Memorable Moments During My Jane Austen Tour 2013

Jane Austen Tour 2013 signpost in Chawton

I have been home from my Jane Austen Tour to England for almost two weeks yet I am still basking in the afterglow. We visited many amazing cities, museums, stately homes and gardens associated with Jane Austen and her family which will fill up many future posts, but as I looked through photos and memorabilia for inspiration on where I should begin it brought back moments when my world went silent in surprise and awe. After years of appreciation and study of Austen’s novels and her world, this was my first trip to the country that she and her characters lived in—and my first step back in time to an era two hundred years ago—far removed from our lives of modern conveniences and technology. Here for your amusement are a few personal moments that I would like to share of my journey through Jane Austen’s world. Continue reading

Home from my Jane Austen Tour

Jane Austen Tour at Chawton Cottage 2013

Jane Austen Tour Group at Chawton Cottage, 2013

“pursuit of novelty and amusement”… fulfilled!

Jet-lagged but buoyant, I am still tingling from my amazing 10 day excursion to Jane Austen’s England with fellow author Syrie James and 14 intrepid Janeites.

I have so much news to share. I do not know where to begin. The following is a brief recap of our incredible journey through southern England visiting many significant sites and homes associated with our favorite author and culminating at the Jane Austen Centre Festival in Bath. (I will blog about each day or site more extensively over the next few weeks, so please stay tuned.)

Jane Austen Tour Day 1:

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Off to England in “pursuit of novelty and amusement”…

Jane Austen's House Museum,: Chawton Front Sign

Today is the day I leave for our Jane Austen Tour of England organized by Ingenious Travel September 7 – 16, 2013. Fellow author and dear friend Syrie James and I will be shepherding a merry group of Janeites to the homes and haunts of Jane Austen and her family through: London, Ramsgate, Canterbury, Oxford, Winchester, Chawton, Portsmouth, Lyme and finally Bath for the Jane Austen Festival.

It has long been my dream to visit England and walk in Jane Austen’s footsteps. I have purchased packs of mini-Kleenex in anticipation of the emotions that are sure to overtake me, often! I am looking forward to all the fabulous sights and meeting authors Jane Odiwe, Monica Fairview, Elizabeth Aston and Lynn Shepherd while we are there. Continue reading

A Jane Austen Tour with authors Syrie James and Laurel Ann Nattress

Chawton Cottage, Hampshire, England

Imagine being offered the opportunity to create your own dream excursion to Jane Austen’s England? What would you choose to see? Her home at Chawton, the cob at Lyme Regis and the pump room in Bath of course—but what other family estates, seaside villages and country escapes would be on your list? This was the question that author Syrie James and I were presented after we were approached by Ingenious Travel to create the ultimate dream Jane Austen tour—and boy did we have fun brain storming on this topic. We hope that you will be as excited by our choices as we are to be part of this fabulous eight day tour to Jane Austen’s Seascapes and Landscapes.

Here is our itinerary:

7 Sept (Saturday): Fly USA to London.

8 Sept (Sunday): Arrival at London Airport, welcome by the accompanying Jane Austen specialist guide, transfer by private coach to London. Visit the British Library, walk through the Covent Garden area to see places where Jane Austen stayed. Continue to Kent, check into the hotel. Welcome dinner.

Godmersham Park, Kent

9 Sept (Monday): Full breakfast (included daily). Visit Ramsgate and Goodnestone, lunch here; continue to Godmersham House and village. Visit Canterbury Cathedral if time permits. Return to the hotel for overnight.  (Lunch included)

10 Sept (Tuesday): Travel northwards to Oxford, visit the University and especially St. John’s College, which Jane Austen’s father and two of her brothers attended. Then to Steventon, the village where she was born: see the site of the old Parsonage, visit St. Nicholas’ Church where her father and eldest brother were Rectors. Continue to Winchester, check into the hotel. Evening social meeting after dinner with local Austen experts.  (Breakfast and Dinner included)

Winchester Cathedral

11 Sept (Wednesday): Touring in the lovely city of Winchester, visit the Cathedral, short ceremony at Jane Austen’s grave. View the house where she died. Then to Chawton, visit the Jane Austen House Museum: special meeting at Chawton House to see the Library, informal talk by the Director and (subject to permission) tea at Chawton House. Return via Alton, the charming country town which the Austen ladies frequented. Stay in Winchester.  (Breakfast and tea included)

12 Sept (Thursday): To the coast today – visit Cadland House, overlooking Southampton Water, to meet the Drummond family and see their fine display of maritime paintings and memorabilia. Then to Portsmouth, tour the historic Royal Naval Dockyard including HMS Victory, and see the former Naval College where Jane Austen’s naval brothers Frank and Charles received their training.  (Breakfast included)

The Cobb Stairs at Lyme Regis

13 Sept (Friday): Travel west to the pretty port town of Lyme Regis, walk the Cobb (scene of Louisa’s fall in ‘Persuasion’), meet Patrick Stokes and Diana Shervington, Austen descendants. Then to Bath, check in for 3 nights – the Jane Austen Festival begins this day. (Breakfast and Dinner included)

14 Sept (Saturday): Tour Bath, seeing houses where the Austens lived, also St Swithin’s Church, where Jane’s parents were married and her father is buried. Visit the Jane Austen Centre, 1 Royal Crescent, and the Assembly Rooms. Participate in the Festival Parade. (Breakfast included)

Assembly Rooms interior Bath

15 Sept (Sunday): To the nearby village of Lacock, film location for ‘Meryton’ in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice – as well as many other fictional places in various writers’ works. Return to Bath for a free afternoon – or a chance to attend other Festival events. Evening, private dinner party and entertainment in an elegant Bath townhouse.   (Breakfast and dinner included)

16 Sept (Monday): Transfer to London Airport for the return flight – opportunity for optional tour extension(s) in Bath (for more Festival participation) or London.  (Breakfast included)

As you can see, we are visiting all the special places in Jane Austen’s life and novels. Syrie and I are so excited to be part of this fabulous opportunity to share our admiration and knowledge of our favorite author Jane Austen and her world. We hope you can join us!

Additional information on the A Jane Austen Tour: Seascapes and Landscapes official website.

Cheers, Laurel Ann & Syrie

© 2013, Laurel Ann Nattress, Syrie James and Ingenious Tours