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Situated at the confluence of 3 rivers, the picturesque market town of Rye in East Sussex, with its timbered houses, cobbled streets and secret passages, is steeped in history. 

And in medieval times, when it was almost entirely surrounded by sea, it played an important role as a strategic trading port.

Now two miles from the coast, as well as a deservedly popular tourist destination, Rye continues to operate as a port, landing fish daily.  And its shallow and sheltered waters mean it has become renowned for its scallops, celebrated every year with the ‘Rye Bay Scallop Week’.

Scallops on the menu throughout Rye

With special scallop menus prepared by hotels and restaurants throughout the town, there is also an extensive list of similarly themed activities, including scallop preparation and cooking demonstrations, local wine tasting, quizzes and live music.

What a Load of Old Scallops 

And if that’s not enough to persuade you to visit, the festival concludes on the 10th February with the acclaimed ‘The What a Load of Old Scallops Race’, where teams compete in their aim to be the first to push a wheelbarrow load of scallop shells from the port to the local pub. 

Apparently a team from Brighton won last year, so the pressure is definitely on for the locals to bag it this year…

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