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Charleston Visitor Centre
Nestled in the South Downs, Charleston was the country meeting place for the writers, painters and thinkers known as the Bloomsbury group. It is now considered to be one of the world’s best small museums.
Charleston is presented to look as it did when the family lived here.
To protect the atmosphere and collection, entry to the house is timed and limited. During popular times you may not be able enter the house straightaway. On very busy days we can sell out of tickets altogether. There are plenty of other things to see and do at Charleston.
Charleston’s walled garden was created by the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant to designs by Roger Fry.
Together they transformed vegetable plots and hen runs, essential to the household during the First World War, into a quintessential painters’ garden mixing Mediterranean influences with cottage garden planting. In the 1920s a grid of gravel paths gave structure to beds of plants chosen by Grant and Bell for their intense colour and silver foliage. These became the subject of many still lifes over their long residence at Charleston.
Part of the garden’s sense of luxuriance and surprise comes from the variety of sculpture it contains. Classical forms sit side by side with lifesize works by Quentin Bell, mosaic pavements and tile-edged pools. The orchard offers shade from the sun and the pond a focus for tranquil contemplation.
The Studio Cafe is delighted to open its doors and welcome our visitors to enjoy its cosy and relaxed atmosphere.
Enjoy from our menu of freshly prepared food, teas, coffees, cakes, beer, wine and soft drinks.
Housed in Charleston’s historic out-buildings, comprising of the Outer Studio, Apple Shed, Garage and Folly Garden.
Shop, ticket office and café open 1 hour before the house.
Adults - £11.00
Children (6-16 years) House tour not suitable for small children - £6.00
Disabled (ground floor only) - £6.00
Concessions (Students/60+/Unemployed or receiving benefits – proof required) - £10.00
Family ticket (up to 2 adults and up to 4 children) - £36.00
If you are a UK taxpayer and you pay our higher, Gift Aided ticket price, the Charleston Trust can then claim back 25% from the government. As an independent charity, this additional income is very valuable to us.
TQ 493065 50.83930 0.12009
Charleston is situated in the heart of the South Downs National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). We are a short walk or ride from the South Downs Way and can be found at OS TQ 490 069.
The Compass Travel service 125 runs from Lewes on Wednesdays to Fridays. The Cuckmere Community bus route 25 runs from Lewes train station right up to Charleston Farmhouse every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday throughout the season.
There is a regular service from London Victoria to Lewes which is about 7 miles from Charleston. There is a taxi office by Lewes station. The nearest station is Berwick, approximately 4 miles from Charleston. There is no taxi rank at this station. If walking from Berwick station please be aware that part of the route is along the busy A27.
Charleston is sign-posted off the A27 Brighton to Eastbourne road, 7 miles east of Lewes, between the villages of Firle and Selmeston. There is free parking at Charleston.
- Coach parties accepted
- On-site light refreshments
- Public toilets
- Accepts groups