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Welcome to Winchelsea

Winchelsea is a hidden gem, well worth visiting, even for a day. Just wander round this beautiful Sussex village or seek out Winchelsea's fascinating history by following one of our recommended walks and visiting the 13th century Church and museum of the defunct Winchelsea Corporation.

St Thomas's Church, Winchelsea

A base from which to explore the countryside and coast

Winchelsea from the Udimore ridge, Nick Chillingworth 2010

Visitors staying in Sussex will find Winchelsea a convenient base from which to explore the surrounding country and nearby coast. It is located where the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty meets Romney Marsh. From Winchelsea, it is just two miles to Rye (see a map), the other Ancient Town in the Cinque Port Confederation, and about 8 miles to Hastings, one of the five original Cinque Ports. Winchelsea also sits on the Royal Military Canal, which stretches almost from Hastings to Hythe, and at the end of the beautiful Brede Valley. There are several beaches in the vicinity, including the fabulous dunes at Camber Sands and, almost on the doorstep, the shingle Winchelsea Beach.

Things to do

Walking routes

Cycling routes

  • National Cycle Network National Route 2 --- also called the South Coast Trail --- which runs from Portsmouth to Dover. The section through Winchelsea runs from Rye via Udimore across the Brede Valley and then on to Hastings via Winchelsea Beach and Pett.
  • Rye Rides --- three circular on and off-road circular cycle rides:
    • Weald and Coast --- from Winchelsea Station out along the Royal Military Canal and the Brede Valley and back again via Cliff End/Pett and Winchelsea Beach (12mi/19km). Hilly sections.
    • Canal and Castle --- from Winchelsea Station along Sustrans NCN Route 2 to Rye and then back via Camber Castle (5mi/8km). Largely off-road. Fairly flat.
    • Orchards and Oasts --- from Rye out along the River Rother into Kent and then back via Iden or Peasmarsh (on-road 12mi/19km; off-road 9 miles/14.5km).
  • Circular Rye & Winchelsea Cycling Route taking in Winchelsea, Rye, Beckley, Brede and Guestling.

For bird-watchers and naturalists

Tailor-made tours in the area between Hastings and Rye can be organised for bird-watchers who wish to get off the beaten track, and for other visitors interested in general wildlife or landscape history, by Cliff Dean at RXbirdwalks, who can be contacted on 07906-560881 or by e-mail.

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Good Visitor Code

Please help to preserve our unique village by observing the following courtesies:

  • Do not park on the pavements as you will damage them, particularly the red brick pavements in the High Street, which are a special feature of Winchelsea. The roads are wide enough to allow parking on both sides.
  • Do not park on the grass verges. These are another special feature of Winchelsea but are also unfortunately being eroded by cars.