Distance: 3.0km / 1.8 Miles – Easy
If you like to go a-wandering, this circular walk from Red Cottage is one of the nicest and most convenient. It will last for about one hour and offers some fantastic views of Rye and its surrounding countryside. You start the walk by turning left out of our gate onto Tillingham Avenue and you continue 50 yards where you’ll see the picturesque River Tillingham.
The path off on your right is the way to Freedom Leisure swimming pool and gym if you are still feeling energetic after your walk! But for now, continue on the path as it bears around to the right where you’ll see a hill in front of you. Yes, you climb it. A cemetery awaits you at the top (this is not to suggest the climb is that arduous or indeed dangerous) together with some ‘fab’ views, as Rick Stein would say, if, of course, he did the walk. The Tillingham Valley is quite inspiring.
While you’re in the cemetery see if you can find the grave of E.F.Benson, English author and one time resident of Lamb House. He is perhaps most famously known for his series of books depicting the humorous and abrasive lives of Mapp and Lucia the fictional ladies of Tilling (Rye). The books inspired not one but two TV series.
As you proceed through this fascinating cemetery you’ll see two, at one time, twin chapels.
One was burned down by vandals but wasn’t sufficiently insured to be rebuilt so our council declared it an official ruin. A complete lack of brain cells around!
You will eventually exit and turn left onto the uninspiring A268 saved only by the King’s Head pub if you feel you deserve a break after your climb.
Luckily this part of your walk is only a few minutes long before you turn left into Leesam Lane. Before you do, you might spy the 6th century Playden Church which is worth a visit at some other time.
A couple of other interesting walks feather off the Leesam Lane which we’ll tell you more about elsewhere on our web-site.
Leesam Lane offers great views of the North Downs and across the Weald and later you’ll see the iconic profile of Rye come back into view on your left.
Leesam House will eventually appear in front of you (Yours for the reasonable price of £9.5 million, but hurry as this offer can’t last!) On the left by its entrance you’ll see a footpath that starts the descent down towards home. See if you can spot Red Cottage and Rye Windmill.
You’ll pass Rolvenden Farm further down and you may be greeted by the owners’ lovely dogs.
Tip. You might want to do this walk in reverse if you feel the first hill might be too much.
The map below shows a gap but it is on the national trail and can be completed in a loop. You may wish to download the free Komoot app (below) or see the full map via the OS map here.