Vita Sackville-West at SissinghurstBlooms & The Bloomsbury Group

Blooms & The Bloomsbury Group

The Bloomsbury Group—or Bloomsbury Set—was an influential group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, including Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Vita Sackville-West.

Their various works influenced modern attitudes towards feminism, pacifism, and sexuality. Their passion for the arts drew them together to the Bohemian area of Bloomsbury in London, but they loved to escape to the countryside in Kent and East Sussex.

On this tour you can visit two of four possible destinations, depending on which day of the week you book.

Due to time restraints and travelling distance between the houses we highly recommend pairing Knole with Sissinghurst, or Charleston with Monk's House in a full day tour.

Option 1

Book a full day tour to see both Knole and Sissinghurst.
Book a half day our to see either house on its own.

09.30

Charing Cross/Blackfriars

Train from London Charing Cross or Blackfriars station
10.30

Sevenoaks Station

Arrive at Sevenoaks Station
10.45

Knole House

Arrive at Knole House, visit house and gardens including optional highlights tour (booking required).
13.00

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic supplied by Potted History Tours or have lunch at the onsite cafeteria.
13.45

Depart for Sissinghurst Castle

Travel to Sissinghurst - approximately 50 minutes driving time.
14.45

Arrive at Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens

Visit the world-famous garden 'rooms', enjoy beautiful views from the top of the 16th century tower, including exhibition space and Vita's personal study, and see the newly opened South Cottage (timed tickets only - booking essential).
17.30

Depart for Staplehurst station

Depart for Staplehurst station and train back to London (arrive approximately 19:20 at London Charing Cross).
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Option 2

Available as a full day tour only, including both houses.
Wednesdays to Sundays, April to October.

10.15

London Victoria station

Depart train from London Victoria.
11.25 approx.

Lewes

Arrive at Lewes station.
11.45

Charleston

Arrive at Charleston and visit the house and gardens, including guided tour (booking required).
13.30

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic supplied by Potted History Tours or have lunch at the onsite cafeteria.
14.15

Depart for Monk's House

Travel to Monk's house, around 20 minutes driving time.
14.35

Arrive at Monk's House

See the tranquil 17th-century weatherboarded home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, full of works of art and atmosphere. The house is full of the Woolfs' favourite things, and you can see why the wider Bloomsbury Group visited so often. Enjoy the garden that inspired Virginia's famous works and the writing room that offered a peaceful haven of creativity. She spent many hours a day in the lodge, sleeping in it on fine summer evenings.
17.30

Depart Monk's House

Depart for Lewes station and the train back to London Victoria. Arrive approximately 19.00.

Knole House

Knole House near Sevenoaks is the birthplace of Vita Sackville-West, and has been the family home from 1603 to the present day.
Gardens are open on Tuesdays ONLY from April to September.
Rest of property open every day until 5pm in summer, 4pm in winter.
Highlights tours run from 11am-12pm. It's best to book for these.
Showrooms open Tuesday to Sunday 12:00 – 16:00 from March to 5th November.

Sissinghurst Castle

Vita and her husband Harold Nicolson later lived at Sissinghurst Castle, where they began transforming the world-famous gardens in the 1930s.
Gardens, exhibitions and tower open 11:00 - 17:30 March to end of October.

Charleston

Charleston was the residence of Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf's sister) and Duncan Grant, and the favourite country retreat of the Bloomsbury Group.
Open 12:00 to 17:00 Wednesday to Sunday, March to October.

Monk's House

Monk's house is the tranquil 17th century weatherboarded cottage inhabited by Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard from 1919 until his death in 1969.
Open from 5th April to end of October.
House 13:00 to 17:00.
Garden 12:30 to 17:30.
Monk's House