Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

Kent, England

The trail:

  • Location: Kent, England
  • Categories: Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter / Marine west coast / Coastal / Marsh / Rural / Beach / Sea / Lake
  • Duration: 2-5 hours
  • Distance: 6 Miles

Walking the trail:

  • Summary: Established in 1970 this Sussex wildlife nature reserve is huge at 1149 acres. Lots of interconnecting trail paths make for great walking and bird/wildlife watching. Add in a castle, history and the sea to make this great day trip, best enjoyed during sunset hours.

This last year I’ve been visiting far more nature reserves during my hiking adventures. I generally find nature reserves fairly limiting as walking destinations but if you incorporate them as a small part of a larger route (outside the reserves boundaries) then they become part of a rewarding day out with emphasis on both the landscape and its wildlife within.

Rye Harbour in East Sussex is a bit of an exception as the reserve is massive at 1149 acres. There’s plenty of footpaths to walk through the reserve so with this route I managed to find a nice easy (its all flat) 6 mile walk that starts at the main reserve car park and heads down the main path towards the coast and bird watching hides. Then a brief stroll along the beach end and you pick up some winding footpaths into the central quieter parts of the reserve.  This eventually leads you to the rather interesting Camber Castle which you can go into with a paid visit. The loop then continues and brings you back to the main car park. If you’re out during sunset hours the views across the saltmarsh looking west are fantastic.

Located by the car park is also a café which is always a welcome addition to any walk.

Car park post code is TN31 7TX.

The reserve itself is managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust so if you enjoy this and other reserves become a member at £5 minimum a month which helps with nature recovery in the UK.

For more information on the reserve itself, visit the website below.


 Any questions on the route feel free to message. GPX route also available.