November 4, 2005

The trip

I left for England on July 9 at 8:10am on a British Airways flight direct from Dulles to London. What followed was a crazy, lovely, month-long journey through Austen's England. Here's how it broke down:
  • Oxford: July 9 - 16
    I started my trip with a week in Oxford, which has strong Austen connections. (Among other things, Jane's father George and two of her brothers went to school at St. John's College.) In addition to the Austen research, I attended a week-long class in theology and apologetics at Wycliffe Hall.

  • Hampshire: July 16 - 21
    For the next five days, I was in the middle of the Hampshire countryside, where Jane grew up and where she lived later in her life when she was writing and publishing. I stayed at Alton Abbey, a working monastery of the Anglican church, and visited Steventon (including St. Nicholas Church where her father was rector for so many years) and Chawton, where she and her mother and sister lived on her brother Edward's estate.

  • London: July 21 - 25
    After Hampshire I moved on to stay with a dear friend outside of London for a few days. I did day trips to Box Hill, and London (Jane's writing desk and a manuscript chapter of Persuasion are on display at the British Library, and the only drawing of Jane, the pencil drawing her sister Cassandra did, is at the National Portrait Gallery.) I also did a rather adventurous trip to Canterbury and Godmersham, which was her brother Edward's other estate.

  • Winchester: July 25
    On my way from London to Lyme, I stopped through Winchester to see Winchester Cathedral where Jane is buried and the house where she and Cassandra stayed during her illness.

  • Lyme Regis: July 25 - 27
    I spent two gray days in Lyme where I stayed at an old (smelly!) hotel, walked the Cobb, and, of course, saw the "Granny's Teeth" steps from Persuasion.

  • Bath: July 27 - 31
    From Lyme I was on to lovely Bath for four days. I visited the Jane Austen Centre and did their walking tour of the city, saw the Roman Baths, found a favorite tea shop on a quiet side street, and climbed Beechen Cliff like Catherine in Northanger Abbey. I stayed at a great little B&B -- the Villa Magdala.

  • Derbyshire: July 31 - August 4
    Derbyshire, in the Peak District, is the setting for Darcy's house, Pemberley, in Pride & Prejudice. It's gorgeous countryside (though I failed to see any real peaks in the Peak District...). I stayed with Jo and Rod Spensley at The Devonshire Arms, their great little pub in Pilsley for two nights, and then at a youth hostel in Youlgreave. I visited Lyme Park, which was Pemberley in the BBC version of P&P, and then Chatsworth, which they say may have been a model for Pemberley, and was used in the new version of the movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFayden.

  • Stoneleigh: August 4
    On my way back to London and back home, I made one final stop at Stoneleigh Abbey, Jane's mother's family's estate.


I spent one final day in Oxford, which I'd come to love, and flew home exhausted on August 6.

Many thanks to the team at The Republic of Pemberley. This trip would have been nearly impossible to plan without all the detailed information and links on the Pemberley site.

2 Comments:

Blogger Kristine said...

Hooray -- I'm so glad you're doing this! Can't wait to read it all!!

11/04/2005 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous suzanna said...

Lori -- This is terrific! What an excellent idea. I look forward to hearing more.

11/12/2005 07:44:00 PM  

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