When we were planning our trip to England in 2016, the first place on my go-to list was Jane Austen’s house. This list is less a Jane Austen tour and more a pilgrimage of the world’s most beloved female author. Every significant place in Jane Austen’s life is included here in this list:

10 Places To Stop On Your Self-Guided Jane Austen Tour

1. Old Steventon Rectory

Steventon, Hampshire

Jane Austen Steventon Rectory Drawing

History

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire. She spent her first 25 years living in the rectory nearby St Nicholas Church, where her father, Reverend George Austen, preached.

It was in the Steventon Rectory where she wrote Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice, although they wouldn’t be published until later.

When Rev Austen decided to retire, the family moved to Bath, auctioning off their furniture, animals and even Jane’s piano. The rectory was kept in the family – first with Jane’s brother James who succeeded his father as Reverend, then her brother Henry. The house was eventually demolished by Jane’s nephew William Knight, who built a new rectory when he took over the parish.

If you visit Steventon today, you can still see the original field where the old rectory stood. The site is marked by an old yew tree believed to have been planted by Jane’s eldest brother, James.

Directions

To reach Steventon Rectory from Winchester, leave Winchester following signs to The Midlands, M3. Leave the M3 at Junction 7 and take the first exit to the A30 (signposted Basingstoke). At traffic lights turn left (A30) then turn right to North Waltham and follow signs to Steventon.

Once in Steventon, use the signs to navigate your way on foot toward “Steventon Church”. The Austens’ Rectory would have faced the road to Steventon Church, with the well in the back of the house.

Useful Links

Finding Steventon by Thither Jane Austen

Jane Austen at Steventon by Seeking Jane Austen

2. St. Nicholas Church

Steventon, Hampshire

Steventon Church St Nicholas

History

St Nicholas, the small Steventon village church, was built around 1200AD. Over the centuries it has  seen only a few minor alterations. Jane Austen worshiped here the first 25 years of her life, with her  father, Reverend George Austen, as the rector. The Austen family lived opposite the church in the long-demolished rectory. Amazingly, the members of the Austen family were rectors at this church from 1759 to 1873.

Inside the church, on the north wall of the nave, there is a plaque dedicated to Jane Austen.

Jane Austen Plaque Steventon Church

Directions

Use the same directions listed above for the Old Steventon Rectory.

Useful Links

A Guide to St Nicholas’ Church, Steventon

Steventon, Hampshire – St Nicholas Church

3. The Wheatsheaf Hotel

Basingstoke, Hampshire

History

In Jane Austen’s day this pub was a working inn where travellers could hire horses and carriages, and a postal receiving house, where post was received from the mail coaches and then kept until it could be could be collected. Austonly writes that the distance between the Steventon Rectory and The Weatsheaf Inn is about 2.7 miles, which would take an hour to walk. So to collect and deliver her post Jane walked 2 hours roundtrip! Good thing she loved to walk.

Directions

Winchester Road, North Waltham, Basingstoke, RG25 2BB

Useful Links

https://www.chefandbrewer.com/pubs/hampshire/wheatsheaf/

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Popham Lane and Jane Austen, Part One

4. The Jane Austen Southampton Heritage Trail

Southampton

Jane Austen Southampton Heritage Trail

History

Southampton is the largest city in Hampshire county and a popular place to visit. Jane Austen holidayed here frequently and after her father’s death in 1806 moved to Southampton for 3 years. A heritage trail was created to commemorate the time Jane spent in Southampton.

There are 8 plaques at each location associated with Jane Austen. The first plaque at Bargate marks the place where Jane, her sister and cousin attended a nearby school when Jane was 7 years old. Unfortunately the school was closed down a few weeks later after an outbreak of typhus.

Directions

The Bargate

High St, Southampton SO14 2DJ, UK

Useful Links

Jane Austen Self-Guided Southampton Trail

5. The Paragon Georgian Townhouse

Bath, Somerset

History

Jane Austen’s aunt and uncle lived at 1 The Paragon during the winter seasons from 1797 until 1810. Jane stayed with them here when visiting in 1797 and then again in 1801 when the Austen’s first moved to Bath after her father’s retirement.

1a The Paragon was originally built in the 1790’s as a fashionable Georgian townhouse. It’s now a luxury self-catering holiday home.

Directions

1 The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LX

Useful Links

The Paragon

https://visitbath.co.uk/listings/single/the-paragon-georgian-townhouse/

6. Jane Austen’s Bath Home

Bath, Somerset

History

Jane Austen lived in Bath from 1801-1806. Her first home was Number 4 Sydney Place, which at that time was on the outskirts of Bath. Today there’s a plaque on the building commemorating Jane’s time there.

Directions

4 Sydney Place, Bath, Somerset, BA2 6NF

Useful Links

A Chance to Live at Number 4 Sydney Place,Bath?

http://www.bathbb.co.uk/hotel.html?id=AAB1178761&h=Jane+Austen%27s+Luxury+Apartments

7. Jane Austen’s House Museum

Chawton, Hampshire

making lavender bags inside jane austen house kitchen

History

It was here that Jane spent the final 8 years of her life. She moved here in 1809 with her mother, sister Cassandra and friend Martha Lloyd. The house was owned by Jane’s brother Edward, who had been adopted by the wealthy Knight family, whose main estate included Chawton House.

Jane had already written drafts for Sense and SensibilityPride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. But it wasn’t until she moved to this house that she revised and published them. She also  wrote Mansfield ParkEmma and Persuasion whilst living in this house.

Directions

Winchester Rd, Chawton, Alton GU34 1SD, UK

Useful Links

Read about our visit to the Jane Austen House Museum in 2016!

https://www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk/

8. Chawton House

Chawton, Hampshire

chawton house

History

Chawton House is an Elizabethan manor house that once belonged to Jane Austen’s brother, Edward. Visitors can enjoy the ‘Great House’ referred to in Jane Austen’s letters, relax in the peace and tranquillity of the gardens, and find inspiration in the lives and works of its women writers.

Visitors can sit at the table at which Jane Austen dined with her family, and enjoy a stroll in the Walled Garden built by her brother Edward.

Chawton House Library is a registered charity that conserves a unique collection of early women’s writing.

Directions

Chawton, Alton GU34 1SJ, UK

Useful Links

Chawton House: Home to Early Women’s Writing

9. Winchester Cathedral

Winchester, Hampshire

jane austen grave winchester cathedral

History

You couldn’t possibly complete a Jane Austen tour without visiting her final resting place.

Jane wasn’t famous when she was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Her original memorial stone (seen above) makes no mention of subsequent fame. To address the omission, a brass plaque was erected 1872 in the north side aisle by her memorial stone.

Directions

9 The Cl, Winchester SO23 9LS, UK

Useful Links

Read about our visit to Jane Austen’s grave!

Winchester Cathedral Website

10. Jane Austen Center

Bath, Somerset

History

The Jane Austen Centre, is a permanent exhibition that explores Jane’s time in Bath. Visitors can dine in its Regency Tea Room and purchase Jane Austen items in the gift shop. The Centre has become one of the most popular celebrations of Jane Austen ever, attracting thousands of visitors each year from around the globe.

Directions

40 Gay Street, Bath BA1 2NT

Useful Links

The Jane Austen Center

10 Places to Stop on your Self Guided Jane Austen Tour