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It’s raining. It’s been raining for weeks. It’ll probably still be raining come half term.
So why would you want to book a short break at Camber Sands?
Here are six good reasons to defy the downpours:
1: The beach is wonderful in rough weather
If you are a kite-surfer, wind-surfer or kite-buggy fan then you’ll need no persuading of the awesomeness of powerful seas.
If a stroll on the beach is enough for you, then you can enjoy the great spectator sport of watching these adrenalin junkies zooming up and down, and hurling themselves yards into the air on the gusting winds.
Rough seas are great for beach-combers, too, and bird-watchers will see flocks feasting on the shellfish flung onto the beach by the high spring tides.
2 Great shopping in Rye, Hastings Old Town and the Norman Road area of St Leonards
We don’t do bog-standard shopping in Rye and Hastings.
Instead you find a wide range of highly individual stores with unique stock.
3 Bodiam Castle and Battle Abbey
Bodiam is everyone’s ideal image of a medieval, moated castle. There’ll be special family events this half term, including roast and roam – guided walks plus a two course lunch.
4 Winter walks at Nymans, Sissinghurst and in the countryside around Rye
One of the finest walks is that from Camber, along the dunes and up the banks of the Rother to Rye, where you can reward yourself with lunch. You’ll find that route, and another great trek here, and a Spike Milligan-themed circular route here.
Or you can take a stroll round the grounds of a couple of grand houses.
Nyman’s, former home of Rudyard Kipling at Burwash, has a special garden trail for children.
At Sissinghurst, Vita Sackville-West’s famous gardens are closed, but you can still enjoy winter walks through their extensive woods and wider estate.
5 Rye Scallop Festival and other foodie delights
Rye Scallop Week runs from February 15-23 and features a wide range of foodie events. Loads of local restaurants and pubs rustle up special recipes. If you’d like a wider take on local gastronomy, you’ll find our foodie guide to Rye here.
6 Great late-availability rentals
The lousy weather has led to many people delaying booking their half-term breaks at Camber, so some of the best self-catering holiday homes still have vacancies, and there could well be some special offers. Start your search with our Essential Camber Sands Self-Catering Accommodation Guide here.
We may even have some dates at Dunescape, our Camber Sands beach house.
And not just George Clooney. Camber Sands is the location for two blockbusters released in February 2014: The Monuments Men starring Clooney and Matt Damon, and The Invisible Woman starring Ralph Fiennes.
Here’s filming of The Monuments Men taking place on the beach
The Monuments Men, which is about a group of historians and art curators who recover priceless art stolen by the Nazis, was filmed extensively at Camber Sands; in Strand Quay and The Strand in Rye; and at the New Inn in Winchelsea. It is released on February 14.
The second big production is The Invisible Woman, about Charles Dickens’ mistress Nelly Ternan. Kristen Scott Thomas is Fiennes’ co-star, and the movie is released on February 7 in London, nationally on February 21.
In The Monuments Men, Camber Sands stood in for the Normandy beaches during the D-Day landings. A crashed German Messerschmitt appeared on the beach, and an empty antiques shop at Rye’s Strand was converted into a German butcher’s shop.
George Clooney popped in for lunch at The George in Rye High Street. Here he is stopping traffic:
Here’s the film’s trailer
The Invisible Woman features Camber Sands in Winter. Here’s a still:
And here’s the trailer:
There’s an interview with Fiennes here.
Vogue US built a fashion shoot around Fiennes and the film, and Annie Leibowitz photographed on the sands
Vogue’s facilities company booked Dunescape, our Camber Sands beach house, as a pit-stop for the photo crew.
If you are thinking about a short break in Camber Sands this February, March or April, start compiling your shortlist by visiting our Essential Guide to Camber Sands Accommodation.
The Gallivant in Camber Sands is a unique wedding venue.
The video above is The Gallivant’s own presentation of what it has to offer, and if you are still considering whether this relaxed, New England-style venue, facing the dunes and seven miles of golden sands at Camber, is right for you, you’ll find a couple of recommendations here:
We know from experience that, once a couple settle upon the Gallivant as their wedding venue, the next question is where to find accommodation for those guests The Gallivant can’t accommodate.
We have a couple of suggestions.
Dunescape, our contemporary eco beach-house holiday-let, is just four minutes walk from The Gallivant. It’s tucked right behind the dunes and shares the hotel’s relaxed, cool white and driftwood beach-life vibe.
Here’s the living room:
Here’s the main bedroom:
We regularly welcome guests of brides and grooms who are marrying at The Gallivant. They tell us that booking their family or friends into our modern, white-rendered and cedar-shingled house, with its west-facing decks and communal dunescape garden, ensures they share completely in the Camber Sands experience.
The house sleeps six, and the combination of two principal bedrooms plus informal den/third bedroom, give great flexibility in sleeping arrangements.
So that’s one suggestion.
Now for a second. If you have a long guest list, and need two or more houses, we’d like to recommend some of the other rentals surrounding Dunescape. So here is our essential Camber Sands accommodation guide.
If you’d like to discuss a stay at Dunescape with us, please feel free to get in touch.
Where do you want to spend this Christmas?
Maybe you favour the traditional Dickensian atmosphere of an ancient town packed with unique shops, and cosy inns and restaurants where log fires blaze.
Or perhaps you’d prefer a walk down a beautiful beach that you have all to yourself?
The thing about spending a break at Rye and Camber Sands is that you can have both.
What’s more, because Christmas celebrations are spread over 31 days, you can dip in at any time in December.
The ancient hill-top town of Rye is full of individual stores, where you can indulge yourself and others, and wonderful places to eat and drink.
And at Camber, where in summer the seven miles of sands are packed, you’ll have the beautiful beach pretty much to yourself.
The picture at the top of this post was taken at sunset on November 26, and there’ll be plenty more day’s like that through the winter.
You can read the full itinerary for Rye’s Christmas celebrations here Highlights include an all-day Christmas festival on Saturday December 7 with a Christmas market and a parade featuring father Christmas, plus a dozen other events.
On other days in December you can enjoy town carols by candlelight, a Christmas party by the sea, and a Christmas extravaganza at Lamb House, former home to Henry James and E F Benson. On Christmas Eve you can gather round the crib at St Mary’s, the parish church whose spire dominates the town, or celebrate midnight Eucharist Rye’s finest restaurants offer wonderful food on Christmas Day, including The George.
And if you choose to stay at Dunescape, our Camber sands beach house, tucked right behind the dunes, you can indulge as much as you like, and walk it all off with a stroll along the beach, which is less than 100m from the house.
We offer short breaks throughout December, and if you choose to spend Christmas itself at the house, you’ll find a Christmas tree and something in a stocking from us.
Christmas and New Year at Camber Sands can be a magical time of year.
Those crisp, bright mornings on the dunes are stunning, and if its peace and quiet you want – you’ve definitely got it.
But you only have to pop in to nearby Rye for a full blast of festive sprit. The medieval hilltop town is the perfect backdrop to Christmas festivities, and the townspeople really pull out all the stops for pretty much the whole of December.
There’ll be a Christmas market, special shopping days, lighting up the town Christmas tree at the George, a spectacular fireworks display, festive processions, Santa in his grotto, carol concerts and seasonal church services.
You’ll find full information at RyeChristmas.org once things are finalised.
While we can’t promise snow, the falls we got last winter, and which are pictured here, show just how wonderful Camber can be in winter – and prove that it really does have the coolest snowmen!
We are offering special seasonal breaks at Dunescape, our boutique-style eco holiday home. Dunescape is just yards from the dunes – take a look at this beer to beach test to show just how much closer we are to the beach than most Camber holiday lets. Here’s the house, second from the right:
At Christmas itself, you’ll find the house beautifully decorated, with a Christmas tree and something in a stocking from us. For New Year, we can keep the Christmas theme if you wish. For both periods, the welcome pack will celebrate some of the best seasonal produce from our corner of East Sussex and Kent.
And, while it’s cold outside, indoors Dunescape’s geo-thermal heat source will be pumping warmth from 100m beneath the sands to keep you snug.
Prices are just £160 per night for a four-night Christmas or New Year break, dropping to from £120 a night away from the immediate holiday period. The house is ideal for family groups, and sleeps up to six.
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