Jane Austen and Chawton

Famed for Jane Austen and the oldest cricket club in Hampshire, Chawton is as popular as it is picturesque

Lying within the South Downs National Park, Chawton is a small village on the outskirts of Alton. The village has strong literary roots and dates back to 1086 when it was recorded in the Doomsday book.Most noted for...Jane Austen. The celebrated novelist spent the last eight years of her lifein Chawton.But try not to...Miss the writing workshops held at the Jane Austen House Museum.Stop for…A delicious cream tea at tea shop Cassandra’s Cup (01420 83144).No plain JaneStep into the life of Jane Austen at her House Museum; admire where she penned some of her most loved books, marvel at the patchwork quilt she darned with her mother and listen to the legendary squeaky door.Book wormsKnown as the home to early English women’s writing, Chawton House Library (01420 541 010) is a charity with a unique collection of books dating from 1600 to 1830. Open to members of the public, you can search and savour early editions and rare texts.Walk this wayStep in Jane Austen’s shoes and take a stroll through the woods and open countryside through Chawton Park. Starting at Jane Austen’s House Museum this circular walks covers eight miles and includes one steep climb; it goes through Four Marks and passes many local attractions, including Upper Woodside Farm and the Watercress Line. Visit www.greatwalksinbritain.co.uk for more information.While you’re here...Pop into Holybourne Rare Books (01420 82808) and browse for literary gold.Eat at: The Anchor Inn, 01420 23261Drink at: The Greyfriar, 01420 83841Stay at: St Mary’s Hall B&B, 01420 88269

Did you know?

• Chawton village’s original name was Cheltone meaning ‘the place where calves are reared’.• Jane Austen wrote Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion while in Chawton.• Cassandra Leigh and Cassandra Elizabeth (Jane Austen’s mother and sister) are buried at St Nicholas’ Church in Chawton.• Jane Austen House Museum is visited by 30,000 people a year.• Chawton has its own cricket club, founded in 1883 it is one of the oldest in Hampshire.