Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft

Lodge Hill Lane Ditchling East Sussex BN6 8SP

This wonderful little museum, snuggled beneath the South Downs in the village of Ditchling, opened in 2013 to a resounding thumbs up from the national press – and with good reason. The modern space, partly converted from an eighteenth-century cart lodge, is beautiful inside and out, and though small (just two main rooms), it gives a fascinating snapshot of the works of the artists and craftspeople who lived in the village over the last century, amongst them Edward Johnston, designer of the London Underground typeface and roundel logo; printer and writer Hilary Pepler; weaver Ethel Mairet; and sculptor and typographer Eric Gill – as (in)famous for his unconventional private life (running from religious zealotry to dubious sexual practices) as for his considerable artistic talents. Once you’ve taken in the sculptures, sketches, pamphlets, paintings and weavings, and admired Gill’s handsome printing press which takes pride of place in one of the rooms, you can strike off into some of the lovely countryside glimpsed from the museum’s huge windows. Ditchling Beacon – one of the highest points on the South Downs, with gorgeous views out over the Weald – is a 1.5-mile steep climb from the village.

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