There is some great culture!
It’s a real bonus that one of the iconic movements of the 20th Century was based in relatively easy walking distance. Charleston Farmhouse was the home and country meeting place of the Bloomsbury Group. A mixture of radical literary and artistic movers and shakers (physically as well as mentally if the recent TV series is to be believed!), the best known of whom was Virginia Woolf.
The house and gardens are both open to the public and are fascinating for the insight they provide on another era. The fact that there is a shop and a cafe that serves lunch and tea, may be another factor that tips the balance in favour of this worthwhile destination. (Top Tip ?) If you do walk, ask for a cut-price ticket, because they offer that to non-car visitors!
While Charleston may be the beating heart of The Bloomsbury Group, Virginia Woolf’s home, Monk’s House, is in the village of Rodmell (BN7 3HF-20 mins car) . While Berwick Church (BN26 6SZ – 3 miles car) contains murals painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant during the Second World War. Both are worth a visit.
That is also the post code for The Berwick Inn (01323 870018), a traditional Sussex Pub with great views from their garden. If they are full, there is always The Cricketerers Inn (01323 870469 Harvey’s) to fall into!
Closer to home again is Firle Place (15 mins walk across the park with the nearby Ram Inn as an added incentive) , home to the Gage family for the last 500 years. They introduced (hence their name) Greengages’s to England. Anyway, we digress…the house is packed full of hidden treasures, while a walk around the gardens (then taking in the village and Church) is a great way to while away a short afternoon.
In the next door village of Glynde, is Glyndebourne, of picnic and Opera fame. This is a must see, even if it is just a drive through their car park (not on an opera day though. If it’s Wagner, you may get stuck for 6 hours!). Take in Glynde Place on the way through…no idea why there are so many grand houses in such a small area…must have been something in the water.