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Jane Austen itinerary 
Follow in Jane Austen's footsteps 
Famous faces
Discover Hampshire's famous visitors and residents 
Online bookshop 
See our selection of novels and books about Jane Austen                  

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Hampshires Literary Heritage

Hampshire has proved a fertile ground for many celebrated writers over the last few centuries, drawn to the beauty of its countryside and heritage. 

Jane Austen

Jane Austen is arguably Hampshire's most celebrated resident, and you can follow her footsteps around the county, from Steventon near Basingstoke where she was born, to the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth, the village of Chawton and finally to her resting place in Winchester where she died in 1817.

Jane Austen's 17th century house in Chawton where she wrote or revised her six great novels is open to the public and holds a treasure trove of memorabilia including her writing desk.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812, the second of seven children, and his birthplace is now a museum.

Hampshire provided inspiration for several of Dicken's novels, including the notorious Victorian workhouse in Andover and Dickens returned to Portsmouth in his last twenties when researching 'Nicholas Nickleby'.

Gilbert White

Selborne was home to the Reverend Gilbert White, whose "The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne" (1789) still attracts international recognition.

You can find out more by visiting Gilbert White's House & The Oats Museum.

John Keats

John Keats stayed in Winchester in the summer and autumn of 1819, during which time he produced a series of masterpieces.

Visitors can follow the 'Keats Walk' celebrating his famous ode 'To Autumn', written after a walk along the River Itchen.

Edward Thomas

Poet Edward Thomas lived in the village of Steep from 1913 - 1916, taking inspiration from the countryside around him, while Flora Thompson, who came to Liphook in 1916, based her classic trilogy, Lark Rise to Candleford, on her observations of local natural history and rural life.

Other famous literary figures connected with Hampshire include Thomas Hardy whose novels were set in an imaginary Wessex and 'Upper Wessex' on Hardy's map is Hampshire.

Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, lived in Portsmouth and is buried in Minstead churchyard in the New Forest.

You can discover more about famous faces in Hampshire or follow in the footsteps of our local authors with our range of circular walks.

Featured Attractions

Gilbert White's House

Gilbert White's House & Garden and The Oates Collection

Located in the picturesque Hampshire village of Selborne, in a charming country house, discover three fascinating stories about explorers of the Natural World. Rev Gilbert White, the pioneering 18th century...

Jane Austen's House Museum

Jane Austen's House Museum

From 1809 until 1817 Jane Austen lived in Chawton village near Alton with her mother, her sister Cassandra and their friend Martha Lloyd. Restored to the rural Hampshire she loved, Jane turned again to writing...

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum

Pay a visit to the small terraced house where, in 1812, the famous novelist Charles Dickens was born. The home in which he lived for a short time has been lovingly restored and furnished to illustrate...