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How to get to Winchelsea

There are a number of routes to Winchelsea. The first stage is to get to Rye:

The second stage is then to get from Rye to Winchelsea.

Map of roads to Winchelsea

Stage I - How to get to Rye

How to get to Rye from London via the M25 and A21

Distance: 37 miles
Average time: 60 minutes

Leave the M25 at Junction 5 and take the A21 South. At Flimwell, you will come to a major cross-roads with traffic lights. Take the slip road to the left onto the A268 to Rye. You will pass through Hawkhurst, Sandhurst, Newenden, Beckley, Peasmarsh, Rye Foreign and Playden. From Playden, you will go down Rye Hill. At the bottom is a narrow hump-backed bridge. From the bridge, you will see a road leading up to the historic Land Gate, into the citadel of Rye: there is no entry into this road. Instead, follow the road sharp left, past Skinner’s Garage on the right, to a roundabout. Take the second turning (which is more or less straight ahead). Then, proceed to Stage II of these directions.

How to get to Rye from London via the M25 and M20

Distance: 34 miles
Average time: 50 minutes

Leave the M25 at either (1) Junction 5 to join the M26 and continue until it joins the M20 at Junction 3 or (2) Junction 3 to join the M20 directly. Leave the M20 at Junction 10 (Willesborough) and follow the A2070. The A2070 passes through Snave. Join the A259 at Brenzett. The A259 runs across Romney Marsh via Brookland and East Guldeford. Be careful in the dark or bad weather: the roads are narrow and winding, and have deep ditches either side. To get into Rye, you will have to cross a narrow metal bridge. You will come to a roundabout. Opposite will be Skinners Garage. Take the first turning. Then, proceed to Stage II of these directions.

How to get to Rye from Dover

Distance: 42 miles
Average time: 61 minutes

Take the Dock Exit Road out of the Docks for the A2070 (Willesborough) and pick up the above route from the M25 via the M20.

How to get to Rye from the Channel Tunnel

Distance: 34 miles
Average time: 50 minutes

Join the M20 at Junction 11 going West. Leave at Junction 10 for the A2070 (Willesborough) and pick up the above route from the M25 via the M20.

Stage II - How to get from Rye to Winchelsea

Distance: 2 miles
Average time: 3 minutes

From the roundabout by Skinners Garage, the road (A259) runs under the cliff on your right, on which stands the citadel of Rye. The road bends sharp right under the cliff and then emerges onto Strand Quay (on your right, you should see black-tarred net huts and on the left is the quayside). You will come to a second roundabout with a fish and chip shop (Kettle of Fish) dead ahead. Take the first turning (to the left) to Winchelsea. You are still on the A259.

Once you have left Rye, the road runs straight through open countryside for a mile and then bends right and runs straight again, but for less than a mile. It then enters a 30 mph zone and bears left over a stone bridge. Straight after the bridge, there is a turning off to the left to Winchelsea Beach (Sea Road). On the right, opposite the junction with Sea Road is a garage selling caravans (JC Leisure). The road bends right past the garage. The Bridge Inn is next on the right. Drive slowly here. The road runs through a narrow gap between the corner of a house and the footway on the other side of the road. It then rises over a hump. The A259 continues down the other side of the hump. At the top of the hump, there is a left turn into Winchelsea up a steep hill.

At the top of the hill is the Strand Gate, one of the ancient gates into the Town. The gateway is narrow and the road is reduced to a single lane (there is a mirror on the other side to show vehicles coming the other way). There is also a height restriction of 7 feet and a width restriction of 6 foot 6 inches. The gateway is not suitable for lorries, buses, coaches, caravans and vans (these vehicles should stay on the A259 and enter Winchelsea from the other side). Once through the Strand Gate, the road turns very sharply to the right and continues uphill into the High Street.

If you miss the turning up Strand Hill, or are in a vehicle that cannot get through the Strand Gate, continue on the A259. The hill on which Winchelsea sits will be to your left. You will come to a left-hand hairpin bend. This is Ferry Hill. It is very steep. At the top is another ancient gate, Ferry or Pipewell Gate. Do not enter though this gate but follow the road to the right past the gate. Take the second turning left after the Ferry Gate into Hiham Gardens, at the end of which, you should stop at the junction. The New Inn is on your right. The road ahead of you is the High Street.

Top | Town Map

Trains and buses

Local train (Hastings-Winchelsea-Rye-Ashford Marshlink) timetable.

Local bus (100) timetable and route map.

To and from London, you can now catch the fast train between Ashford and St Pancras. This takes about 40 minutes, but is slightly more expensive than the normal train. The fast train stops at Stratford, from where you can get to Canary Wharf.

Look up the next trains to go from Rye on the live departure board.

Taxis from Rye to Winchelsea

Empire Taxis 07816-958738
Estate Taxis 07813-351646
Rother Cabs 01797-224554
Rye Motor Taxis 01797-223176
Taxi-Time 01797-224016

Long-distance taxis

Leisure Travel 07773-922890
A2B Taxis 07752-959795
Castle Cars 07720-713112

Plotting a route

Plot a detailed route from anywhere in the UK or the Continent to Winchelsea using either the Google Map opposite or the Driving Directions in Map Quest.

Where is Winchelsea?

Winchelsea is on the South East coast of England in the County of East Sussex, close to the border with Kent. It is 54 miles from Charing Cross in London, 31 miles from Dover and 29 miles from the Channel Tunnel.

The map reference for Winchelsea is 0° 43' E, 50° 55' N.
The National Grid Reference (NGR) for the centre of the modern village is TQ 5904 1173.
To use SatNav to get to Winchelsea, use postcode TN36 4EA (High Street).

When you get to Winchelsea

There are no road signs. Take a look at the Town Map so you don't get lost when you arrive.