Romance is alive in Winchester this Valentine's Day
Newlywed New Yorkers were excited to visit Winchester this week after winning a competition to explore Jane Austen's Hampshire.
Amy and Christos Georgoulas won a 'Pride and Prejudice honeymoon' package after spotting the competition in Brides, the bestselling bridal magazine in the US, and they chose to visit our city over romantic Valentine's Day.
Organised by Winchester City Council's tourism service, in conjunction with Tourism South East and VisitBritain, the competition was part of a Jane Austen marketing campaign launched by the City Council to coincide with the worldwide release of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.
Amy and Christos, who married on September 10 last year, stayed first at Lainston House, a four red star hotel set in the heart of the Hampshire countryside where Jane spent much of her life and found the inspiration to write many of her novels, including Pride and Prejudice. They then had a two-night stay at No 32 Canon Street, a luxury self-catering cottage in the city centre, just a few doors away from the house in College Street where Jane lived her last days, and a two-minute walk from Winchester Cathedral, her final resting place.
The couple also had a private guided walking tour of Jane Austen's Winchester with qualified tourist guide, Elizabeth Proudman, before moving on to Bath for the final few days of their stay.
Amy, who was really enjoying her first visit to the UK, said: "There is such a friendly atmosphere in Winchester. It's incredibly relaxing and peaceful - very different from New York - and the food and shopping are great."
Tourism marketing manager for Winchester City Council, Karen Brazier, said: "Jane Austen is one of Winchester's strongest selling points in tourism marketing terms, and we know that many fans of Hampshire's most famous daughter make the pilgrimage to the city to visit her tomb in the cathedral, as well as to explore the nearby villages of Chawton and Steventon, both of which have strong connections.
She added: "We are extremely grateful to No 32 Canon Street and Lainston House for enabling us to offer this competition prize, which has helped to reinforce the city's links with Jane Austen to visitors from across the pond."
Notes to editor
- Jane Austen spent most of her life in Hampshire, and it is where she found inspiration to write classics Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park and Sense and Sensibility.
- She lived in the village of Chawton from 1809 to 1817 and at her house you can view family memorabilia, original manuscripts and the bookcase containing first editions of Jane's novels.
- Jane Austen lived her final days in College Street in Winchester, and is buried in the cathedral.
- Winchester City Council offers Jane Austen short break packages, bookable via the tourist information centre.
Go to www.visitwinchester.co.uk/where-to-stay/short-breaks for more information.
- For more information on Lainston House go to www.exclusivehotels.com
- For more information on No 32 Canon Street go to www.holiday-accommodation-winchester.co.uk