Hythe , is a small coastal market town on the edge of Romney Marsh, in the District of Shepway (derived from Sheep Way) on the south coast of Kent. The word Hythe or Hithe is an Old English word meaning Haven or Landing Place.
The town has Medieval and Georgian buildings, as well as a Saxon/Norman church on the hill and a Victorian seafront promenade. Hythe was once defended by two castles, Saltwood and Lympne. The Town Hall, a former Guildhall, was built in 1794, its fireplace designed by the Adam Brothers.
Hythe's market once took place in Market Square (now Red Lion Square) close to where there is now a Farmers' Market every second and fourth Saturday of the month. Hythe has gardening, horse riding, bowling, tennis, cricket, football, squash and sailing clubs. Lord Deedes was patron of Hythe Civic Society, and the hounds of The East Kent Hunt are kennelled in nearby Elham.
As an important Cinque Port Hythe once possessed a bustling harbour which, over the past three hundred years, has now disappeared due to silting. Hythe was once the central Cinque Port, between Hastings and New Romney to the west and Dover and Sandwich to the east.
According to Hasted, a French fleet approached Hythe in 1293 and landed 200 men, but "the townsmen came upon them and slew every one of them: upon which the rest of the fleet hoisted sail and made no further attempt".
Hythe is also the birthplace of Mackeson Stout.