Rathfinny and a rather fine couple of days

The Flint Barn on the Rathfinney wine estate near Alfriston, East Sussex.
The Flint Barn on the Rathfinny wine estate near Alfriston, East Sussex where we spent the night.

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After a short walk up on the Downs we came back to barn and made ourselves at home. The vines you see will soon be part of a 350 hectare wine estate. The first vines were planted in 2012 and planting will continue until 2017. Once full production is under way the estate hopes to give the French champagne makers a run for their money by poroducing ??/bottles of sparkling English wine every year.
After a short walk on the Downs we came back to the barn and made ourselves at home. The vines you see are part of a planned 350 acre wine estate. The first vines were planted in 2012 and planting will continue until 2018.  Once full production is under way in 2021 the estate hopes to give the French champagne makers a run for their money by producing one million bottles of sparkling English wine a year. It will be another two or three years before the first Rathfinny sparkling wine is ready so I had to make do with a glass from the Nyetimber vineyard in the pub that night.
On Friday morning we walked along the river Cuckmere to Alfriston.
The next morning we walked along the river Cuckmere to Alfriston.
Alfriston Clergy House which was the very first building bought by the National Trust in 1896 for only £10. It is one of the very few surviving fourteenth century houses.
Alfriston Clergy House was the very first building bought by the National Trust in 1896 for only £10. It is one of the very few surviving fourteenth century houses.
Where the local bookshop
The local bookshop “Much Ado About Books” had a whole corner devoted to books by and about members of the Bloomsbury Group. Of course I had to buy one and I chose “Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell” by Jane Dunn.
We made a brief visit to Charleston farmhouse, the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. The Levitating Woman above the pond was sculpted by Vanessa's son, Quentin Bell. The walled garden was a riot of flowers and fruit and vegetables.
We made a brief visit to Charleston farmhouse, the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.
The Levitating Woman was sculpted by Vanessa's son Quentin.
We admired The Levitating Woman, sculpted by Vanessa’s son Quentin, while eating an ice cream by the pond.
The walled garden was a riot of flowers and vegetables.
The walled garden was a riot of flowers and vegetables. I’m going to grow hollyhocks next year,  I’ve been admiring them in all the best gardens this summer.
We walked from the village of East Dean along the Seven Sisters to Birling Gap.
In the afternoon we walked from the village of East Dean along the Seven Sisters to Birling Gap.

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The beach at Birling Gap.

The Red Arrows flew past followed by this flotilla of battleships.
Just as we were leaving the beach the Red Arrows flew past (their contrails just visible) followed by this flotilla of battleships.
The Red Barn, yes really!
The Red Barn, yes really!
And back to our starting point.
And back to our starting point.
But of course, I have  slept in Sherlock's real house. This one is just pretending.
Of course, I have slept in Sherlock’s real house. This one is just pretending.
The right way up. We had an amazing two days. Thank you Rathfinny and the National Trust and the Great British weather for making it so special.
We had an amazing two days. Thank you Rathfinny and the National Trust and the Great British weather for making it so special.
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5 thoughts on “Rathfinny and a rather fine couple of days

  1. Lovely, we were in Sussex last week, I love it down there. We stayed in Rye but I love the idea of staying in your red barn. We should really have visited Sherlock’ s house because Sherlock Holmes is a very good friend of ours. Really, the one and only Sherlock Holmes is our friend. He was created Sherlock for life by the Sherlock Holmes Society.

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  2. Looks wonderful and you were so lucky with the weather. I love hollyhocks too but wonder whether it’s just too windy here. I might try them anyway. Lovely photos, Sarah. Thanks for showing us.

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