The ancient Cinque Ports town which once provided ships for the Royal Navy, is perched on a hill overlooking a river estuary and the Romney Marsh.
The town is steeped in history with a labyrinth of cobbled streets and historic buildings and was once a favoured haunt of smugglers.
Experts from The Telegraph gave their verdict on the prettiest, and ugliest, towns in the UK. They ranked towns out of ten in five categories: Shop fronts, historic architecture, low traffic/ litter, views and greenery.
Rye came in first place with an overall score of 36/50, rated 10/10 for shop fronts and 8/10 for historic architecture.
According to The Telegrap h: “Once a coastal harbour, but long since reclaimed by the silting coastline, Rye is a medieval showstopper. The sheening cobbled lanes, hip-width passageways and crooked timber-beamed buildings of this town of 4,000 residents... is a budding photographer’s dream, and there are more boutique boltholes than you could bed down in a lifetime.”
They named the best viewpoint atop a rocky outcrop with views of the 12th century church St Mary’s and the coast line at Camber Sands.
Lewes was named in fourteenth place, with an overall score of 46/50, with a score of 10/10 for historical architecture and views.