Jane Austen Tour

A 8 day trip to England 
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If you’ve committed Sense and Sensibility to memory and laughed at the incisive wit that fills the pages of Northanger Abbey, if you’ve longed to live with Emma’s carefree vivacity or dreamed of a date with Mr. Darcy, and if you’ve ever wanted to live the novels of Jane Austen: this is the vacation of your dreams.

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General Information

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Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

London, Selborne, Winchester, Steventon, Chawton, Bath, Lacock, Avebury

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Landing in London and Whisked to Winchester

You land this morning on the outskirts of London, ready to begin you Austen-themed vacation in high style as a private car meets you at the airport ready to transport you to Winchester, the capital of ancient England and the starting point of your unforgettable journey through space and time. Make your way to Winchester via the village of Selborne, where you’ll visit the beautiful Tudor estate of naturalist Gilbert White, since turned into a fine museum dedicated to the birdwatching pioneer and the times in which he lived. You’ll find the rooms to be inimitable in their charm and remarkable in their authenticity, filled with the grandeur that characterized the puissance of the United Kingdom in the 18th and 19th centuries. Once you reach Winchester, you’ll be checked in to your comfortable and elegant hotel just in time for a welcome reception and a delicious and filling dinner.

Day 2: The Beginning and the End

Today you start your exploration of the life and times of Jane Austen in earnest, as your private guide takes you to the quaint town of Steventon, Austen’s childhood home and the site of her greatest narrative triumphs: it was here that Austen penned Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey, and it was here that her family history was the strongest. You’ll find all manners of memorials to the writer and her ancestors, from the 12th century church that is little changed from when the Austens were rectors to the lime tree that marks the former rectory where Austen wrote her three most famous novels. 

From here, you turn to Chawton, where you can visit the Jane Austen House to learn more about the author’s life and works, including the impressive legacy her witty and poignant books continue to have two centuries after their publication. The afternoon sees you back in Winchester, where you’ll have the special treat of a private guided tour of the city’s famous and gorgeous cathedral, featuring a new and fascinating exhibition at Austen’s grave and an incredible viewing of the Library housing the immaculate Winchester Bible, an illuminated manuscript from the 12th century. You can also check out the crypt which features a magnificent sculpture dedicated Saint Swithun and the remarkable stained glass windows, which were reassembled randomly after their were deliberately smashed by the forces of Cromwell more than three centuries ago. A beautiful and moving performance of Choral Evensong provides the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Day 3: Seeing the Sights in Salisbury

Start west as you turn toward Bath, the Roman-turned-Georgian spa town that is one of the most beautiful cities in southern England, taking in some of the fantastic sites along the way. Stop in Salisbury for a mid-morning respite, where you can tour the grounds of Mompesson House, a regal and stately mansion the perfectly encapsulates the elegant of the Queen Anne style of the late seventeenth century and which served as the setting for the 1995 film adaption of Austen’s beloved classic Sense and Sensibility, directed by Ang Lee and starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman. 

From Mompesson House it’s just a quick walk to the famous walls of Salisbury Cathedral, boasting the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom as well as the oldest working clock in the world. You can walk through the sumptuously decorated nave to get an inside look at the scaffolding of the soaring spire, admire the handsome rib vault ceiling above the Cathedral’s clerestory windows, and marvel at the best-preserved original copy of the Magna Carta, one of the most famous political documents in world history. The evening sees you in breathtaking Bath, in the heart of the charming city center at a luxurious and elegant hotel.

Day 4: An Austen-Themed Day in Beautiful Bath

Today you wander Bath in the footsteps of Austen, taking in its Georgian splendor as well as its Roman Heritage, from the graceful span of the Pulteney Bridge to sculptures of angels ascending Jacob’s Ladder on the exterior of the famous Bath Abbey. Begin with a specially guided tour at the Jane Austen Center, where you can enjoy afternoon tea and learn more about the lasting legacy of this one-of-a-kind author and the stories of her life while in Bath. You then set out to explore the city as it was in Austen’s heyday, beginning with the recreated Georgian Gardens near the famous Royal Crescent, where you’ll see how gardens were designed and executed in the late-18th century. A tour of the fabulous museum at No. 1 Royal Crescent follows, giving you an in-depth look at life in a typical townhouse in the height of the Georgian era, with all its attendant luxury, opulence and style. 

Then it’s off to explore the fascinating exhibits at the nearby Museum of Costume, where you’ll find a world-class collection of period fashion, from the height of the British aristocracy to the present day, before visiting the incredible Building of Bath Museum, where the history of this unique city is viewed piece by piece with the help of cut-away wooden models of Georgian houses and the beautiful furnishings that filled them. The late afternoon can be spent at the famous Roman Bath houses, a true can’t-miss attraction.

Day 5: A Tour Through the Centuries

After a delicious breakfast and some free time to shop for souvenirs, you head back into the countryside and turn to the columned façade and inimitable grounds of Prior Park, a powerful Palladian home perched beautifully on a hill that offers spectacular vistas of the city below. Walk the beautiful landscape gardens that were designed by the famous poet Alexander Pope, where you’ll get breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside as well as sites nearer the eye, from the serpentine lake that weaves its graceful way through the gardens’ 28 acres to the famous Palladian bridge, one of only four bridges of its kind left on Earth. 

Then turn east, taking in the majesty of the surrounding landscapes before making a brief stop at Lacock, a medieval village listed in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book and one of the best-preserved medieval villages in the country. Austen fans will also be interested to note that the village was used for the set of the 1995, BBC imagining of Pride and Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Colin Firth as the dashing Mr. Darcy. 

Your final stop in the countryside comes at the Neolitich henge monument near the village of Avebury, where you’ll find the largest stone circle in Europe and fascinating evidence of the prehistoric period in England. You’ll be amazed by the earthworks and megaliths that fill the area, dwarfing the expanse of Stonehenge and filling your imagination with the wonder of the past. After leaving this captivating monument, you’ll have smooth sailing into the capital of London, where you can drop your bags off at your luxurious and perfectly located hotel before getting a first taste of nightlife in the capital.

Day 6: Finding Jane in the Kingdom’s Capital

There are traces of Austen even in London, notes from her life and from the lives of her characters, sites which have played an important part in the city’s history for their aristocratic grandeur and their elegant grace. You can walk the grounds at gorgeous Kensington Gardens like Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility, reveling in the spectacular fountains of the Italian Garden and the placid expanse of the Long Water, or visit the house of Austen’s brother at 10 Henrietta Street in Covent Garden. Enthusiasts will certainly want to make a stop at the British Library at St. Pancras, where they’ll find Austen’s own writing desk, the scene of her greatest literary imaginings and finest artistic stylings, as well as a number of other great exhibits dedicated to London writers. And if you find yourself in need of a replacement copy of your favorite Austen novel, you can head to one of London’s many excellent booksellers, each with their own draws and attractions, and each located in exciting neighborhoods filled with impressive sites. Make your way to Piccadilly Circus to visit Hatchards, the oldest bookstore in London, before trekking to Maryleborne Street and the long oak galleries of Daunt Books, filled with Edwardian charm and a unique system of sorting books that will give you a unique shopping experience. And, of course, you can visit the more than seven floors and five miles of shelves at Waterstone’s, the largest bookstore in the continent and the home to a gift shop, bar, and art gallery in addition to its vast stores of literature. 

Day 7: Leisure Day in London

Your final day in the United Kingdom is dedicated to whatever else you might want to see in one-of-a-kind London, from the city’s most important political buildings to some of the most famous streets in the world of fashion. You can stroll along the Thames and get a glimpse of the Neogothic masterpiece of the Palace of Westminster, where Parliament meets to discuss the most important matters in the kingdom, or take in the impressive nave and towering dome of Sir Christopher Wren’s monumental St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of the most important church buildings in Europe.

History buffs must spend some time at the world famous British Museum, where more than eight million artifacts from throughout the world are housed, from marble friezes from the Athenian Parthenon to the Rosetta Stone, the world’s most famous translation tool. Art lovers, meanwhile, would do well to visit the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, where they can view famous works of European masters as well as iconic portraits of Britain’s great citizens like the famous Chandos Portrait of William Shakespeare. 

And there’s something for shopoholics as well, as London offers some of the finest retail establishments in the world: men will find fine haberdashers on Jermyn Street and Saville Row, while the world’s most famous fashion houses make their presence known at Bond Street. And every aspiring fashionista must make a visit to Knightsbridge, home to Harrods, the world’s most famous department store, where the décor and ambience is almost as impressive as the store’s uncountable offerings.

Day 8: The End of Your Austen Adventure

This morning, you’ll be escorted from your London hotel back to the airport, where you’ll board the flight that will take you back home. You’ll be filled with the memories of an unforgettable vacation and a new-found appreciation for one of the best loved writers in the English language; as you recall the incredible experiences of the past week, you might find yourself planning your next vacation before you even touch down in the States.

Price

Starting Price 

$2,795
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.