Tilton House

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to stay at the handsome Georgian country house where eminent economist John Maynard Keynes once lived with his exotic Russian ballerina wife Lydia Lopokova? Okay, you might not be able to dance naked on the lawn under the moonlight like Lopokova did, but you can still sling a hammock up in the garden to soak in the spectacular South Downs views (‘there is no better air for work than here’ Keynes proclaimed), or curl up by the wood-burning stove in the library where Keynes wrote Economic Consequences of Peace. Or take a five-minute stroll along the lane to nearby Charleston Farmhouse, a walk that Keynes, a key figure in the bohemian Bloomsbury Group, would have done hundreds of times. At weekends Tilton House offers highly-regarded courses and workshops – yoga and pilates retreats (with lessons sometimes held in a purpose-built yurt nestled amongst the trees), writing courses, reading weekends, song-writing workshops and the like – while during the week and in most holidays it offers B&B. The four B&B rooms (all with private bathrooms, one en suite) are decorated simply yet elegantly, using natural materials, and all come with idyllic views that will have you reaching for your walking boots (or yoga mat) as soon as you wake up and draw the curtains.

Price

B&B from £95. Course and workshop prices vary; see website for more details

Opening Times

Open all year

Rooms

Location

Tilton House, Firle East Sussex BN8 6LL

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Getting There

Tilton House lies just off the A27 between Eastbourne and Brighton, 7 miles east of Lewes. Take the ‘Charleston Farmhouse’ turn-off and follow the private road. Go past the turn off for Charleston Farmhouse, following the road as it bends to the left. As soon as you reach a barn directly in front of you, take a small track left past signs saying ‘Firle Estate Private’. Continue on to the end and over the cattle grid onto a gravel driveway. The nearest train station is Berwick, 2 miles away (connections from Lewes, on the London Victoria line). Countryliner bus 125 runs from Lewes Wed–Fri.

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