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Lamb House, Rye

Muddy says: A delightful National Trust Georgian house, once home to writer Henry James, that is bursting with literary history. Definitely one to consider on your next excursion to Rye – well you needed a reason to revisit this charming town full of independent gorgeous shops and restaurants…

Lamb House is a delightful National Trust Georgian house in Rye, East Sussex, once home to writer Henry James and his friend the novelist, E. F. Benson, and definitely one to consider visiting when you are next lured to that part of the world. Well it’s hard not to be lured to Rye which has an abundance of independent shops and restaurants set amongst its pretty, cobbled streets.

As part of a three-year project, Lamb House has been redesigned by the National Trust to give visitors more access to the house, the stories it contains and the writing it has inspired. James wrote several acclaimed novels such as The Wings of the Dove’ (1902), ‘The Ambassadors’ (1903) and ‘The Golden Bowl’ (1904) while living and working at Lamb House.

Since the time of James and Benson, Lamb House has continued to attract and nurture literary and artistic personalities, and now you can enjoy this part of history by visiting this beautiful house and gardens. The garden at Lamb House provided inspiration to both Henry James and E. F. Benson and the garden team have been bringing that muse back to life. Few gardens in England can boast such rich literary connections.

Nestled in the courtyard at the back of the house, there is also a pretty little tearoom where you can find a peaceful place to sit awhile with a borrowed book and cup of tea and cake. Maybe the perfect place to start your own scribbling? In the warmer months, we like taking a chair outside and sitting outside amongst the fig and mulberry trees.

It’s worth keeping an ear out for events held at Lamb House throughout the year such as Painting at Lamb House where budding (or indeed more experienced) artists can enjoy exclusive access to Lamb House when it is closed to visitors. Simply bring a drawing board or easel and set up in the beautiful walled garden that inspired its past residents with a qualified artist on hand for assistance.


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Kent