I’ve written a guide to the ultimate day out for a Jane Austen Fan, everything you need from the pre-trip preparation to the full day itinerary.
Want to take your Jane Austen fan out for the best, day, EVER? Well literary fans, this one is for you.
Take a look at this itinerary that will fully immerse any Austen fan in Jane’s world.
The Ultimate Day Out for a Jane Austen Fan Itinerary
1. Pre-trip Preparation
Other than making sure you’ve got some change for parking and you’ve done your homework on the car parks of Alton there’s not much preparation for this trip.
But, if you really want to get in the mood I suggest picking up your favourite Jane Austen novel the week or month before so you’re in the thick of the book during your visit.
The night before get some take out and watch your favourite Jane Austen film, mine’s a toss up between Clueless (based on Emma), Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly, Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet or the new Emma, with Anna Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn.
If you really want to lay it on thick and I couldn’t really miss this off the Austen viewing list is the classic BBC television version with Colin Firth can also be consumed in the week leading up to your trip. I mean the lake diving scene, it’s a classic.
You may also want to book afternoon tea in Chawton at Cassandra’s Cup ahead of time, it’s not huge and it gets busy – but I’ll let you decide if you want to risk it or not.
2. Head to Alton
This is your first stop on my Ultimate Day out for a Jane Austen Fan and plenty of awesome places to explore that were frequented by Austen.
Print off the handy PDF map from Visit Hampshire’s page, so you can spot the sites and get all the historical Austen information on your walk.
3. Breakfast and Coffee
Alton has lots of lovely little cafes for a breakfast stop. Take your pick, keeping with the theme there is a place called Austen’s Cafe, and if you’re a caffeine fiend like me you’ll want to stop at Coffee Cherry Roasters & Co. I’ve not actually been to these, but the online reviews are good and these are the places I’d want to check out first and will check out on my next visit.
4. Walk from Alton to Chawton
Follow the map and enjoy the gorgeous English countryside and Jane Austen related locations pointed out on the handy map.
The walk’s about a mile and a half so should take 20-30 minutes depending on how long you spend looking at things on the route.
5. Jane Austen’s House Museum
Head inside, grab a ticket and head on to the video about Jane’s life and the house where she lived. That’s my top recommendation, it gives you Jane’s brief history and sets you up for the house tour perfectly.
It’s a magical experience, and one that I wrote a full post on with lots of detail, if you want to know more give it a read…
Once you’re done at the museum you can go across the road for a snack or lunch or head to Chawton House and visit the cafe there.
The lovely little tea room opposite Jane’s house is called Cassandra’s Cup and it serves afternoon tea and hot fresh pizza.
There’s also a cosy cafe at Chawton House serving lunch and cake too, so you’ve got a couple of options without having to return to Alton.
7. Walk from Jane’s House to Chawton House
Walk from the Museum to Chawton House, it’s literally about 10 minutes down the lane opposite the house.
It’s well signposted and half the walk is Chawton House’s long drive. There’s also a little church half way up the drive which is the final resting place to some of the Austen family. Jane ‘s resting place is at Winchester Catheral.
8. Chawton House
The front door is gorgeous and it actually feels like you are stepping into someone’s home. Reception is straight down the hall and you’ll be able to buy a ticket there.
You can tour the house, the art and historic exhibitions and spend time walking the grounds. It’s not massive and that’s why it can be paired perfectly with Jane’s House Museum for a truly terrific day trip.
Chawton is such a little gem, and another I’ve written an in-depth post about if you want all the details…
I hope you like the Ultimate Day Out for a Jane Austen Fan itinerary. Maybe it’s inspired you to treat yourself or a loved one to a literary filled day trip.
10. Itinerary Changes & Top Tips
This is my step by step guide but feel free to mix this itinerary up to suit your time schedule.
My best advice is to park in Alton and walk. There isn’t a lot of parking in Chawton but, you can always drive there to have a look because it’s not very far away.
If you have time you could always add in dinner or breakfast in Winchester and see Jane’s final resting place with a visit to Winchester Cathedral. But you’d probably have to swap this in place of the walk and either the museum or Chawton House.
Have a wonderful day and let me know if you have any questions.
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the library at Chawton House – it’s mega.
If you like this post, check out other things to do in the county with my A-Z guide to Hampshire.