Plan your visit
The below facilities at Rye Meads are open 7 days a week, 9am-5pm or dusk if earlier
- Nature reserve
- Car park
- Visitor Centre
Festive opening times
- Saturdays 4, 11, 18, 25 December: nature reserve, visitor centre, refreshments and toilets closed.
- Christmas Eve: nature reserve, visitor centre, refreshments and toilets closed.
- Christmas Day: nature reserve, visitor centre, refreshments and toilets closed.
- Boxing Day: nature reserve, visitor centre, refreshments and toilets closed.
- 27 December: nature reserve, visitor centre, refreshments and toilets closed.
- New Year’s Eve: nature reserve, visitor centre, refreshments and toilets open, 9am-4.30pm.
- New Year’s Day: nature reserve, visitor centre, refreshments and toilets open, 9am-4.30pm.
- All other days in the festive period are open our usual winter opening hours as above.
- Free entrance to RSPB members
- Car park cost
There are no entry fees to the nature reserve, but the following parking charges apply:
- RSPB members: FREE
(please display your membership card face down in your windscreen)
- Non-members: £4 per vehicle
- Blue badge holders: FREE
(please display your badge in your windscreen)
- RSPB members: FREE
Binocular hire is closed
How to get here
Rye House Station (400 yards/366 m). There is a direct train from Liverpool Street. Climb the steps out of the station and turn right towards Rye Meads, with the Historic Rye House Gatehouse on your left. Follow a footpath on the left side of the minor road for 300 m until you reach the visitor centre.
The nearest bus stop (700 yards/640 m) is in the Old Highway, which is off Rye Road. Walk down towards Rye House Station, then as above.
Rye Meads is accessible to cycles by road and the Lee Valley cycle way.
From the A10: Exit the A10 for Hoddesdon/A1170 and follow the brown nature reserve signs over three roundabouts to Essex Road. Turn left onto Pindar Road (one way). Turn left onto Normandy way following the brown nature reserve sign, over the bridge, and left again onto Fisherman’s way. Turn right over the small bridge and past the pub. Rye Meads Visitor Centre car park is 500m along the road, on your left.
From the A414 (westbound): Exit the A414 for Stanstead Abbotts/B181. At the T-Junction turn left and then take the first right onto Rye Road. Rye Meads Visitor Centre car park is 1.2km along the road, on your right. Note that there is a part-time toll barrier on this road which may incur a 50p charge if the barrier is closed.
Sat nav POI file: If you have a satellite navigation system that can accept POI files, please see our POI page for a download link and instructions.
Information for dog owners
Sorry, dogs are not permitted on the nature reserve (except assistance dogs), due to the sensitive wildlife and habitats here.
We know that the countryside is a dog walking paradise. It’s important to remember the special surroundings here are wonderful havens for rare wildlife. Even if dogs are very well behaved, wildlife can easily become startled by a dog they perceive as a predator.
Disturbing wildlife does more than simply causing it to move away; it uses up their energy, decreasing their chance of survival regardless of season.
Dogs die in hot cars, please do not leave your dog in the car when visiting us.
Thank you for protecting the special wildlife by not exercising your dog here.
Group booking information
We welcome group bookings.
Schools booking information
For full details on our exciting programme of curriculum-linked outdoor education sessions, visit our school trips information.
“Inspiring” and “multi-sensory” are just two of the words schools have used to describe their visit to Rye Meads.
The incredible wetland habitat provides the perfect backdrop to a memorable day of learning outside the classroom. Our close-up experiences allow exploration of habitats, minibeasts and adaptations in real life.
Our programs are adapted to cover the full range, from Early years, through primary and into Secondary and A-level. Full and half day options are available.
We also welcome bookings from uniformed and youth groups and can tailor your visit to suit your needs.
For further questions, or to book, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Save nature with a staycation in the UK
Saving the nature that you love for future generations to enjoy. Make the most of your visit by staying in one of thousands of handpicked cottages across the UK. Simply book your stay here to support our partnership. Throughout 2021 holidaycottages.co.uk are supporting our conservation work – saving species and restoring habitats right across the UK at a time when the future of our planet has never been more important and protecting nature for future generations.