourhoods in Whistler, here I will list the best/most popular. We lived in Bayshores for two full years and loved it.
Is the closest area to Whistler village, the prices here are a little more expensive but the apartments/ houses here are generally of good condition
The “original Whistler village” is a mini-village in itself and has some stores, bars and even the gondola to go up the mountain – meaning you don’t have to make your way into Whistler to ski
A family-friendly neighborhood with some beautiful chalet-style homes. It is a 10-15 minute drive into Whistler and a 15-20 minute walk to Creekside. Regular bus services operate from here.
Alpine Meadow/ Rainbow
Home to Meadow Park Sports Center and a large supermarket. It is a very popular and relatively cheap area to rent. It’s a 10-15 minute drive into Whistler, with a regular bus service operating.
Function Junction/ Cheakamus Crossing
These are the first neighborhoods you will come across as you drive up from Vancouver. Function Junction is more of an industrial area with some housing scattered within, it is home to the locally famous Re-use It Center. Cheakamus Crossing is the furthest neighbourhood from Whistler village, but most of the rental units here are new.
We recommend (if your budget allows) renting an apartment whilst you look for suitable long-term housing, here’s a list of some airbnbs we recommend –
ThisStudio apartment in Whistler Village, costs from $75 CAD per night. It features a gas fireplace, Queen bed, Queen pull-out bed and is steps away from all the restaurants/ bars in Whistler.
This Studio Apartment located in Creekside, costs just $45 CAD per night. It is located above locals favorite Creekbread restaurant and features a seasonal pool, patio with BBQ and a hot tub (which is available all-year for a small fee).
This Cozy Studio on Main Street with a hot tub & pool costs from $75 CAD per night. From the Studio it is just a 7 minute walk to the base of both Whistler & Blackcomb Mountain.
This super-luxurious ski-in-ski-out 1 bedroom apartment in Whistler’s Upper Village is trully gorgeous. Average nightly price is $250CAD per night!
This Studio apartment for $130 CAD per night is located within the Mountain Side Hotel in Whistler Village. It’s ski-in-ski-out and is rated highly 9.5/10) by past guests
The documents you should have at every viewing include:
A form of I.D like your drivers licence, passport or other form of photographic I.D.
References from past landlords
A current work reference
A current payslip or bank statement that shows your income
What you need to know about paying for utilities in Whistler
Utilities are typically not included in the monthly rent price in Whistler so make sure you have additional savings to pay electricity/gas and WiFi.When renting in Whistler, you need to set up the utilities accounts (gas, electric, WiFi etc.) in your own name. Ask your landlord which companies supply your gas and electricity, as it’s easier to stick with the same companies. You can of course shop around to get the best deal.WiFi and TV providers are competitive in Whistler so make sure you shop around to get the best available deal.
There’s no curbside waste collection in Whistler so you must physically bring your household waste to the rubbish depot at either Nesters (8010 Nesters Road) or Function Junction (1001 Lynham Road).
There is a reason why so many people enjoy traveling. It’s an excellent (and potentially expensive) hobby that opens you up to hundreds of new experiences and pushes you out of your comfort zone. You’re sure to have a great and rerlaxing time wherever you go. That is unless you view hiking Mount Everest as a travel destination.
Putting all jokes aside, traveling is truly eye-opening. You can explore some of the worlds greatest sights like the Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China, The Pyramids of Giza, Big Ben and so on.
As great as visiting the Taj Mahal and The Great Wall of China sounds, one of the coolest places in the world to visit has to be Australia. Why Australia? Well, there are plenty of reasons.
The best places to visit in Australia
First stop in Australia has to be the Sydney Harbour. The Sydney Harbour is the most iconic spot in Australia due to its awesome beaches and the famous Sydney Opera House. On Australia.com, the Sydney Harbour is described as, “an aquatic playground for Sydneysiders, with more than 240 kilometres (150 miles) of shoreline, punctuated by unspoiled beaches, picturesque gardens, and pockets of natural bush.”
Secondly, you have Australias all-round natural beauty. The geographical landscapes as well as the vast array of wildlife you have the chance to interact with are truly unique in Australia. There are a large number of nature tours you can take, from diving down to the Great Barrier Reef to visiting the remote areas of Tasmania. There is even a nature tour that gives you the chance to swim with a platypus!
Plus, beyond going out and seeing all the creatures the continent has to offer, you can also visit some of those aforementioned landscapes. For instance, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a beautiful sight due to the rare ‘Red Centre’ rock formation you can see.
Still, this is just one of many places to visit that contains some of Australia’s great nature. The Cairns rainforest is a breathtaking place, with luscious green trees, waterfalls, and – you guessed it – a bunch of animals!
Plus, there is plenty more to do in Australia than visit Sydney and go to the rainforests or beaches.
For instance, The Laneways of Melbourne are, in a word, awesome. Containing plenty of bars, music, and street artwork, visiting the Laneways is a fun time that does not require you to get down and dirty. Still, if one of your travel companions wants to see the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park while you want to go to the Laneways, you would have to coordinate on how to get from Melbourne to Uluru. But that is beside the point. The point is that Australia is a great place to visit, and it should most definitely be on your list of travel destinations.