A year of treats for Jane Austen enthusiasts

Winchester will be an exciting destination for Jane Austen fans in 2010, with a host of activities and events taking place in the city and surrounding area.

On 5 February, the Theatre Royal will present the 2009 Edinburgh Festival hit Austen’s Women. The production brings to the stage a selection of rewarding and exciting moments from the works of Jane Austen. For details, visit www.thetheatreroyalwinchester.co.uk or call 01962 840 440.

In April, The Jane Austen Story will open at Winchester Cathedral. This informative new exhibition will tell the story of Jane Austen’s life in the Hampshire towns and villages which inspired her writing. The exhibition will also explore the interesting depiction of clergy within her novels. For further information visit

Outside the city, in the beautiful village of Chawton, the Jane Austen’s House Museum is hosting a series of workshops and talks throughout the year. From 19 to 27 June, Regency Week events will be taking place at venues in Alton and Chawton, offering music, readings, plays, talks, market stalls and much more. Visit

Fans of Jane Austen and her work can drop into Winchester Tourist Information Centre (TIC), where the friendly staff will keep you up-to-date with all the latest Jane Austen events taking place across the District. You can also pick up the free Austen leaflet describing landmarks of her life in Winchester and Hampshire’s surrounding countryside.

The tourist information centre is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. Phone 01962 840 500, email tourism@winchester.gov.uk or visit the website at www.visitwinchester.co.uk

Jane Austen gifts at the Tourist Information Centre

You’ll find a range of new Jane Austen themed gifts on sale at Winchester’s award-winning Tourist Information Centre (TIC).

You can buy souvenirs such as mugs, key rings and shopping pads featuring either Jane herself or Mr Darcy.

The TIC is also proud to be stocking an exclusive range of charming little bears especially created by local artist Nancy Norton. With great attention to detail, these bears are wonderful collector’s items and represent characters from Pride and Prejudice, including a special bear dressed as Mr Darcy coming out of the lake at Pemberley (played for the BBC series so memorably by the unparalleled – and Winchester-bred - Colin Firth).

There is also a range of books on offer ranging from biographies and quiz books through to tasty recipes inspired by Austen’s novels.