Monday – 10 to 5
Tuesday – 10 to 5
Wednesday – 10 to 5
Thursday – 10 to 5
Friday – 10 to 5
Saturday – 10 to 5:30
Sunday – 11 to 5
We are also available by chance and appointment - please call on 01323 871444, or e-mail us by clicking here to arrange browsing
Much Ado Books fills a lovely barn in a garden was once a builder's yard. You'll also find a shepherd's hut filled with secondhand books, and a trio of chickens. Click here to learn more about us.
The compound is also home to Prospero's Project, a kind of clubhouse for our Readers Club. It houses antiquarian volumes, book art, a craft space, a writers room and more - read up on it here.
Call +44(0)1323 871444 with inquiries or appointment requests.
Alfriston is a beautiful South Downs village, located just moments from the A27 between Lewes and Eastbourne in East Sussex.
Pop in: 8 West Street, Alfriston, East Sussex, BN26 5UX, England
Pick up the phone: 44(0)1323 871444
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
In your Car
From the main road, turn south at the roundabout near Drusillas Zoo. Driving into the village, you’ll first come to a handy Pay and Display parking lot. But there is also a free car park; keep driving on and, at the Market Square, turn sharply right and sharply right again. (You’ll pass Much Ado as you complete this U-turn – we're next to the Smuggler’s Inne). The entrance to the free lot is just a hundred yards down the road, on your right.
If you use an internet map system, our post code is BN26 5UX.
Trains from London stop at Berwick and at Polegate. Berwick has fewer trains stopping, and has no facility for taxis – but from there walkers can reach Alfriston in under an hour. Polegate is further away, but more trains stop there and the station usually hosts a number of taxis.
Trains from Brighton stop at Seaford, and taxis are usually available.
We are very fortunate that the award-winning Cuckmere Community Bus, run by volunteers, runs on most weekends. Consult their schedule by clicking here.
Who's who and where's where?
Here are some of our favourite places to eat, shop, visit, hang out and generally appreciate…
Alfriston & Cuckmere Valley
Wingrove House Hotel & Restaurant – a great wine list; a really nice menu; comfortable rooms… what's not to like?
For teatime, we recommend Badgers Tea House, where the warm welcome matches the fabulous scones and coffee.
Deans Place Hotel offers another place to rest your head or refresh your palate – don't forget to pack your swimming suit, so you can take a plunge in the pool!
We encourage visitors to enjoy Alfriston's St Andrew's Church, with lovely stained glass windows. There are several other striking churches in the immediate area; this website offers a quick guide to them.
Alfriston also features the first property purchased by the National Trust. Volunteers offer tours of the Clergy House, and if you can we'd suggest planning on being here while its open - check the website for details and hours.
We're incredibly lucky to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. For a lovely stroll to the sea, or around the Ashdown Forest, or along the Downs, start with the Seven Sisters Country Park. You'll find a visitor's centre at the entrance to the Cuckmere River's meanders, which leads to the ocean. You can also learn about the South Downs National Park.
The local traders’ group has assembled a useful website for you to consult when considering a visit - click here to learn about places to stay, eat, and visit.
Here are some suggestions for walkers:
You don't have to be a sommelier to enjoy Rathfinny, a newly-planted vineyard growing on the outskirts of Alfriston. A terrific shop situated in the village (conveniently near St Andrews Church!) offers a range of treats. It also hosts a mezzanine with information and displays about the history of the Cuckmere Valley. Vineyard tours and visits are also available - click here to learn more.
In April this year, a profusion of bluebells awaits avid walkers and relaxed strollers alike in Arlington. Raising funds for charity with ticket fees, a lovely cafe and a book sale, the Arlington Bluebell Walk is a Springtime delight; learn more here.
Within about half-an-hours' drive
The Bloomsbury Group hung out not far from Alfriston, and their Sussex home - the Charleston Farmhouse – is only five minutes down the road. But you shouldn't miss the extraordinary Berwick Church, which they decorated with murals (it makes a great 10-minute cultural stop, if you haven’t time or inclination for more!). If you're in the mood to go just a bit further afield, Virginia Woolf lived at Monk's House in Rodmell, which is run by the National Trust.
A lesser-known (but utterly fantastic) private house tour is the Farley Farmhouse, which fashions itself as 'home of the Surrealists'. Roland Penrose lived there (he was an artist and the first biographer of Picasso, who was a frequent guest in the house). Perhaps even more interestingly, his wife was Lee Miller - muse, model and an amazing photographers (one of only two women authorised to photograph on the battlefields of the Second World War). Tours of Farley Farmhouse are terrific - memorable for the art and the memorabilia collected from around the world; and for the stories of Miller and Penrose, whose lives could have been in a novel. Do try to schedule a trip there!
Towner Gallery (Eastbourne) – A public gallery with a modern bent and a fantastic collection of Eric Ravilious art.
Emma Mason Gallery (Eastbourne) specializes in prints
Ditchling Museum (Ditchling - outside Brighton) – A terrific museum, focusing on local history that just happens to include the likes of Eric Gill and Frank Brangwyn!
Just down the road from Bodiam Castle, the Michelin-starred Curlew Restaurant doesn't act like a Michelin-starred restaurant – it isn't snooty, pretentious or very expensive. On the other hand, you will find the delicious food a Michelin star implies - worth a detour, or a trip on its own!
A Bit Further Afield . . .
Folkestone, in Kent, has seen better times. Now, a well-organized and forceful effort to rejuvinate this seaside town offers commercial space to artists and crafters at bargain rates, and the resulting Creative Quarter is worth a visit – it is funky, strange, beguiling and filled with a fabulous energy. It takes a good couple of hours to drive there from Alfriston; if you're in London, a fast train will whisk you there in under an hour.
While in Folkestone, be sure to include a meal at Rocksalt – a gorgeous restaurant overlooking the harbour. It happens to be just steps from the Creative Quarter. You'll enjoy great views, a rather nice wine list, and best of all some really, really good food . . . (They offer a few rooms, too, if you want to plan an overnight stay. They are small, but beautifully designed - not the place for week-long stay, but great if you want to enjoy a leisurely super without worrying about catching a train).
A bit closer to our village - but still a day trip – is Derek Jarman's Garden. The artist and film director loved this beachside cabin, and created a marvelous garden filled with indigenous plants and scattered with art – or, with art-like pieces of detritus he found washed up on the beach. Quirky? Yes. Perhaps even weird. But compelling and gorgeous, too.