My Jane Austen pilgrimmage

So… this weekend I went to Bath and Chawton House, home of Jane Austen…

Bath is full of character and history – something my home town lacks. I am not a city person, and no building, no matter how historic, beautiful, or colourful, can please me in the same way that a mountain, lake, or the coast can. Three days was enough, I was ready to leave, but there’s something about it which really captivated me.

The Roman Baths are fascinating. 2000 years of history. The Pump Room – open for over 200 years – is elegant and beautiful. Sitting in the Pump Room, sipping a drink and eating cake with my other half was one of the most pleasant experiences I’ve had in a while. I could just imagine Cathy from Northanger Abbey or Anne of Persuasion, or even Jane Austen herself, there.

We also visited the Jane Austen Centre. I’m a huge fan and this was a fitting and wonderful tribute to her. On our way home, we did a detour and visited her home between 1809-1817: Chawton Cottage. It was amazing to walk through rooms which she slept in, ate in, wrote in… learning so much about her from the centre in Bath and the cottage, left me feeling almost emotional – firstly, that she never knew how popular and legendry she would become (two hundred years later and she’s still selling books internationally), and secondly, that she died so young – aged 41.

So I have returned from Bath feeling enlightened, refreshed, and inspired. I highly recommend it as a weekend break to anyone who has any interest in history, and/or Jane Austen.

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