By Emma Chaplin
Sussex Wildlife Trust is keen for people to come to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve using public transport, where possible. But how easy is it to do that?
I decided to give it a go.
I've been coming to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve by train as often as it's possible since taking up my post in September 2018. But, truthfully, I've been lucky enough to persuade kind colleagues to meet me at Rye train station and drive me two and a half miles to the reserve.
I felt it was important to try walking instead, to see what it's like. Of course, bus or taxi are your other options. The 313 bus leaves from stop D outside Rye train station and departs once an hour. Unfortunately, the timing meant that was half an hour after my train arrived. Rye Taxis (07774 633046) estimate a cab journey would cost about £7.50.
In walking terms, there is a long, circular ViewRanger route option, at just over 9 miles, taking in more of the reserve, but I had a meeting to get to, so took the direct route. I estimated it will take me 40 minutes to walk.
On foot, you want to avoid most of Harbour Road, because it is pretty boring industrial estate, although there is now a cycle lane. You can cut out much of it when you're walking by following the track where the old railway line used to run.
As someone who finds it remarkably easy to get lost, I have to say, I don't think the signposting from the train station is brilliant, and, given what a beautiful place Rye is, it's not the loveliest route initially. You head down Wish Street, over the roundabout past the chip shop, crossing the river with the boats on your left, following Winchelsea Road (which curves left), then turn left into Harbour Road.
Then it gets better. You cut right through a gate onto the reserve just after you cross Brede Lock.
You find yourself in a beautiful spot. I'd wear sensible shoes and leg-covering clothing. I imagine it might be muddy after rain, and there were nettles initially.
But I loved the long, grassy views across to Camber Castle and the grazing sheep.
It was beautiful, seeing the water.
Eventually you cut back onto Harbour Road, but not for long.
Then you're there.
After my meetings, to get back to the station, I caught the bus. It's the 113 from opposite the Rye Harbour Village shop. There is one an hour, it goes a couple of minutes past the hour (single £1.80, June 2019), takes five or ten minutes, and drops you outside the train station.
PS On my next visit, I got the 113 to the reserve as well, because it went five minutes or so after my train arrived (about ten to the hour). £2.70 return, July 2019.
For more information on getting to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve by public transport, click here