Parking information for Rye, Sussex (Charges shown are for 2007)
Parking in Rye is not easy. There are a number of car parks here but there are also lots of cars looking for parking spaces. The council run car parks are, without exception, expensive and you can, for example, pay £5.00 a day in some council car parks. Details of council parking charges are to be found on their own web site ( go down the page to the section on parking in Rye). The cheapest council car park is near the windmill and is £2.50 per day.
There are, however, some alternatives. The railway station car park charges £1.50 per day (24 hours) but the ticket expires at 4:00 AM which makes parking overnight impractical but is fine for daytime only use although you will have to be lucky to find a space. (NOTE: Charge increased to £2.40 per day in 2011)
There is a privately run car park along the Winchelsea Road. After you cross the river near Strand Quay going towards Winchelsea you will first come to a council operated car park which you should ignore. About 100 yards further on there is an entrance to your left with a parking sign which gives a charge of £2.00 per day.
There is another, cheaper, privately run car park with it's entrance in Rope Walk, a turning between Cinque Ports Street and Tower Street. This takes 150 cars and the charge is £1.00 for 24 hours. However, it is closed on Thursdays because the market is held there. You cannot park overnight on Wednesday and you cannot return until around 5:00 PM on Thursday until the market stalls are cleared away. When we arrived in Rye at around lunchtime there were only two spaces left - it's very popular because it's cheap. However, Thursdays excepted, this one should be your first choice. (NOTE: Charge increased by 50% in 2010 to £1.50)
There is some street parking all around the town, including High Street, but it is limited to 1 hour only with return to the same area prohibited for 2 hours. These restrictions apply, generally, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and outside of those hours you can park for as long as you like. The restriction times can vary a little so you should check on one of the nearby signs.
Finally, if you're stuck, go down Rye Harbour Road and a short way down past the boatyard and just before the Jehova's Witnessess Kingdom Hall on the left is a dirt strip wide enough for a car and long enough for a number of vehicles. It is a little potholed but drive along it slowly as I did and you'll not have any problems. It is free and there appear to be no restrictions on parking, I saw a coach parked there, and I parked there for most of a day without problems but you do it at your own risk.
The free street plan mentioned on the information page shows all of the car parks, including the cheap one in Rope Walk, but does not show the private one on the Winchelsea Road. However the council one is shown and the private one is near that so you should not have a problem finding it. You can download the same guide and street plan as a PDF document otherwise look on the information page for the Tourist Information Centre contact details.
The above information is based on our visit to Rye in June 2007.