Celebrate Jane Austen Regency Week in Hampshire

One of literature’s most beloved authors, Jane Austen, spent many of the most significant years of her life living in Hampshire. From her birth in Steventon to the writing of her most famous novels in her Chawton cottage, to her final days in Winchester, this county is core to her life and her work. 

Every year, her life and the Regency era are celebrated during Jane Austen Regency Week, a nine-day festival that takes place in Alton and the neighbouring village of Chawton in Hampshire. This year the event takes place from Saturday 17th to Sunday 25th June. 

Let’s take a look at what is taking place during the celebration, as well as Jane Austen’s life in the wonderful county of Hampshire

What’s On During Jane Austen Regency Week 2023

Berkeley Inspiration - Celebrate Jane Austen Regency Week in Hampshire - What's On

There’s lots to see and do during this popular event, including plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the Regency period. 

Alton Regency Day begins on Saturday 17th June and is one of the main attractions taking place on the town’s High Street. This event is free to attend and features stalls, entertainment, live music, and period re-enactments. Visitors are even encouraged to dress in their finest Regency attire to really get into the spirit. 

If you really want to experience the life of Jane Austen and her family up close, there are several events where you can spend time in her home and see her daily life. There’s the Waking Up the House event where you can see her home come to life in the early morning, and hear stories and secrets about its rooms and history. It’s a fascinating way to get a feel for everyday Regency life and the life of Jane Austen herself.

There’s also the Jane Austen Regency Picnic that takes place in the beautiful grounds of Chawton House, once the home of Jane Austen’s brother. This is another opportunity to get into period costume and spend a delightful afternoon with food and entertainment, and even rub shoulders with Jane Austen’s family and other special guests. If you’re more interested in the literary side of things, you can take a tour of Jane Austen’s house through the lens of your favourite novels - including Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility, and visit the actual rooms where these beloved classics were written. 

Find out more about these events and see the full calendar over on the official Jane Austen Regency Week website

Jane Austen’s Life in Hampshire

Berkeley Inspiration - Celebrate Jane Austen Regency Week in Hampshire - Jane Austen's Life

Jane Austen spent much of her life in this county, and it had a significant impact on her writing. She captured its countryside as much as its society, taking inspiration from the people and places that featured in her daily life. While she was born in Steventon, she lived the most significant part of her life in the village of Chawton, where her house still stands as the Jane Austen House Museum. This is where she would write her most famous novels, including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma. 

Outside of writing, her life in Hampshire was relatively quiet, mostly spent visiting family or reading at home. The cottage in Chawton was given to Jane, her sisters and mother by her brother Edward, upon whose estate it stood - the nearby Chawton House. As well as her novels, Jane Austen wrote many letters to her friends and family from Chawton, giving us a lasting insight into her daily life and her approach to writing.

While her novels had some success during her life - even admired by the Prince Regent - they never brought her the wealth or renown we might expect. Though her life was comfortable in Chawton, in her final years she suffered financial setbacks and family drama that likely contributed to her declining health. She spent her final days in Winchester, and her grave can be found in the cathedral under a memorial stone in the nave. 

Today, her historic home is visited by thousands, giving modern audiences a glimpse into the world of Regency society and the life of the author of some of the world’s most famous and beloved novels.  

Living in Hampshire Today

Berkeley Inspiration - Celebrate Jane Austen Regency Week in Hampshire - Living in Hampshire Now

Hampshire is a county full of culture and natural beauty, with so much character and history to explore. 

As well as Jane Austen, Hampshire also claims several other literary greats including Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, who were both born in the county and lived here for portions of their lives. Winchester, the county town, was once the capital of England during Anglo-Saxon times, home to King Alfred the Great. Its cathedral is one of the largest in Europe and home to the 12th-century Winchester Bible. 

Located in Winchester, Knights Quarter offers new apartments and homes in the perfect Hampshire setting. Residents can enjoy the delights of Winchester while still being close to the open countryside and the rest of the county’s offerings. Even closer to Jane Austen’s home in Chawton is Crookham Village and Hareshill, which are made up of a stunning collection of homes surrounded by green landscaping just outside of Fleet, providing fast train links to central London.

If you’re looking for homes in Fleet itself, we also have Hartland Village, featuring beautifully designed homes just a short distance from the town centre. Ideally situated in the peaceful Hampshire countryside, Hartland Village offers community feel along with an excellent array of local schools and nearby transport links to London and beyond. 

Hampshire is a wonderful county to call home, with everything from historic cities to idyllic countryside and lots of hidden gems to discover. If you’re thinking about making your new home in Hampshire, take a look at all our new homes and apartments available in Hampshire