A good walk: Charleston and Firle Beacon, East Sussex

Farmland at the foot of Firle Beacon
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A good walk: Charleston and Firle Beacon, East Sussex

Christopher Somerville

Published at 12:01AM, July 25 2015

Charleston, once a magnet for the famed Bloomsbury group, is an intriguing stop on this bracing walk on the downs, says Christopher Somerville

In 1916 Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant came to live at Charleston Farmhouse in
the shadow of the Sussex downs. This bohemian London couple decorated the
farmhouse walls and furniture with primitive designs. Charleston soon became
a magnet for such Bloomsbury group illuminati as Virginia Woolf, David
Garnett, John Maynard Keynes and EM Forster. You can learn more about the
Bloomsbury group on Monday, when BBC Two premieres its three-part drama Life
in Squares.

Walking over to Charleston, I was expecting a chocolate-box house in a
picture-book setting. Instead, there were grunting tractors, workaday sheds
and ordure-spattered dung spreaders busy

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