Chawton House, Chawton, Alton, Hampshire
Jane Austen fans – here’s one place that should be high on your list for when you’re on your group holidays in Hampshire. Chawton is ‘the Great House’ referred to in her letters, a handsome Elizabethan manor house where she lived with her mother and sisters after her brother inherited it from distant relatives. These days it’s run by a charitable trust and not only houses The Jane Austen House Museum but it also the research library for The Centre for the Study of Early Women's Writing.
A look around the house will give you a fascinating insight into its history; there are impressive carved stone fireplaces, beautiful heraldic stained glass windows and creepy witch marks on the walls. The gardens too, are a delight, laid out in the English landscape style with terraces, a shrubbery, a fernery, a herb garden and a ha-ha. Beyond that is the vast parkland where you can explore, stretch your legs and let off steam; if you want to mark it in a particularly memorable way you can pre-book a Hampshire Hawk Walk with the resident falconer – imagine strolling around these tranquil grounds with a Harris hawk coming to your gloved hand! Round off your visit with tea and cake in the tea rooms.
Open 10.00am-4.00pm Weds-Sun
T: 01420 541010 All information correct at the time of writing