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Groups and Private Tours

Charleston offers group visits and private tours Wednesday – Saturday outside public opening hours. Visits take place in the morning or early evening. We recommend you allocate around 2 hours for your visit to ensure you see all Charleston has to offer.

Groups of up to 50 people can be accommodated, which must include group leaders and coach drivers if they wish to attend the tour. All group visits are led by our experienced guides and we offer a choice of tours to appeal to different interests.

House Tour Options

An excellent introduction, the tour tells the story of Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and their family and friends, from their arrival at the house in 1916 to the foundation of the Charleston Trust in the 1980s.  Suitable for groups of up to 50, with tours of up to 10 visitors per guide starting at the same time but from different points in the house.
This tour examines the lives of the sisters, Vanessa Bell the painter, and Virginia Woolf the writer, who stood at the centre of the Bloomsbury group. The tour begins in the kitchen, not usually visited in our standard tour. Suitable for small groups of up to 20; groups over 10 will be split into two groups, with one group starting their tour twenty minutes after the other.
From sunrise to sunset, explore the details of a working day at Charleston. This tour includes a visit to the kitchen where Grace Higgens – Charleston’s housekeeper – would begin her day. Suitable for small groups of up to 20; groups over 10 will be split into two groups, with one group starting their tour twenty minutes after the other.

This tour explores the arrival of Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and their unusual household at Charleston in 1916. Journey through the trials and triumphs of life at Charleston during World War 1. This tour includes the House Kitchen. Suitable for small groups of up to 20; groups over 10 will be split into two groups, with one group starting their tour twenty minutes after the other.

We can offer the The Charleston Tour, followed by a glass of wine and nibbles in the Charleston shop.

Also included in your visit

The Charleston Garden

Once your tours are finished the group is free to explore the Garden at their own pace. For evening tours, your group can explore the Garden on arrival before the tours.

The Charleston Shop

The shop stocks an extensive range of Bloomsbury-inspired books, cards, hand crafted ceramics, lamps, fabrics designed by Duncan Grant, and much more. The Charleston Shop will be open at the end of morning tours, but must be pre-arranged for evening visits.

Group Refreshments
We can provide your group with light refreshments which must be booked in advance.

Refreshments can only be offered to the whole group, rather than to only a number of the group. Our refreshment options include:

  • Tea, Coffee and Biscuits before Morning Tour – up to 50
  • Tea, Coffee and Cake; Tea, Coffee and Pastries before Morning Tour – up to 30
  • Wine and Nibbles after Evening Tour – up to 50

Refreshments will usually be served in part of the Outer Studio Café for Morning Visits, and in our Shop for Evening Visits. Owing to the nature of Charleston’s spaces, seating is limited. If the weather is fine your group is welcome to take refreshments into the Folly Garden where there is additional seating, however for large groups please bear in mind seating may not be available for everyone.

Our Café is not able to provide any further catering for group visits due to its small size and is not able to accommodate any groups after their house tour. However, we are able to recommend local pubs that are happy to cater for groups visiting Charleston.

Additional Options

While our space for talks is limited until the completion of our Centenary Project, our Head of Curatorial Services, Dr. Darren Clarke, is pleased to offer lectures at your group’s meeting place
in advance of your visit.  These talks are about 50 minutes + questions and run on the following themes:

• Unseen Charleston – The story of the Bloomsbury group at Charleston and how it became the iconic house that it is today
• Bloomsbury and World War II – Life at Charleston in WW2 and the different activities that Bell and Grant were involved in
• Virginia Woolf and Charleston – An exploration of Charleston and one of literature’s greatest modernists

Charleston works regularly with artists to put on a range of creative workshops. See our events programme for upcoming workshops at Charleston for a sense of the kind of workshops we run. It may be possible to book something similar for your group or school; please get in touch if you are interested in finding out more.

Charleston offers this exclusive group visit in partnership with Farleys House and Gallery. A full day of exciting and personal insights into the lives, art and homes of the Bloomsbury group at Charleston and the Surrealists at Farleys. Between the two houses a magnificent picture of almost a century of British modern art is conjured up. Lunch at the nearby Cricketers’ Arms in Berwick completes the package.

For more information and to book – visit Farleys House and Gallery website

Further Details

  • Wednesday – Saturday : Morning Visits are available with tours before 11:30am (depending on group size and date of visit; times are earlier for large groups and in our peak season). Evening Visits take place with arrival from 4:00pm depending on group size.
  • Monday and Tuesday : Bespoke visits, subject to £250 private opening fee and availability.
  • Sunday : No group visits available.

If you choose refreshments, we recommend arrival 30 minutes prior to your tour. If you do not choose refreshments, arrival should be 15 minutes prior to your tour time.

There is free parking for coaches on site in our main car park.

We welcome visitors with access needs but for group visits it is very helpful for us to know in advance of any requirements so we can help ensure all visitors have the best possible experience.  Access information can be found at the bottom of our visitor information page here.

How to Book

All groups must book their visits in advance.

Availability for groups is limited and so we advise you to get in touch early to avoid disappointment. We may be able to accept group bookings at shorter notice, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Tours
Tour length
Price per person
Min. Cost
The Charleston Tour 1 hour £11.50 £115.00
Extended Tours (up to 20 persons) 80 minutes £15.00 £150.00
There is a group leader discount available for groups of 15 people or more. Please ask the Visitor Manager or Assistant Visitor Manager for more information.
Refreshments

All catering must be booked in advance for the whole group

Price per person
Tea, Coffee and Biscuits (up to 50) £3.00
Tea, Coffee and Cake (up to 30) £6.00
Tea, Coffee and Pastries (up to 30) £6.00
Wine and Nibbles after Evening Tour (up to 50) £7.00
Additional Options
Time allowed
Flat Rate Charge
Visiting Lecture by Curator
Subject to availability, within 30 mile radius of Charleston;
additional travel expenses will be required for visits further afield.
50 minutes £150.00
Creative Workshops
Subject to availability; please enquire.
Bespoke On request

Group Booking Form

Please complete all the sections and submit the form and one of our team will be in touch shortly.
  • Please enter a Mobile number that we can use to contact you on the day of your visit.
  • :
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Please complete and submit online here, return to us by post or email (groups@charleston.org.uk) or call us to discuss a visit on 01323 811 626.

  1. Charleston will confirm receipt of enquiry form, and provisional reservation of tours, services, date and time.
  2. Charleston will send a deposit invoice and group booking confirmation form.
  3. Group leader arranges payment of deposit and return of confirmation form at least one month prior to visit date.
  4. Group leader notifies Charleston of any changes in numbers two weeks prior to visit date, after which no changes can be made. Final numbers must include the group leader and coach driver if they intend to join the tour.
  5. Charleston produces final balance invoice based on final numbers, payable up to and including the day of your visit.

 

 

 

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