The country side of Britain is stunning to a new visitor like noodlies, Sydney food blog.

“Nothing, and I mean, absolutely nothing – is more extraordinary in Britain than the beauty of the countryside… the makers of Britain created the most superlatively park-like landscapes, the most orderly cities, the handsomest provincial towns, the quaintest seaside resorts, the stateliest homes, the most dreamily-spired, cathedral-rich, castle-strewn, abbey-bedecked, folly-scattered, green-wooded, winding-laned, sheep-dotted, plumply hedgerowed, well-tended, sublimely decorated 50,318 square miles the world has ever known – almost none of it is undertaken with aesthetics in mind, but all of it adding up to something that is quite often, perfect” writes Bill Bryson*.

He’s right of course, the countryside is glorious. Coming around each bend, a new wonder unfolds.

Rye, in the south of England is a perfect case in point. “Quaint” is often used to describe this town that sums up everything that is glorious about the countryside, cobbled roads, breathtaking old architecture, houses adorned with blooming nasturtiums and geraniums, and of course rolling green hills full of grazing sheep.

Fans of E.F. Benson would argue there’s so much more to Rye, the inspiration of the author’s hilarious Mapp and Lucia books. Benson renames Rye to Tilling.

Visit Lamb House (above), Benson’s comfortable home and check out his secret garden – the setting for hilarious hi-jinks in his books.

Come at the right time and you can catch a production by the Lamb Player company in Lamb House garden. We were lucky enough to catch All’s Well that Ends Well during our visit (above).

Yes, there are plenty of churches and Abbeys in the UK, but a visit to Parish Church of St Mary in Rye is a must to see the church bells. Climb right up to the top and you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Rye (below). Fans of E.F. Benson will recognise the significance.

Parish church of St Mary Rye view

The view says it all about the irresistible charm of Rye and the British countryside. It illustrates perfectly Bill Bryson’s high praise.

While in Rye, grab a cream tea from Cobbles Tea Room (since 1826). Inside, it’s a cosy tea house, but why wouldn’t you want to sit in the front courtyard and soak in the sun and flowers?

Cobbles tea room Rye cream tea

We call it Devonshire tea, but it’s more commonly referred to as cream tea here – warm scones, cream and strawberry jam to have with English breakfast tea (our preference).

Breakfast doesn’t start until after 9am so you can enjoy an extra hour or so of sleep. Our favourite was Cafe on the Quay, a pretty place on a roundabout in Rye.

Cafe on the Quay Rye

Breakfast is usually the combo of favourites including eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans and black pudding. The baked beans are crazily tasty and addictive.

Cafe on the Quay Rye Breakfast

We’ve driven all around the UK this September. Without exception I could live in every town we visited across England, Wales and Scotland; Bath, Devon, Caernarfon, Rochester, Edinburgh oh, and London, too.

But seriously, grab a copy of E.F Benson’s Mapp and Lucia and come visit Rye – it’s my favourite destination this trip.

The Cobbles Tea Room

1 Hylands Yard, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 73P (opposite The Old Bell) 


* The Road to Little Dribbling, Bill Bryson, p 33.