ENJOY A TASTE OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS IN RYE BAY

On water and on land, lovers of the great outdoors can enjoy a huge number of thrilling, healthy and fun activities in Rye Bay in 2012.

With the medieval East Sussex town of Rye at its hub, Rye Bay is developing a reputation as one of the South East’s hottest destinations for outdoor sports and activities. Away from the hilltop town’s cobbled streets and old world charms, you can spend your days fishing, sailing, canoeing, power-boating, kite-surfing, cycling, horse riding, golfing and rambling.

Rye Bay offers excellent sailing throughout the year and the rivers Rother and Tillingham are both popular with canoeists. Stretching 28 miles from Seabrook in Kent to Cliff End in East Sussex, the Royal Military Canal passes through Rye offering visitors opportunities for boating and fishing. The canal was originally designed as a defensive structure for keeping out invaders and is now a popular waterway.

Speedboats can be chartered from Rye Harbour. Great for stag and hen parties or for groups of up to 20 people. Honda Powerboat Race experiences even allow customers to drive a race-prepared 150 HP boat around a ‘racetrack’ at sea.

Rye BayAt Rye Watersports, windsurfing and sailing is available from March to November on a safe inland lake, while the more adventurous can try their hand at kitesurfing on nearby Camber Sands, a glorious expanse of white sandy beach. The family-run centre is offering a totally new experience for 2012 – stand up paddleboarding!

Stand up paddleboarding derives from the early days of surfing in Hawaii. SUP-ing is taught on the lake or go one step further and try stand up paddlesurfing out on the sea, where even small waves can be caught to give you an amazing adrenalin rush. Learning to SUP is easy, whether you want a gentle paddle on a lake or fun in the surf.

For landlubbers, there’s a huge choice of outdoor activities on the coast or in the countryside across Rye Bay. Ramblers are spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring the region on foot – away from the coast there are glorious woodlands and forests and wide open spaces to enjoy.

Across the River Rother estuary lies the 805-acre Rye Harbour Nature Reserve that stretches along the shoreline. There are many walking paths, including one that loops the entire reserve. Local audio walking tours are also offered.

From two wheels to four legs, visitors can also enjoy cycling tours and horse riding breaks. Go hacking in lovely countryside from several riding stables across Rye Bay.

Cycles can be hired in the town and cyclists have a wide choice when it comes to routes along the coast or inland to discover the leafy lanes and tranquil hamlets. National Route 2 passes through Rye on its way from Dover to Brighton.

There are a number of high quality golf courses to test your skills, from challenging coastal links to beautiful parks courses.

And for those who prefer watching to participating, catch the first-ever Rye Triathlon in June. This exciting new addition to the UK’s triathlon calendar features a sea swim off Winchelsea Beach; a scenic but challenging cycle ride up through Winchelsea, Pett and Guestling before a thrilling descent down Battery Hill and along the coast road to the finish where the run section is held entirely within Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

Or cheer on the participants in the 1066 Relay race in May, a five stage off-road team relay race. Back on the water the annual Rye raft race draws large crowds to the town every August. Visiting yachts and small craft are welcome at the Strand Quay, where facilities include toilets and showers. The River Rother is navigable upstream by sailing boats and small cruisers. The river flows peacefully through the High Weald to the 14th century Bodiam Castle.

And for the ultimate spectator ‘sport’ visitors can get a taste of Olympic glory by joining in the fun when Rye welcomes the Olympic torch relay on 18 July, 2012.

For more information about holidays and short breaks in Rye Bay check out www.visitryebay.com  or email enquiries@visitryebay.com

Editor's Note: We've been told that the Royal Military Canal in the Rye area is open year round (no closed season) for fishing. Usual requirements for day licences etc. For full details see: www.royalmilitarycanal.com

Photo by Clive Sawyer at www.clivephotographer.com