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Hotel Highlights

  • Breezy boutique motel by the beach in Camber Sands
  • A quick spin from Rye
  • Fantastic seafood bistro


A casual and stylish stay by Camber Sands' dunes in East Sussex, the Gallivant hotel is awash in breezy whites, blues and driftwood furnishings. It’s a comfortable place to relax after a day enjoying the sea and sand. A welcoming bistro serves up fresh fish and seafood.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking The Gallivant with us:

A jar of home-made preserve and a Gallivant mini recipe book


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The Gallivant Hotel – East Sussex – United Kingdom

Need To Know


18, including one suite.


11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from $158.21 (£104), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include a two-course (Continental and English) breakfast.


The chef runs regular cookery classes: go along with him to meet a supplier and watch what he does with the produce. You’ll then be able to eat it, too. There are boat-to-plate, field-to-plate and shoot-to-plate options on offer. What’s more, guests get a discount.

At the hotel

Library of books and DVDs, windsurfing and kitesurfing equipment hire, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms, flatscreen TV, DVD player and the White Company bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Go for a beachy and breezy blue-and-white Beach Hut Suite for the most cat-swinging most space. They have white wooden floors, handmade feather sofas and a very wide bed, as well as their own patch of the motel-style decking outside. Fans of a good bed need look no further than a Double – each comes with a king-size number made from recycled wood.

Packing tips

Blue, white and beige to blend in with your coastal surrounds; beach-proof shoes suited to a hilly ramble.


Camber, the owner’s dog, is very friendly – beware, he has a penchant for licking.


For £20 a night, dogs of any size are allowed in the Biggest Rooms but mucky paws on the furnishings are frowned upon. Dog bowls and baskets can be supplied on request and no pets are allowed in the Bistro.


Extra beds are £20. Under-12s can dine in the restaurant between 6pm and 6.30pm. The hotel has a list of reliable local babysitters for guests to contact independently.


Almost all (95 per cent) kitchen ingredients are sourced within 20 miles of the hotel, making its food miles pretty negligible. And all the furniture was made by a local wood-recycling business.

Food & Drink

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The Gallivant Hotel – East Sussex – United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

The dune-facing Bistro is cool and coastal, kitted out in reclaimed driftwood, lots of blue and white, and a healthy smattering of shells. Ben Fisher heads up the kitchen of this renowned beachy outpost, where fresh catches are cooked to perfection. Try the devilled crab – a moreish hot pot of spicy crustacean and melted cheese – or the Rye Baye sole with Jerusalem artichokes.

Hotel Bar

There's no bar, just a pair of sofas in the restaurant to perch on while you wait for your table. When the weather's fine, there are a handful of tables on the outdoor decking. If you're feeling patriotic, try the English wine from Chapel Down.

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 9.30am; lunch is on offer pretty much all day; and dinner starts at 6pm and runs until 9.30pm.

Room service

Bistro fare and an abridged room service menu are available between 11am and 9pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Breton stripes beneath your windbreaker.

Top table

The beach may be obscured by grassy dunes, but by the window is best.

Local Guide

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The Gallivant – East Sussex – United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Strand Quay has plenty of antique shops to keep bargain-browsers busy. Across the street from the Gallivant is Camber Sands beach, a dune-studded shore with long grass and golden sand. Learn to kite-surf, windsurf, horse ride and fish; the hotel can help with equipment hire. Ramblers can ramble along the High Weald Landscape Trail and 1066 walk (, which both start at Rye.

Local restaurants

A good gastropub is never far away in these parts: try pot-roast pheasant at The Globe Inn (+44 (0)1797 223381) on Military Road, or rack of Romney Marsh lamb at Ypres Castle Inn (+44 (0)1797 223248) on Gun Gardens. Head up to the restaurant at The George In Rye (+44 (0)1797 222114) for a cosy afternoon tea by the fire or Mediterranean-inspired dishes in the brasserie. The Linen Fold at the Mermaid Inn (+44 (0)1797 223065) dates from the 12th century, and is where to go for some olde-world charm. Further afield, but worth the half-hour or so drive, The Curlew (+44 (0)1580 861394) in Bodiam serves fine-dining fare, such as mallard with beetroot, black cabbage and blood orange, and pork with fennel gratin.

Local cafés

Calorie-packed cream cakes and great coffee await at Fletchers House (+44 (0)1797 222227) on Lion Street and Apothecary (+44 (0)1797 229157) on East Street.

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Sand dunes and salty air

The Gallivant

New Lydd Road, Camber, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7RB, United Kingdom

The Gallivant is by the dune-covered beach at Camber Sands, a 10-minute drive out of Rye and close to all the action of 1066 Country.


The closest major airport is London Gatwick, an hour and a half away by car. There’s also the smaller Lydd, which is five miles away. Private planes can land at Lydd.


Rye station is three miles away. From here, Southeastern ( trains go to Ashford, where you can pick up either the high-speed service to London or the Eurostar (


You need a car to be able to get into Rye easily. From Ashford, it’s a half-hour drive along the A2070; from London, the M20 should come in handy. There’s free parking.


Reach Rye Harbour by boat and you’ll be about 10 minutes from the hotel.


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The Gallivant Hotel – East Sussex – United Kingdom
The Gallivant
The Gallivant New Lydd Road, Camber Rye TN31 7RB East Sussex United Kingdom

Anonymous review

Rating: 10/10 stars
Mr & Mrs Smith have just returned from a stay at this East Sussex boutique hotel, and as soon as they've unpacked their wellies and watercolours, a full account of their UK luxury beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from the Gallivant in Camber Sands… Ever dreamed of waking up with the beach as your doorstep? At the Gallivant,…
Read more

The Gallivant

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Mr & Mrs Smith have just returned from a stay at this East Sussex boutique hotel, and as soon as they've unpacked their wellies and watercolours, a full account of their UK luxury beach break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick postcard from the Gallivant in Camber Sands…

Ever dreamed of waking up with the beach as your doorstep? At the Gallivant, it practically comes true (if you don’t count the concrete patch of road you’ve got to cross first). And it’s not just any beach, it’s Camber Sands, a glorious golden stretch with knee-high grass and bumpy dunes. The bountiful bay brings in a daily catch of oysters, mussels and more, all of which can be sampled fresh as a daisy in the sea-inspired bistro, where there’s recycled driftwood for furniture and shells for artworks.

This is budget boutique at its best. The Gallivant doesn’t try to be something it isn’t; rooms are small and simple, but it’s the extra touches that make it special (book-lined shelves, jars of treats and trays of teapots and teacups). And they’ve got their priorities right, splashing out on top-dog linens and mattresses, wholesome, hearty breakfasts, and delicious dinners. It’s homage to all that’s great and good about the British seaside, with glimpses into the modestly dressed past captured in the old postcards on the wall. Where’s the bucket and spade?

The Guestbook

Reviews of The Gallivant from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…


Stayed on

We loved

The friendly atmosphere, good food and service in the restaurant. And how close it was to the amazing Camber Sands.

Don’t expect

Luxurious rooms. Though ours was clean, well decorated and appointed, it was much more functional than high end. Also the "complimentary" breakfast was a bit of a misnomer, but what we had was tasty in any case.

Rating: 6/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

Beautiful location, simple but chic decor, honesty pantry full of goodies, friendly, laidback staff, fabulous food. Also loved that although the hotel is child-friendly they ask that parents respect other guests and no kids are allowed in the restaurant after 8pm - essential when looking for some grown-up relaxation!

Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

I loved the very friendly and helpful staff, and the restaurant was terrific. Ten out of 10.

Don’t expect

The room and bathroom were quite small, but then it was one of the 'small rooms' so that's not a complaint really!

Rating: 10/10 stars


Stayed on

We loved

I liked the relaxed atmosphere and very helpful staff, the style, decor and comfort, and the fact that for no extra cost we were able to take our two large dogs. We were out of season and it was so relaxing, and the beach is about two minutes away. The food was great and the free afternoon tea and cakes was a bonus. Lots of little touches and extras made all the difference. We will visit again for sure.

Don’t expect

I loved the room and the moody lighting was great but not when you are trying to do make up and hair; I could hardly see in the evening and there were no mirrors near any sockets – just a girlie thing, really.

Rating: 8/10 stars