Vanessa Bell’s three children, Julian, Quentin and Angelica, were brought up at Charleston. They revelled in the freedom of the countryside and grew up inspired by the creativity of the older generation.
Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays are the perfect days to explore Charleston for visitors with children.
The self-guided House experience of Sundays is designed to be best suited to the flexible needs of families. Timed entry tickets allow visitors to explore the house at their own pace, with volunteer stewards in each room to help bring objects, art and decorative schemes to life and answer your burning questions. Discover the hidden stories behind important objects and take as much or little time as you like in your favourite rooms.
Older children may enjoy our guided tours which take place Wednesday-Saturday, but during guided tours the opportunities to talk or interact as a family are very limited. Feedback from families suggests the flexibility of Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday visits is often preferred.
We have two free Trails for children to enjoy while visiting Charleston. Children can follow one of our new free Childrens’ Trails in the House, looking out for patterns, objects and artworks and then designing their own. Our free Secret Garden Trail, available from the shop, inspires younger visitors to search for statues in the Charleston gardens.
Food & Drink: The Threshing Barn Café offers a delicious selection of lunches, homemade cakes and light bites. There is also a picnic field which visitors are welcome to use. Please note picnics must be enjoyed in the designated picnic area, and are not allowed in the Walled Garden.
Gardens: The Garden is an ideal space for families to relax, read, sketch or investigate the vegetable patch.
What else to do while in the area: You might also like to take a walk up onto the South Downs Way or take a bike ride along the Old Coach Road which runs along the back of Charleston – read more
Facilities: We have a baby change facility within the accessible toilet.
Protecting our collection: Within the house, we ask that visitors help protect our collection by adhering to a few simple guidelines. Large bags and pushchairs are not permitted in the house. Please ask our shop staff to safely store these for you. Slings are very welcome, and we ask they are worn at the front.
Informal reading and discussion group, exploring Bloomsbury texts and themes. First Sunday of every month.
Melvyn Tan will perform alongside Joely Richardson and the Škampa Quartet
CRESSIDA BELL talks to her sister, Virginia Nicholson, about Charleston, her design work and curating ‘In Colour.’