Tours with Jane Austen themes aren't new, but the Wayfarers--a 27-year-old American company that specializes in walking trips--has come up with an interesting twist on the Austenian theme: a six-day "Jane Austen Country" walk through Hampshire's village lanes and footpaths, exploring the region that was portrayed in many of Ms. Austen's books.
A spokesperson for the Wayfarers writes:
"Among the stopping points are Steventon, home to Jane's father's rectory; the village of Chawton, where the author moved at age 33 and the site of today's Jane Austen Museum; and Oakley Hall, the 18th Century manor house hotel that is considered to be the inspiration for Mansfield Park.
"After strolling along paths and passing classic cottages familiar to Jane Austen, walkers arrive at the ancient Winchester Cathedral, Jane's final resting place. Other highlights include a song recital and a pre-dinner discussion led by a Jane Austen expert."
The six-day, five-night trip costs US $3,595 per person, double occupancy, with a single-room supplement of $420. The price includes hotels, meals, trail snacks, wine with dinner, entrance fees, van transport for baggage (or walkers in need of rest), taxes, tips, and more. The "challenge level" is described as easy, with a pace of six to 10 miles per day
Photos: (top) Hampshire County Council, (inset) Oakley Hall Hotel.