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You might just want the chance to relax at Swallowtail Hill without moving from your cabin or cottage-on-wheels, but often guests who are new to the region want to explore – and there are plenty of things to see and places to visit.

Our nearest town is Rye. Once surrounded by sea it was a fortified hilltop town and played an important role in the defence of the south coast of England.
 
The tower of St Mary’s Church at the top of the hill offers a wonderful view of the rooftops of the towns many beautifully preserved Medieval, Tudor and Georgian houses. These wonderful old buildings, cobbled streets and secret passages were once the haunt of smugglers and highwaymen.  Rye Castle Museum and the Ypres Tower are an excellent starting point to discover some of the history of the town.
 
Rye is also home to Lamb House – once lived in by the American author Henry James who wrote some of his most highly regarded works while a resident of the town. Later the house was home to British writer E.F. Benson, famous for his Mapp and Lucia novels which were closely based on Rye.

There are other literary connections in the area too – Batemans is not too far away, a beautiful 17th Century Ironmasters house which was home to Rudyard Kipling. Visitors can see his study exactly as it was and enjoy the gardens which include one of the world’s oldest working watermills.

Smallhythe Place was built in the early 16th Century when the area was a thriving shipbuilding port. It later became the home of renowned Victorian Actress, Ellen Terry in 1899. The house is now a museum displaying a wonderful personal and theatrical collection that reflects the actress’s extraordinary career. There’s also a 17th Century thatched barn theatre which is still used today.

Mermaid Street

A walk along Rye's most famous street is storybook lovely. As you wander along take a look at the unusual house names - 'The House With the Seat', 'The House Opposite', 'The House With Two Front Doors'.

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Spooky!

Drop into the Mermaid Inn for a drink and soak up some of its 600 year history - the place is reputedly one of the most haunted in Britain!

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Further Afield

Drive towards Lewes and visitors to the region can enjoy Charleston House – once home to artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It celebrates the legacy of the famous Bloomsbury Group which included some of the twentieth century’s most pioneering writers, artists and thinkers.

Castles

Bodiam Castle is a magnificient 14th century moated castle and it’s just a short drive from the farm. There’s always plenty going on during weekends and school holidays including have-a-go archery and falconry.
 
Battle Abbey is the site where the armies of King Harold and William the Conqueror clashed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Visitors can explore the battlefield and the ruined Abbey, there’s a good visitor centre, new family exhibition and play area – great for a day out.

Hastings Castle was Britain’s first Norman Castle – the site is a great place to explore more of the 1066 story and to enjoy wonderful views over the coastline

Built by Henry VIII Camber Castle lies between Rye and Winchelsea. There are regular guided walks to explore this artillery fort which was built to defend the port of Rye.

What Our Guests Say

I am in love with this place! This place is perfection! Wonderful hosts too. Can't wait to come back for more adventures. A slice of heaven in the world - it will always be a special place for us both.

Sam & MJ

Perfect, idyllic, lovely and special times together.

Sheena and Lenny

The best pork pie we've ever eaten! We couldn't eat it all on our picnic (you don't underfeed do you!), so we're taking the rest home with us - delicious. Thank you.

Amanda & Michael

Wow – the Meadow Keeper’s Cottage is a work of genius. A beautiful, peaceful, setting and a most relaxing of places to stay. We loved every minute of it. Will definitely be back in the future.

Em & Dom

Brilliant weekend in Woodcutter’s Cottage. Very peaceful and left feeling purified, living in London as we do. Showered in sleet the first morning and frost the next, but the shower was toasty and invigorating.

Joe & Zoe Sharpe

The kids have loved the freedom here, the experiences, not to mention feeding the animals. Thank you for sharing this with us.

The Toppers

The most amazing weekend, so magical! Sarah & Christopher are the pefect hosts and couldn't have made our time here more special. Had our own private dinner in the Hill Top Tent watching the sun go down and my boyfriend proposed! Will never forget our stay here!

Dom & Matt

What a find! Exactly what we needed for a few days. Time together, no business, no children and time with a book. Sarah and Christopher thank you for your great hospitality. Rye – thank you for the great shops. Lunch at the George was fab. The experience has been fantastic and I’d like to think we’ll see you again one day.

Mary & Nick

We had a wonderful few days staying in the cottage, playing games and toasting marshmallows and running in the sand dune of Camber Sands - thank you.

The Whitings

Very much enjoyed our stay and also the boat trip to Bodiam; the science observatory at Herstmonceaux; and the rare breeds centre as well as fish & chips on the beach at Winchelsea. Many thanks!

Katie & Co.

Thank you for such a wonderful stay in your beautiful Meadow Keeper's Cottage. It's just the sweetest hideaway with some amazing touches. The area is stunning we visited Rye, Bodiam Castle and had a great meal at The Ferry Inn. A very special way to spend our first wedding anniversary.

Cathy & James

What a way to celebrate a 70th birthday, back to nature with most of the family. We had glorious weather too. Thank yoy for a great weekend!

Tish & John

Thank you for the beautiful setting and the most perfect wedding day. What a beautiful place to wake up as Mr & Mrs. We first fell in love with Swallowtail Hill two years ago - we'll definitely be back. Magical!

Hannah & Lee

Loved our time with you – thank you so much! Really relaxing just being here and got super lucky with the weather. Cooked an extravaganza on the campfire on two occasions, loved feeding the gorgeous animals, and waking up with the dawn to foxes, bird song, squirrels and sheep. Beautifully snug. Thank you so much.

Marie-Louise, Becca & Suko

A unique experiece for a great escape away from the stresses and strains for modern city life and mod cons. Thank you!

Nadia & Claire

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