Brighton, Lewes, Virginia Woolf's Monks House, Charleston Farmhouse & Gardens, Battle Abbey/1066 Country, Rye
2nd weekend, monthly. Friday evening-Saturday-Sunday. 2016 dates: 08 April; 13 May; 10 June; 08 July; 12 Aug; 09 Sep
Sample one of the favourite weekend get-away destinations for Londoners!
See the seaside towns of Brighton & Rye, meander classic countryside, discover 1066 history, relax in the cottage gardens & inspirational homes of some of England’s greatest writers and artists.
Day 1, Friday evening
Depart our Hammersmith London meeting point this evening at 17:30 and head directly to Brighton, our base for our weekend adventure. Guests are free to dine and explore the famous Brighton nightlife at their leisure. Those so inclined may venture out for a big night out on the town! Brighton offers a variety of dining options, from Michelin rated restaurants to a bag of chips on the pier. There are dance clubs, a vibrant pub scene, many offering live bands, and Brighton Dome, a large concert venue that has hosted almost everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin to Abba; it was in this space that they burst onto the scene winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974.
Brighton Pier is everything one might expect, totally kitschy and fun. Maybe take a stroll along the boardwalk, feast on some freshly caught fish and chips, explore one of the Victorian beer halls or ride one of the gut wrenching amusements. The choice is yours!
Day 2, Saturday
This morning, time to explore more of Brighton as you choose. Perhaps peruse the art galleries and interesting shops of the Laines. Visiting the Royal Pavilion is a popular choice. What started as a modest 18th century farmhouse was transformed by the future King George IV into an extravagant Indian-inspired palace featuring gilded palm trees, soaring minarets and highly opulent paintings. One can sample a decadent ‘Regency-era’ brunch here in the Queen Adelaide Tearoom too.
‘Bloomsbury Group in Sussex’ is on our agenda this afternoon. See the homes of Virginia Woolf at Monk’s House, her final home, and that of her sister Vanessa Bell, Charleston Farm. Monk’s House is jam packed with character and the spirit of not just The Woolfs but also the many artists, writers and thinkers who visited here. Pay respects to the couple in their cottage gardens, lovingly tended by Leonard and a favoured place of inspiration for Virginia, where she kept her famed ‘writing room.’
Visit the farmhouse home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, the weekend getaway for the Woolfs, Lytton Strachey, EM Forster and TS Elliot among others. Entering these rooms is like stepping back in time. The gardens of Charleston are of the Arts and Crafts style infused with an Italian flair and certainly reflect the originality of its owners. Vanessa Bell described her creation as “a dithering blaze of flowers and butterflies and apples…!”
This evening is yours to do as you please in Brighton.
Day 3, Sunday
Begin our day in the town of Lewes, a place with an interesting history dating to Roman times, once home to a Tudor Queen and dominated by a Norman castle.
Battle Abbey is the site of the Battle of Hastings of 1066. Discover the events of the most famous date in English history while walking in the steps of King Harold and William the Conqueror.
Also today, some time in the charming port town of Rye before making our way back to London late afternoon/early evening.
Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.