Enjoy ‘Your Winchester’ with the new Jane Austen trail

As the trend of holidaying at home grows, Winchester City Council’s tourism service has been looking for ways to encourage people to explore the district in new ways.  As a result, a new campaign called ‘Your Winchester’ has been launched; the latest addition to which is the new Jane Austen trail.

‘Your Winchester’ consists of a series of initiatives designed to promote the district to day trippers and those looking for a short break.Following on from the success of the City Council’s recently launched cricket trail, the Jane Austen trail leaflet highlights the many landmarks connected with Jane Austen’s life

The 12-page leaflet, which is also supported by a dedicated website at
www.winchesteraustentrail.co.uk, starts at the site of the rectory in Steventon where Jane Austen grew up. St Nicholas’ Church, where her father was a rector, is also close by. There’s an opportunity to discover the grand houses dotted around the north Hampshire countryside where Jane and her sister Cassandra spent their dancing years; and the influence of her time spent in Portsmouth and Southampton is also marked.

Austen’s happy years in Chawton are more accessible to visitors than ever before with the 200th anniversary renovations and events at Jane Austen’s House and Museum in Alton. The trail ends in Winchester where you can see her ledger stone and plaque in the cathedral, the house where she died in College Streetand the small collection of memorabilia in the City Museum.

Ellen Simpson, Winchester City Council’s Tourism Marketing and Development Manager, said: “The Cricket trail and the Austen trail link in to each other at Winchester, Alresford and Southampton, meaning that they can be easily merged to create a single, longer trail that touches on both themes; perfect for all the family. They both share a predominantly Georgian theme too – because what was arguably cricket’s finest hour (not including the recent England Ashes win) coincided with the years in which Austen was penning her six novels.”

Cllr George Beckett , Leader of Winchester City Council and portfolio holder for economy and tourism, added: “Winchester has a year round appeal as there are endless things to see and do here. The City Council has been looking for ways to ensure that local people and local businesses benefit from its prize-winning tourism service, and the Your Winchester campaign is designed with the local community in mind.  By encouraging our own residents to explore the area in new ways, the two trails aim to support rural shops, eateries and attractions which are sometimes less visible to visitors from further afield.”

For more information on the two trails please call Winchester Tourist Information Centre or visit the trail websites at
www.winchesteraustentrail.co.uk and www.cricketingwinchester.co.ukFurther information can also be found on the back of the latest edition of Perspectives magazine, the City Council’s magazine for residents, which is being delivered to all households this month.

The tourist information centre is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.  Call 01962 840 500, e-mail
tourism@winchester.gov.uk or visit the website at www.visitwinchester.co.uk.