Bloomsbury revisited - East Sussex
Charleston - the lovely Bloomsbury Group house near Lewes - is in the headlines thanks to the BBC drama Life In Squares, which was filmed there and is centred on the powerful relationship between Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf. Strange title, I thought. Anyway, I know we've mentioned Charleston before, as it's a fascinating and lovely place to visit in itself and of course there's the annual arts festival held there. It's not always easy to get tickets for the house as you have to book ahead, because numbers are limited due to the size and fragility of the rooms.
But the good news is that while there might be more of us than ever trying to get in this summer, there will be extra tickets available to help meet the expected surge in demand. Even if you don't go into the house, though, the garden alone makes a delightful excursion. If you're interested in the Bloomsbury set or just in beautiful country houses it is well worth a visit, but I would urge you to book well in advance if you can to avoid disappointment.
Charleston makes a great focus for a day out in Sussex, as it's near not only the historic town of Lewes (and has won the Lewes Visitor Attraction award two years running) but also the glorious Firle Park and Firle Beacon, which is one of my favourite parts of the South Downs. You might like to visit the nearby vineyard and taste some excellent Sussex wines; and there are plenty of lovely country pubs in the area. Just three miles away is Berwick Church, which contains murals painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant; and Virginia Woolf's home, Monk's House, is in the village of Rodmell.
I'm afraid you've missed the 2015 Charleston Festival, but do have a look at our website if you'd like to book your holiday accommodation for 2016. Still to come this year, however, is Small Wonder, the annual short story jamboree in late September - so if you're looking for somewhere to stay in Sussex, do check out our late availability page - click here.