A January Jaunt with Jane and John (Hampshire)


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19 km / 12 miles

6 hours

The usual notes on the landscape and settlements:

Alton: A prosperous market town with a High Street lined, barring some insensitive modern intrusions, with handsome Georgian buildings with Venetian windows and Adamish porches. St Lawrence's Church is a perpendicular gothic town church built around a Norman tower of 1100. The church is now 15th-century externally apart from the Victorian broach spire.

The Worldhams: Sturdy, solid homes and two 13th-century churches: St Mary with richly-moulded arches at East Worldham, and St Nicholas which has an all-in-one nave and chancel at West Worldham. Nearby Wyck is a pretty hamlet.

King John's Hill: Near East Worldham, an iron-age hill fort with shallow defences which was subsequently the site of a hunting lodge for King John. The lake at the bottom is pretty and the views sublime.

Chawton: A tidy village adjoining Alton, famed as the home of Jane Austen from 1809 to 1817. Now a museum, Chawton Cottage is a modest (but Grade I-listed) 17th century house where she wrote her later novels Mansfield ParkEmma and Persuasion. It is possible that her earlier novels Sense and SensibilityPride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey were revised from earlier drafts here. St Nicholas's Church is quite elegant for 1871 and Chawton House is Grade II*-listed late 16th-century. 



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