Mermaid Inn

“Memorable seafood dishes in historic smugglers’ inn”



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Our View

The atmosphere of the smugglers’ inn remains at the Mermaid, which is one of the most famous and photographed of England’s ancient pubs. This venerable black and white timber-fronted building was a haunt of seafarers from the Cinque Port harbour. Its colourful history is reflected in ships’ timbers for beams, a vast inglenook where the infamous Hawkshurst gang warmed themselves, a hidden priest hole, and huge open fireplaces carved from French stone ballast dredged from Rye harbour. British and French-style food is served in the bar, restaurant and under sunshades on the patio. Perhaps choose local mussels, beetroot, apple and ginger risotto; followed by south coast cod in beer batter; traditional steak and kidney pudding; or the sea food platter. Superb wines, local Harvey’s beer and comfortable bedrooms complete the package.

Awards, accolades & Welcome Schemes

AA Pick of the Pubs
Mermaid Inn
Mermaid Street, RYE, TN31 7EY


About the area

Discover East Sussex

East Sussex, along with its western counterpart, is packed with interest. This is a land of stately homes and castles, miles of breezy chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel, pretty rivers, picturesque villages and links to our glorious past. Mention Sussex to many people and images of the South Downs immediately spring to mind – ‘vast, smooth, shaven, serene,’ as the writer Virginia Woolf described them. She and her husband lived at Monk’s House in the village of Rodmell, near Lewes, and today, her modest home is managed by the National Trust and open to the public.

There are a great many historic landmarks within Sussex, but probably the most famous is the battlefield where William, Duke of Normandy defeated Harold and his Saxon army to become William the Conqueror of England. By visiting Battle, near Hastings, you can, with a little imagination, picture the bloody events that led to his defeat. East Sussex’s pretty towns such as Lewes, Rye and Uckfield have their charms, while the city of Brighton offers museums and fascinating landmarks, the best-known and grandest feature being the Royal Pavilion. 


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