One of the most historic buildings in the area, parts of The Mermaid Inn date back to the 1100s and the haphazard layout of the interior with its narrow corridors, sloping ceilings and hidden passageways, reflects this. The inn is situated on Mermaid Street which is one of the most characterful in Rye, with cobblestones, vines and flowers crawling up medieval half-timbered buildings and a view down toward the river.
Within, you’ll find exposed wooden beams, traditional rugs, large fireplaces and stained glass windows throughout, along with squeaky floorboards, uneven corridors and low ceilings. Each of the 31 room is individual in style and layout and named after a significant local character or incident in the building’s history. Some have four-poster beds or intricately carved antiques, others latticed windows and secret passageways.
The hotel has a public bar, whose enormous fireplace has a priest hole (a 16th-century hiding place for Catholic clergy) halfway up the chimney, while the Linen Fold Panelled Restaurant is highly-regarded locally for its modern British menu. Due to the historic nature of the hotel, there is no lift, but staff are on hand to help with luggage whenever needed.