A guide to Firle

Things to see & do

Firle Village makes a great starting point for any adventure in the South Downs National Park and boasts a wonderful village pub with excellent food and locally sourced ales. The village leads to a myriad of routes and footpaths over the Downs to the sea. The Old Coach Road follows the undulating escarpment and was the original route linking Brighton and Eastbourne, it is popular with hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers in the summer.

There are several scenic hiking paths to Firle Beacon and roads leading to the Bostal and Bo-Peep car parks where you can enjoy panoramic views of the national park. The South Downs Way passes through the Estate and provides access from one end of the national park to the other, opening up wonderful hiking opportunities.

Firle Place is open to the public on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays between 22nd May and 25th October 2022 along with its tea room and terrace. The house boasts a fascinating history and well known collections of master paintings and other objects of art.


Charleston Farmhouse lies at the centre of the estate and was at the heart of The Bloomsbury Group, an influential group of artists and writers in the early 20th Century. You can visit the house, which has been preserved for the public and contains many finely painted interiors and art, and enjoy the garden and tea room. The annual Charleston Festival is held at the end of May and attracts internationally renowned speakers from a diverse range of creative disciplines.

Firle is also just a stone’s throw from the world famous Glyndebourne Opera House and provides a wonderful base from which to relax before or after a performance there.


Stately Homes In Sussex | Firle | Firle Place

Firle Place

Firle Place is a house with a rich history and extraordinary collection of old master paintings, porcelain and furniture. The house, grounds and tea room are open to the public seasonally.

+44 (0)1273 858567 | Visit website

Charleston & The Bloomsbury Group

Charleston Farmhouse is located in the heart of The Firle Estate and was the spiritual home of The Bloomsbury Group in the early 20th Century. The home of Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, often frequented by Virginia Woolf and many other notable people of the time, it is now open to the public and holds the annual Charleston Literary Festival in Spring.

01323 811265 | Visit website

Firle Estate Lewes St Michaels & All Angels Church Berwick

St Michaels & All Angels Church Berwick

The Church in Berwick dates originally from the late Saxon / early Norman period but was heavily restored in 1856. It attracts over 10,000 visitors every year who come to see the murals painted during the Second World War by Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell.

01323 870512 | Visit website

Firle Estate Glyndebourne

Glyndebourne Estate and Opera House

The Opera House at Glyndebourne was originally founded in 1935 and completely re-built to international standards in 1987. Attending the festival at this internationally acclaimed establishment during the summer is one of the cultural events of the year for many.

01273 815000 | Visit website

Firle Estate Herb Garden

Firle Place Herb Garden

Set in an 18th Century walled garden within the grounds of Firle Place, the Herb Garden is open to the public during the summer months as well as for weddings and events when required. It also produces a range of medicinal and natural balms, beauty products, soaps and teas.

+44 (0)1273 858567 | Visit website

Stately Homes In Sussex | Firle | St Peter’s Church, Firle

St Peter's Church, Firle

St Peter’s Church is open throughout the week. Originally built during the 12th Century and added to ever since, the church contains many notable artefacts, including a window by the celebrated artist John Piper, commissioned in 1985

+44 (0)1273 858005 | Visit website

Stately Homes In Sussex | Firle | Alciston Tithe Barn

Alciston Medieval Tithe Barn and Dovecote

Towards the top of Alciston village, near the church you will find the largest medieval barn in Sussex. The Tithe Barn lies behind a recently restored dovecote and was built to collect and store the local population’s tithes and rents.

+44 (0)1273 858567

Stately Homes In Sussex | Firle | Middle Farm

Middle Farm

Middle Farm is a farm shop and working farm that is open to the public throughout the year. Events are often held at Middle Farm and there is a restaurant serving freshly cooked local dishes and produce. A separate shop at the farm offers a world-class collection of local and national ciders, ales and perries.

+44 (0)1323 811411 | Visit website

Stately Homes In Sussex | Firle | Firle Cricket Club

Firle Cricket Club

Founded in 1758, Firle has one of the oldest cricket clubs in the entire world. It’s said that in 1725 the then Duke of Richmond challenged Sir William Gage to a game of cricket at the very spot the club still plays today. Matches are played throughout the summer and open to the public to enjoy.

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Firle Estate Glynde Place

Glynde Place

Glynde Place is an Elizabethan Manor house that was built and is still owned by the Hampden family. Open to the public on various days through the summer, Glynde Place plays host to a number of well known events throughout the year, including the Love Supreme festival in early July.

01273 858224 | Visit website

Firle Estate Alciston_Church

Alciston Church

With a list of vicars dating from 1353, the church in the picturesque village of Alciston has a rich and interesting past.

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Firle Estate Lewes Selmestone Church

Selmeston Church

Selmeston Church is a Grade 2 listed building largely reconstructed in Victorian times by Ewan Christian. It incorporates a 13th Century piscina and 15th Century south aisle.

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