Art and life mixed at Charleston, the farmhouse Vanessa Bell—sister of Virginia Woolf—bought in 1916 and fancifully decorated, along with Duncan Grant (who lived here until 1978). The house became a refuge for the writers and artists of the Bloomsbury Group. On display are colorful ceramics and textiles of the Omega Workshop—in which Bell and Grant participated—and paintings by Picasso and Renoir, as well as by Bell and Grant themselves. You view the house on a guided tour except on Sunday. On Friday there's a special 90-minute tour that focuses on a different aspect of Charleston's history, such as the great influence French culture had on the Bloomsbury Group. The house isn't suitable for those with mobility problems, although they sell reduced-price tickets for the ground floor only.
- Address: Off A27, 7 miles east of Lewes, Firle, BN8 6LL
- Phone: 01323/811626
- Cost: £11; ground floor only £6; gardens only £4.50
- Hours: Late Mar.–June and Sept.–late Oct., Wed.–Sat. 1–6, Sun. 1–5:30; July and Aug., Wed.–Sat. noon–6, Sun. 1–5:30. Last admission 1 hr before closing.
- Website: www.charleston.org.uk
- Location: Lewes