Getting Around

The Nature Reserve and birdwatching hides are open at all times along a network of footpaths - these are shown on our reserve map page. Entry is free. It is an ideal place for visitors with limited mobility because the ground is level and most footpaths have a good surface. There is a private road that runs through the Beach Reserve that is good for wheelchairs and all five birdwatching hides are accessible to some wheelchairs.

Access for disabled people

There is a large car park at Rye Harbour that is run by Icklesham Parish Council who ask for a donation to fund this and the adjacent toilets. The toilets have facilities for disabled visitors who have a RADAR key (available from your local council).

Information Centres

In the car park there is an unmanned kiosk with information displayed on the outside.



Our temporary information cabins are 200 metres from the car park, towards the sea along a private road. It is opened by volunteers 10am – 5pm (10am – 4pm October to March) and provides free guides and local sales items. You can also fill your water bottle here for free and it is accessible to most wheelchairs. We are building the new Discovery Centre a little further down this road.

Birdwatching Hides

Beach Reserve

  • John Gooders Hide – fully accessible.
  • Guy Crittall Hide – fully accessible.
  • Ray Parkes Hide – accessible to electric wheelchairs and scooters and some manual wheelchairs (loose stones along path).
  • Steve Denny Hide – accessible to electric wheelchairs and scooters and some manual wheelchairs (loose stones along path).

Castle Water

  • Ken Halpin Hide – in dry weather accessible to electric wheelchairs and scooters; path not easy for manual wheelchairs.


From the car park a private tarmac road leads down to the River Mouth for some 1200 metres. Along this route there are regular (approx. 100m.) refuges with seating for you to stop and rest.

The Information Centre is 450m. from the car park, then the John Gooders Hide is another 250m. and the Guy Crittall Hide, Ray Parkes Hide and Steve Denny Hide are a further 1500m. These hides give excellent close views of breeding seabirds, ducks and waders and much, much more. The Ken Halpin Hide is close to Camber Castle and overlooks Castle Water giving good views of ducks, Cormorant, Marsh Harrier and Bittern.

WARNING – the private road is used by some large vehicles, especially mid-week during the winter, so please use the refuges along the road to give them plenty of room to pass.


The Beach Reserve with its long tarmac road is particularly suitable for wheelchairs and we do have mobility scooters for hire - see this link RH mobility scooter. Electric and some manual wheelchair users can get around the short circular route that takes in Lime Kiln Cottage, River Mouth and the Gooders, Parkes and Denny Hides.

Public Footpaths

The Rye Bay Countryside area has a wealth of footpaths to explore, with most being fairly easy going. The area is mostly covered by the Ordnance Survey Explorer 125 map. Several circular routes are possible from our map of the nature reserve page.

For the more adventurous, several long-distance footpaths pass close by, including the 1066 Country Walk, the Saxon Shore Way, the High Weald Landscape Trail, the Sussex Border Path and the Royal Military Canal Path. Click here for more details.

ViewRanger Walking Route

Download Rye Harbour Ramble


Cycling is an ideal way to take in the delights of an area as large and flat as the Rye Bay Countryside. The area is well served by several National Cycle Network trails.

Cycles can be hired in Rye from Rye Hire click here for details.

For further information, free printable leaflets, and routes for cycling in the area, please visit East Sussex County Council's Cycling in East Sussex page and Kent County Council's Cycling in Kent page.