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Houses & Gardens of Sussex

Houses & Gardens of Sussex

Staying at a country hotel with spa and pool we visit Charleston – home of the Bloomsbury set and explore the restored gardens at West Dean. The fine collection of paintings at Arundel Castle and the famous gardens at Great Dixter will be viewed and we will also call in at Monk’s House, the home of Virginia Woolf. We visit Firle Place and the astonishing painted room at St Mary’s House and Gardens.



Guests arrive at the East Sussex National Hotel during the afternoon. The hotel offers a comfortable health spa and relaxing facilities. A welcome drinks reception precedes dinner in the hotel.


After breakfast we travel to Arundel Castle seat of the Duke of Norfolk. Much restored, expanded and developed over the centuries the castle retains its Norman keep and houses a fine art collection with paintings by Gainsborough, Van Dyck and Reynolds. In the afternoon we travel to Bramber to visit St Mary’s House and Gardens. This was built in 1470 as an inn for pilgrims on the way to Canterbury. It includes the Elizabethan Painted Room – a unique example of trompe l’oeil at the time. Dinner will be served at the hotel.


The day begins with a visit to Firle Place, an eighteenth century house known for its old master paintings by Van Dyck, Rubens and de Koninck, with English portraits by Reynolds, Zoffany, Gainsborough and Lawrence. Today the spirit of Bloomsbury is celebrated with visits to Monk’s House, the home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf and also Charleston, the country home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.
We return to the hotel for time to relax and perhaps enjoy the spa facilities before dinner.


Today we visit Great Dixter, home of the famous gardening writer, Christopher Lloyd. The gardens are famous for their topiary, mixed borders, orchard and wild flower meadow.
In the afternoon we travel to the moated Michelham Priory. This Tudor mansion is rich in interest with extensive gardens, vaulted undercroft, water mill and forge. Dinner follows at the hotel.


Our tour ends after a leisurely breakfast.

The East Sussex National Hotel is within 2 miles of Uckfield station.