Hampshire was the inspiration for many of Jane Austen's novels.
From her home in Steventon, near Basingstoke, she wrote the first drafts of Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice, and went shopping in Andover, Alton and Alresford.
She attended dances at The Vyne, near Basingstoke, and finished several of her famous novels at her home in Chawton, which now houses an excellent museum dedicated to the Austens.
Jane's last resting place can be seen in Winchester Cathedral. Next to her grave you will find a permanent illustrated exhibition outlining her life and death in Hampshire.
Many places in Hampshire are associated with Jane Austen’s celebrated life and inspired some of the characters and locations in her most famous novels.
Many of these locations have now become the ideal rural escape for visitors to the county.
2015 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Emma, one of the books Jane wrote entirely at Chawton.The Jane Austen’s House Museum will be celebrating all year with a range of events and activities.
Jane Austen's Life in Hampshire
The first drafts of Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice were written from her home in Steventon, near Basingstoke, where she was born in December 1775.
Jane’s father was the vicar of the small 12th century Steventon Church and she spent the first 25 years of her life living in Steventon Rectory.
After a brief stay in Southampton, Jane’s family moved to the village of Chawton, near Alton, in 1809.
The family home now houses the popular Jane Austen’s House and contains some of her personal memorabilia and artefacts.
Here she revised some of her most famous novels at a writing table that can still be seen today.
Jane loved the countryside around Chawton and you can walk in her footsteps in a circular walk from Chawton to Farringdon or visit the nearby market town of Alton, where Jane and her sister Cassandra used to go shopping.
Jane and her family enjoyed days out at local beauty spots, such as the New Forest.
The ruins and pretty countryside at Netley Abbey were another favourite, and Jane also travelled to Portsmouth to visit her brothers Francis and Charles, who were stationed there with the Royal Navy.
Jane attended dances at The Vyne, an impressive 16th-century house near Basingstoke, dating back to Henry VIII’s reign, and at various times also visited Andover and Winchester.
Jane’s last resting place, after an illness which took her life at the age of 41, was in Winchester Cathedral, where she is buried in the north aisle.
The inscription on her tomb makes no mention of her literary talents but a brass tablet and memorial window were added at later dates.
Jane Austen's Legacy
There are many opportunities to discover more about Jane Austen’s life in Hampshire and about the legacy she has left for future generations.
At Whitchurch Silk Mill you can find out about the silk used in the costumes for the BBC1 serial of Pride & Prejudice and in the Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard there are more insights into the kind of life led by Jane’s brothers in their Navy careers.
Hampshire Record Office in Winchester has outstanding collections relating to the Austen family, such as parish registers, letters and poems.
Jane Austen Walks & Tours
Circular walk - follow in Jane's footsteps through the countryside that inspired her from Chawton to Farringdon.
Jane Austen Trail - walking route from Alton High Street to Chawton passing places of interest.
Personalised minibus tour - find out more about Jane's connections with the county, including the pretty villages of Steventon and Chawton.
Winchester Austen Trail- find out more about the author's life in Hampshire
If you are planning to visit Hampshire then we definitely recommend you read a copy of one of our handy brochures and guides.
If you would like more information on things to do and what's on, you will find information on a huge variety of attractions, events and activities such as a guide to our farmers' markets, museums, golf courses and gardens as well as our many fishing, walking and horse riding locations.
If you are an explorer and would like to find out more information on different places to visit in Hampshire, as well as information on our many towns and villages, there's plenty of recommendations in there too.
Last but not least, you will also get the latest travel and parking information.
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