As you follow the Royal Military Canal down to miles of sandy beach, bear in mind that 600 years ago, you’d have been swimming in the sea. This is reclaimed land and Strand House, built in 1425, originally stood on Winchelsea Harbour. Outside, you find wandering wisteria, colourful flowerbeds and a woodland walk that leads up to the village. Inside, medieval interiors have low ceilings, timber frames and mind-your-head beams. There are reds and yellows, sofas galore, a wood-burner in the sitting room, an honesty bar from which to help yourself. It’s a home-spun affair: Hugh cooks breakfast, Mary looks after guests in style. Quirky bedrooms sweep you back in time. One has an ancient four-poster, some have wonky floors, three open onto a terrace, all have good beds and robes for tiny shower rooms. As for the cottage, airy rooms have more space, and the suite, with its balcony and views across fields, is a treat. The house, once a work house, was painted by Turner and Millais. Local restaurants wait: Webbe’s at the Fish Café, The Kings Head in Rye, top notch food at the Curlew in Bodiam. Dogs are very welcome.