Jane Austen for the Travel Trade
Jane Austen’s vivid portrayal of life in Regency England attracts visitors from all over the world. Based in Bath, the city with which she is most closely associated, ECT is able to help international operators devise tours that will immerse guests in the author’s world. We have the expertise to take care of every detail, from planning the itinerary to supplying multi-lingual guides, ensuring that your tour runs smoothly and gives your guests a lasting insight into Jane Austen’s fascinating culture and heritage. Our travel trade tours are open to groups of 20 or more.
Please explore the options set out below.
Described in 1771 as 'the most noble and elegant of any in the kingdom', the Bath Assembly Rooms was where Regency society came to dance, play cards, listen to music and drink tea. The building is now also home to the internationally-acclaimed Fashion Museum with its world class collection of historic and contemporary dress. Visitors seeking a truly immersive experience can even try on a replica frock coat or gown.
No.1 Royal Crescent
Step through the elegant front door of this museum and straight into the home of a fashionable Georgian family. Decorated and furnished as it would have been between 1776 and 1796, the museum creates a vivid picture of life in Jane Austen’s Bath.
The Pump Room
This Grade 1 listed building was once the heart of the Regency social scene. It is where Catherine Morland first set eyes on the dashing Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey and Persuasion’s Admiral Croft went to seek a cure for his gout. You can still sample the warm, mineral-rich waters from the King’s Spring water fountain.
Chawton House and The Jane Austen House Museum
Edward Austen inherited the Elizabethan manor Chawton House from distant family members Thomas and Catherine Knight and Jane often went to stay, referring to it in letters as ‘the Great House’. Now open to the public, there are still many traces of her time there, including the table she dined at and an alcove in the Oak Room where she liked to sit and read.
In 1809 Jane, together with her beloved mother and sister, moved into the bailiff’s residence, five minutes’ walk away. The house is now home to the Jane Austen House Museum. This charming recreation of the Austen women’s home and garden not only offers an insight into their domestic life, it also gives visitors the chance to see the desk where Jane wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.
St Nicholas Church where Jane’s mother and her sister Cassandra are buried is a short walk away.
Dating from the 13th century, this perfectly-preserved Wiltshire village was used as the location for Meryton in the BBC’s production of Pride and Prejudice. Take time to walk along the pretty streets where the Bennet girls, in particular Lydia and Kitty ‘whose minds were more vacant than their sisters’, shopped for bonnets and hoped to attract the attentions of a young officer named Mr Wickham.
This pretty Hampshire village is where Jane Austen was born, raised and wrote the manuscripts for her first three novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. The Rectory itself is no longer there, but a lime tree said to have been planted by Jane’s brother James, marks the place where it stood. The 12th century church where Jane used to listen to her father preach, is still in use today.
In 1817, suffering from a kidney disorder, Jane moved to College Street in Winchester in order to be close to her physician. Sadly, she died a few weeks later and was buried in the Cathedral. The original memorial stone made no mention of her literary achievements, but a few years later Jane's nephew commissioned a brass plaque engraved with the inscription ‘Jane Austen, known to many by her writings’. Both can still be seen in the Cathedral today, along with a beautiful stained glass memorial window.
If you’re looking for an immersive experience, there’s nothing like dressing up in Regency costume to eat, dance and play cards, just as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy would have done. We can organise a totally bespoke Regency dance, or book your group tables* at both the annual Farthingales Grand Regency Ball, held in the historic surroundings of the Assembly Rooms’ ballroom, and the Jane Austen Festival Ball which takes place in Bath each September.
We are also able to organise dance workshops so guests can learn how to dance a Cotillion and Le Minuet like a member of 18th century Bath’s high society.
*Please note, these events sell out very quickly so we need to plan a year ahead.
Enhance a visit to Chawton House with a buffet lunch around the very table Jane herself would have dined at and sample recipes from a cookbook used by Jane Austen’s family. Indulge in an authentic Jane Austen afternoon tea of ham hock terrine, Bath buns and fruit fool at Bath’s historic Pump Room Restaurant.
Dress like a Regency lady or gentleman
Our well-established connections mean that we are able to offer groups the opportunity to visit both Chawton House and the village of Lacock in full Regency dress. We can also arrange for a photographer to join you ensuring you have a wonderful memento of the day.
The best way to explore Bath is on foot. We can organise a walking tour of the city’s most compelling Janeite sites in the company of an expert guide. You will visit must-see places including her home at 4 Sydney Place, the magnificent Circus and Regency Bath’s most fashionable strolling street, The Royal Crescent.
We have well-established connections with Jane Austen specialists, museum curators and historians and can arrange private tours of all the sites you visit, as well as expert talks either at the venues or your hotel. Why not enhance a visit to Steventon church with a talk about Jane’s connection with the village of her birth, for example, or add a lecture by an academic from Bath Spa University’s MA Jane Austen’s England programme, to your tour of No.1 Royal Crescent?
Groups wishing to extend their stay may like to visit Jane Austen-related sites in other parts of the UK. And if you would like to incorporate other literary locations such as Shakespeare’s Stratford, or add on a tour of the Gardens of England please visit our travel services at www.ecttravel.com
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth was not only used as the location for Pemberley in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, but it's also named in the novel itself as one of the estates that Elizabeth visits. See the grand staircase and ceiling of the Painted Hall where Lizzie and the Gardiners start their tour of Pemberley and. The Sculpture Gallery where Lizzie Bennet sees the bust of Mr Darcy, and his housekeeper describes his many good qualities. (The bust itself can be found in the Orangery shop.)
Add an overnight stay in the capital and enjoy a fascinating private tour of the treasures of British Library, home to two of Jane Austen’s notebooks?
This seaside town, two hours from Bath, features in Jane’s final novel Persuasion. Visit the famous Cob to see the exact spot where Louise Musgrove fell and enjoy a tour of the Lyme Regis Museum, home to a number of fascinating Austen objects.
Lyme Park, Cheshire
The house at Lyme Park also appears as Pemberley in the BBC's TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. The infamous scene where Colin Firth stripped off was filmed here.
Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire was home to Jane’s maternal relatives, the noble Leigh family for 400 years. Jane visited in 1806 and was so inspired by the house, its grounds, and the many family intrigues that she wove descriptions of the interiors, views of the gardens, and cameos of the family into her novels. (The chapel and woodland walk, for example, appear in Mansfield Park.) Visitors can explore this perfectly preserved house and its grounds in the company of a guide, dressed in the costume of the day, and learn the story of the real Anne Elliot from Persuasion.
Less than an hour from Bath, this house with its magnificent landscaped park was used as a location for the BBC’s 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Explore the gardens and discover the garden temple where Mr Darcy made his first proposal.