It has been a long time since mother of English literature – Jane Austen lived in this largish village house in the sleepy village of Chawton (near Alton) in Hampshire, but it was as though she had just popped out.
The restoration and presentation is superb. There are many original items and room settings to show what her life would have been like then. There is the courtyard and garden, and many rooms to explore.
It was a busy Saturday, but the large number of visitors (many obviously from overseas) enjoyed their experience greatly. Security was poor though – many visitors were able to walk in without paying (Concession admittance is £6). Books and other items could easily be stolen, which is such a pity. They need more staff and perhaps CCTV?
The ground floor only is available to disabled visitors (but that does include Jane’s actual writing desk). Accessible toilets are available in the courtyard, but these need to be more frequently supervised!
Highly recommended for all visitors. Try to avoid weekends!