Walk in Jane Austen’s footsteps

Amanda Cottrell opens the Serpentine Walk

Amanda Cottrell opens the Serpentine Walk - Credit: Archant

The 18th-century Serpentine Walk is now open at Goodnestone Park

Visitors to the famous formal gardens at Goodnestone Park can now enjoy a newly reinstated 18th-century Serpentine Walk through the Park

It follows a route that would have been familiar to the novelist Jane Austen when she visited her brother, Edward, who lived on the estate.

The walk was officially opened by Amanda Cottrell, chairman of Visit Kent at a private ceremony on 20 June that was attended by many of the key project partners.

The gardens themselves have been restored and improved over the past 50 years by Lady Margaret FitzWalter and it is her eldest son, Julian, the 22nd Lord FitzWalter, who has recreated this important feature of the Grade II Park.

The Serpentine Path winds its way through the parkland blending with the surrounding landscape and allowing fine views of the Mansion. It passes areas of historic wood pasture, an early Ice House and extensive chalk grassland.

To help visitors appreciate the landscape two specially commissioned illustrated interpretation boards have been produced in conjunction with Natural England and have been installed at the start and at the end of the walk.

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Lord FitzWalter said: “We hope our visitors will really enjoy the revived walk - and maybe even imagine Jane Austen admiring these views while developing the plot of Pride and Prejudice, which she began writing after a visit to Goodnestone.”

For details about visiting Goodnestone Park Gardens, visit www.goodnestoneparkgardens.co.uk

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Book online at: www.chapterhouse.org