Charleston House And Garden is a wonderful farmhouse in Sussex. Decorated and renovated over the 20th Century by the artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, it became a centre of creativity for the Bloomsbury Group. It's well worth a visit for anyone who enjoys literature or art; inside, the eclectic designs vary from Medieval to Picasso with all sorts (Laura Ashley's original designs, for example) in between. Every wall has been decorated, too. Many of the century's most influential thinkers spent time there and sketches of them at work are hidden in every nook and cranny. Unlike many of my favourite places, this one isn't cheap at £9 for a tour, however as a one-off it's well worth it- both to ensure the house is preserved for future generations and to marvel and how creativity, academia, politics and economic theory interleaved within the walls.
If you do take the tour, (available Weds-Sat - check website for further details) bear in mind you may not get on the next available tour! Wednesdays are particularly busy, so pre-booking or being flexible about when you lunch or shop is useful. The reward for being patient is a small, intimate tour with a very knowledgeable guide, who has the time to answer all questions personally.
Photography is forbidden within the building, however the gardens (which can be wandered free of charge- you may get a ticketed tour but most do not bother) are an amazing place to take a camera. Here are some snaps to give you a feel of the place...just right for a pick-nick on a sunny afternoon...
|This one amuses me. If you are childish and rich, the|
half-statue (with mooning feature) may be purchased from
the shop for £250.
Have you any favourite houses or gardens?