The Bloomsbury Group in the South East

The Bloomsbury Group in the South East



In the early part of the 20th century a group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists who lived and worked in Bloomsbury were perhaps best known for their liberal views on politics and social conventions as well as their infamous love triangles. Luminaries including Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey also undertook an experimental attitude to ways they decorated their homes, resulting in highly original and inspired designs. We uncover the finest examples of their work as we visit the houses where they lived and loved.

Pricing from
Trip Type
Individual Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
Jul 14, 2020 - Jul 22, 2020


Night One – Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Windsor
Nights Two to Six – South Lodge Hotel
The South Lodge Hotel in Horsham is a magnificent Victorian country house with 93 acres of gardens and parklands. Facilities include a restaurant, a bar, a Victorian wine cellar and leisure activities such as croquet, archery and clay-pigeon shooting. A new luxury spa facility with a state-of-the-art gym and indoor and outdoor pools is due to open in 2019. The comfortable rooms are en suite offering 200 Sky TV channels and handmade mattresses.
Nights Seven and Eight – Grange City Hotel
The Grange City Hotel is a luxury hotel in London near the River Thames, commanding sweeping views over the Tower of London and the iconic Tower Bridge. Popular local attractions include the Tower of London, Petticoat Lane market, the Shard and St Katharine Docks. Rooms feature twin or queen-sized beds, LCD flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, individual climate controls and Bose music systems, hairdryer and an iron. Facilities include four restaurants and bars, state-of-the-art Health and Fitness Club with private gym, virtual golf simulator, 25m swimming pool and Ajala Spa.


Private Airport transfers from/to London Heathrow


Bloomsbury map


  • day 1

    July 14: Arrival

    On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to our hotel for the night, the Macdonald Windsor Hotel. In the evening you are invited to join the group for a welcome drink, followed by dinner.

  • day 2

    July 15: Knole House and Standen

    After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and journey to visit Knole House in Kent where we enjoy a guided tour*. One of Britain’s most important and complete historic homes, the property is now cared for by the National Trust and here we can discover more about its colorful past. Knole House was home to the Sackville family for 400 years, including novelist Vita Sackville-West who used the house as inspiration for her novel The Edwardians. Next we visit Standen, a fine Arts and Crafts property, which combines the skills of architect Philip Webb and his friend William Morris. The light, airy rooms are decorated with Morris’ wallpapers and textiles with William de Morgan pottery. We then continue to our hotel for the next five nights, the South Lodge Hotel in Horsham. After checking in and some time to freshen up, we enjoy dinner together at the hotel.

  • day 3

    July 16: Charleston, The Church of St Michael and All Angels, and Farleys House & Gallery

    This morning takes us to Charleston, home of artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell and country meeting place for the Bloomsbury Group. The house was transformed by the artists who painted the walls and furniture and filled rooms with textiles, ceramics and works of art from their collection. Here we enjoy a private out-of-hours tour and learn more about all that is on display here. Afterwards we visit The Church of St Michael and All Angels in Berwick. During the war, many of the church’s decorative stained glass windows were damaged and rather than replace the fragile glass, the Bishop of Chichester commissioned Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell to cover the walls with pastoral scenes. We can admire these impressive murals here today We then continue on to Farleys House & Gallery, home to the photographer Lee Miller and artist Roland Penrose. The house became a meeting place for leading figures in the world of Modern Art including Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. Roger Fry introduced Penrose to many Bloomsbury Group members, forging links between Bloomsbury and the surrealists. On our guided tour you can admire works by many of the Surrealist artists that are on display in the house and enjoy the avant-garde home décor, which still looks as it did during the Penrose family’s occupation. After dinner at the hotel this evening, we enjoy a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.

  • day 4

    July 17: Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Monks House

    This morning we head to Sissinghurst Castle Garden where we enjoy an early bird guided tour. Created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson around the picturesque ruins of an Elizabethan manor house, these world-famous gardens are laid out as a series of enchanting, individually-planted ‘rooms’ including a fragrant Herb Garden and Rose Garden. Afterwards we head to Monks House. Situated in the heart of rural Sussex, this 17th-century cottage was home to Leonard and Virginia Woolf from 1919 until Leonard’s death in 1969. Carefully preserved to appear as it was when they lived there; learn more about this fascinating couple by viewing some of their most prized possessions. The Woolfs initially purchased the property for ‘the shape and fertility and wildness of the garden’ so make sure to explore the delightful cottage garden here too. Tonight we enjoy dinner together back at the hotel.

  • day 5

    July 18: Rye and Bateman's

    Firstly today we visit Rye. This medieval town perched on a hill boasts enchanting streets and architectural treasures, which is why it’s not surprising that Rye was a popular holiday haunt for the Bloomsbury Group, who reportedly shocked American author Henry James with their presence in the town. We enjoy free time here to explore at our leisure. Next we visit 17th-century Bateman’s, that so enchanted Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling when he discovered it, that he made it his home in 1902. With its stone-mullioned windows and Sussex oak beams, it’s a romantic retreat that has been left virtually untouched since Kipling’s tenure here. The tranquil gardens include an orchard, formal garden and a colorful wildflower meadow, through which a river flows. This evening, we enjoy dinner together at the hotel.

  • day 6

    July 19: Brighton

    Today we visit Brighton, a popular seaside resort that was frequented by members of the Bloomsbury Group as a holiday destination, there is even a bus named after Vanessa Bell here! We have some free time to explore this vibrant location at our leisure and we include a visit to Brighton Museum & Art Gallery located in the Royal Pavilion Garden, where you will find pieces on display created by members of the group as well as other 20th-century art. This evening we enjoy dinner at a restaurant in Brighton before we return to our hotel later.

  • day 7

    July 20: Tate Britain and London

    After checking out of our hotel, we travel into central London to visit Tate Britain to admire A Walk Through British Art exhibition, accompanied by an art historian to shed light on the paintings. The rooms of this exhibit are displayed in chronological order, showcasing work by some of Britain’s greatest artists, including that of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. We then continue to our hotel for the next two nights, the Grange City Hotel. After checking in, you might choose to relax at the hotel or spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the capital. This evening is also free to make your own dinner arrangements – a chance to enjoy one of London’s many restaurants.

  • day 8

    July 21: Bloomsbury Group Walking Tour and British Museum

    After breakfast, we enjoy a Bloomsbury Group Blue Plaque Walking Tour. On our tour, we’ll see 46 Gordon Square, along with a number of other properties that were once home to members of the group. We’ll also discover some of their places of work, for example 22 Fitzroy Square, Duncan Grant’s former studio; and 21 Fitzroy Square, once Roger Fry’s studio. We then visit the British Museum. Virginia Woolf immortalized Anthony Panizzi’s oak panelled 1857 Reading Room at the then British Library in A Room Of One’s Own (1929) – “the vast dome … the huge, bald forehead which is so splendidly encircled by a band of famous names”. In addition, the hero in Jacob’s Room (1922) reads Marlowe in the library and watches other readers, including the atheist Fraser and the feminist Julia Hodge. This is our chance to see these locations for ourselves. The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure exploring England’s vibrant capital city. Visit one of the cities many iconic sights or take the chance to discover a fascinating museum or art gallery of which there are plenty. Back at the hotel this evening we enjoy a farewell dinner together and a chance to reflect on all that we have discovered about the famous Bloomsbury Group.

  • day 9

    July 22: Departure

    A private transfer will take you back to Heathrow airport for your return flight home.

Everything you need to know about the tour

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