Category Archives: Local Information

Places to visit around Lydd

I love a little restaurant…

There are a range of take-aways and restaurants, for guests to choose from, in Lydd.

Click on the map for a larger version showing their locations.


The Tandoori Cottage is in the High Street and the staff are very friendly and helpful. It is fully licensed and does take-aways as well.
There is a Chinese take-away in Church Road, and a Kebab Shop in the High Street – but I have not tried them yet.
At the far end of the High Street is a good Fish & Chip Shop.
The George Hotel has a restaurant but the best, in Lydd, in my opinion is ‘The Moon & Stars’
‘The Moon & Stars’  is located in Park street and is a quaint and friendly place.

I love a little shop …part one

When you first arrive on your holiday it is always good to know where you can buy the basic necessities, so I thought it might be useful to show the location of the local shops in Lydd. You can click on the map to see a larger version.

There are a surprising number for such a small town – and all within a short walking distance from the cottage. The photo below is of the newsagent and tobacconist, Park Stores, in Park Street:

Just around the corner from the cottage, in Coronation Square, is a Mace store:

and there is a Spar in the High Street:

There is an excellent local award winning butcher in the High Street as well.

The sausages are particularly good!

Further posts will include take-aways and pubs!


I find this place delightful

Whilst visiting Dungeness make sure you look out for Derek Jarman’s famous garden at Prospect Cottage. A brilliant and greatly loved artist and film maker who, against all odds, made a breathtakingly beautiful garden in the most inhospitable of places – the flat, bleak, often desolate expanse of shingle overlooked by the nuclear power station.

Derek Jarman is probably most well known for his work on pop videos and the films Jubilee and Caravaggio but he was also a stage designer, diarist and artist.

The house is built in tarred timber. The garden was created in the latter years of his life, in the shadow of Dungeness nuclear power station. It has a complex geometrical plan, magical stone circles and beautiful and bizarre sculptures. It was made using local materials and has been the subject of several books. At this time, Jarman also began painting again.

Raised wooden text on the side of the cottage is the first stanza and the last five lines of the last stanza of John Donne’s poem, The Sun Rising.

BUSY old fool, unruly Sun,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windows, and through curtains, call on us ?
Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run ?
Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
Late school-boys and sour prentices,
Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
Call country ants to harvest offices ;
Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
In that the world’s contracted thus ;
Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
To warm the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere ;
This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.

There is a moving article on The Guardian website by Howard Sooley about Derek and the garden. He also contributed photographs to Derek Jarman’s last book about the creation of the garden.


Books! The best weapons in the world!

 Leonard Malcolm Saville (1901-1982) was a popular author who wrote over ninety books for children and was born in 1901 in Hastings, Sussex. He was a contemporary of Enid Blyton and Richmal Crompton and is most commonly remembered for his Lone Pine adventure series.  Malcolm Saville wrote a mixture of fiction and non-fiction placing particular emphasis on real places, wildlife, mystery and family values; all these meant a great deal to him.

It was not until 1942, when Malcolm Saville was forty-one years old, with four children of his own, that he wrote his first book. “Mystery at Witchend” is an adventure story set in wartime Britain, centring round a group of spies who had set up their base in a cottage on the lonely Long Mynd in Shropshire. The spies are eventually exposed by a group of children who meet up and form a secret club at the base of a lonely pine tree on the side of the Long Mynd. And so the ‘Lone Pine Club’ was born, whose members were to share twenty adventures over the next thirty five years.

Being born in Hastings and living for part of his life in Winchelsea in knew the area well and set a number of the Lone Pine stories in Rye and the surrounding area.

The first of these was the “Gay Dolphin Adventure” (1945), in which the bookish Jonathan Warrender and his cousin Penny are first introduced.  


Many of these stories are out of print, but some have been reprinted and there is a copy of the sixth Lone Pine adventure, “The Elusive Grasshopper”, in the cottage for visitors to read, if they wish.

This is the description of the story…

“The twins walked into a wide and spacious hall. On the table was a little bell with a ticket inviting visitors to ring for attention. Mary rang boldly. Seconds later they were facing the hated Miss Ballinger. She recognised the twins at once. As Valerie came in, a cigarette smouldering as usual between her painted lips, Miss Ballinger said: “These children remind me of twins we met once before. We’d like to help them, wouldn’t we?” There was a horrid, silky menace in her voice as she spoke . . . “

Lydd also features, briefly, in the story. 


Best thing about Bonfire Night, toffee apples.

Rye – ‘The Fifth’

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot

There is no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot.

A stick ands a stake, for George’s sake,

One for Peter, two for Paul,

If you don’t give us one, We’ll steal ‘em all.

So oller boys, oller boys, make the bells ring

Blow up the Sluice and

God Save the King!

On the second Saturday after November 5 the “Bonfire Boys” stage their annual torch-lit parade through the streets of Rye. This is followed by a “gurt ‘normous bonfire” where the chosen “effigy” of the year is ceremoniously blown-up, and a spectacular firework display. 

This event typically attracts over 10,000 visitors to the town, and results in the town’s roads, and the main roads to London, Hastings and Ashford, being clogged up and closed to traffic from the early evening onwards.

I was not able to get along there myself this year, but here are some photos taken by Dan Skinner in 2006 which should give you some idea of the event.

According to the Rye and District Bonfire Society bonfire started as a direct result of the activities of a group of conspirators who sought to overthrow the Protestant King James 1st and establish a Catholic monarchy on the English throne. These conspirators were led by Catsby and were almost successful in their attempt to blow up King and Parliament on November 5th 1605 with 36 barrels of gunpowder stored in the cellar of the House of Commons. One of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes, was caught in the act and King and Parliament were saved.
King James decreed that his lucky escape should be celebrated in perpetuity. The commonest form of celebration in those days was to light bonfires and set off fireworks. It happened for virtually any celebration and this was just one of many fire festivals held during Stuart times.

It is interesting, however, to read what the famous author of children’s books, Malcolm Saville, had to say on the celebrations in his book Rye Royal. One of the teenage protaganists, Penny Warrender says “There’s nothing like the Rye Fawkes Celebrations in all England. There’s a procession and torches and bands and tableaux and fancy dress and a fantastic fireworks display on the Salts down there by the river, and then a bonfire as high as a house. And there’s the boat, Jon. That old hulk at the bottom of the fire. Of course they have to burn it there because it’s too big to be hoisted up. What a fire that’s going to be…I’ll always love Rye, Jon. Not just because it’s old but because things like this make us remember that Ryers have been doing it for hundreds and hundreds of years right here where we’re standing…No! That’s stupid because the sea came up the walls and where we’re standing now would have been covered by the waves once.”

However, the fictional bookshop owner, Mr Royal, suggests that the ceremony might have more pagan roots: “Nothing to do with poor Guy Fawkes, Jonathan. I’m sure of that. Nobody in Rye would have cared about the Gunpowder Plot and at that time the sea was right up to the walls. Either of you ever read Frazer’s Golden Bough? I’m not surprised, but if you’re interested in magic and old customs you should have a shot at it one day. Anyway, Frazer tells us that way. Way back when our distant ancestors were fire-worshippers it was customary to celebrate such rites three times a year, Spring, Midsummer and the beginning of November. So there you are. We’re all going pagan tonight and worshipping fire!”

I’ll write more about Malcom Saville and his connections to the area in a future blog.

Doctor Who has had a few adventures on bonfire night – in this halloween story and in Gareth Robert’s The Plotters.


Somewhere on the south east coast, I should imagine

Dungeness, ten minutes drive from the cottage, was used as the location for the third story of Season 8 of Doctor Who – The Claws of Axos.

It was the first story written by Bob Baker and Dave Martin, who stayed with the series until the end of the 1970s.

The Axons land on Earth, desperately in need of fuel. They propose to exchange the miracle substance they call Axonite for some much needed energy. Axonite is a “thinking” molecule that can replicate any substance… or so they claim. As it turns out, the ship is a single organism called Axos whose purpose is to feed itself by draining all energy through the Axonite (which is just a part of itself), including the energy of every life form on Earth. The deception about the Axonite’s beneficial properties was to facilitate the distribution of Axonite across the globe.

Here is a trailer for the story:

The line “freak weather conditions” was added into the script of episode 1 to explain the shifts in weather between filming (which goes from snowy to sunny from take to take).
A number of locations in Dungeness were used for different parts of the story. Dungeness Power Station is called the Nuton Power Complex and apparently provides power for the whole of Britain!

Dungeness Beach is where we are first introduced to the tramp, Pigbin Josh.

Dungeness Road is the landing site of the Axons spacecraft and DengeMarsh Road is used for various other scenes.

The Master gives some useful, somewhat sardonic, advice on how to survive a nuclear blast:

“You could take the usual precautions…sticky tape on the windows, that sort of thing.”

Well worth watching the story and then taking a trip out to Dungeness to spot the locations.


There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes

Camber Sands is about ten minutes drive from the cottage. It is site of scientific and geographical interest, and nature conservation, due to it being the only large dune system in East Sussex.

It is also a brilliant place to go and and eat sausage sandwiches – as we did a couple of weeks ago!

We were lucky enough to be able to bask in, what will probably be, the last really sunny day,  for a while.

Camber Sands, with its wide bay and large dune system, has been used in many TV programmes and films.

In 1962 the beach was used for the D-Day landing scenes in the epic war movie The Longest Day.

Carry On Follow That Camel was shot on location here during the early months of 1967 when Camber Sands doubled for the Sahara Desert although filming had to be stopped several times because the dunes were covered in snow!

Of course, for Doctor Who fans, it is probably most well known as one of the locations for the final episodes of The Trial of a Time LordThe Ultimate Foe.

See if you can spot where the Sixth Doctor was slowly dragged into the sand!

The Doctor Who Locations Guide might help you to find it – it also has some stills from the 1965 story ‘The Chase’ which was also filmed at Camber Sands.