Rye is one of the historic Cinque Ports near the Sussex coast, on the edge of Romney Marsh. The course of the historic Royal Military Road runs through the town, as does the A259 trunk road.
The A259 originally ran through the town centre, but by 1939 it had been diverted onto South Undercliff, below the castle so that main road traffic could avoid the narrow streets. The road towards Winchelsea was originally unclassified as it was a private road.
Rye is fortunate to have a railway station, as it was originally supposed to close in 1967 following the Beeching report. It was kept open because the poor quality of the A259 meant replacement bus services were not competitive.