Follow in the footsteps of East Hampshire’s literary greats with guided walks in the East Hampshire countryside.
To celebrate the literary heritage of East Hampshire, and the beautiful scenery that inspired it, the visitor attractions of East Hampshire have come together to form a literary festival, which will take place from 2 to 10 October 2021.
The week will also include guided walks to introduce those literary greats to a new audience. You can also take self-guided walks using the trails set out on our map.
This is also an opportunity to meet some authors you may not have encountered before, as well as some famous names such as Thackery (who wrote about Alton in ‘Vanity Fair’), J M Barrie (creator of Peter Pan), who stayed at the house of his sister and brother-in-law in Medstead, and Joanna Trollope who lived in Medstead with her first husband.
Programme of events
Saturday 2 October
- Mindful autumn nature walk and poetry-writing workshop at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton. 10am–12.30pm, £25 per person.
- Storytelling nature walk around Selborne hosted by Gilbert White’s House & Gardens, the home of the great 18th century ecologist. 10.30am–12pm, or 1.30–3pm, suitable for ages 5+, £5 per person.
- Edward Thomas Literary Festival at Petersfield Museum. A wide range of events.
Sunday 3 October
- Walk in the footsteps of the First World War-time poet Edward Thomas, starting at Bedales School. 10am–1pm, from £6 per person.
- The poetry of gardens: A garden tour with readings from poems within the Chawton House collection. 2–3.30pm, £5 per person.
Monday 4 October
- Walk and discussion starting at Gilbert White’s House with nature writer, conservationist and composer Laurence Rose. 11am–1pm, £10 per person.
- Estate walk at Chawton House. 2–3.30pm, £5 per person.
Tuesday 5 October
- Photography workshop at Chawton House. 10am–1pm, £45 per person including light lunch.
Wednesday 6 October
- Autumnal flora ‘Selborniensis Walk’ around Gilbert White’s Selborne. 11am–1pm, £10 per person.
- Curator's Tour of Botanical Women, Chawton House. £12. 2.30pm - 3.30pm
Thursday 7 October
- An introduction to Jane Austen in Chawton. 11am–12.30pm, £5 per person.
- Learn about Gilbert White’s Alton from local historian Jane Hurst at the Allen Gallery. 7.30–9pm, £6.50 per person.
- An introduction to Obstinate Headstrong Girls, led by Jane Austen’s House Museum. 7.30–8.30pm via Zoom, £5 per person.
Friday 8 October
- Walking tour of Gilbert White’s Alton. 11am–12.30pm, £5 per person.
- Yoga workshop hosted by Chawton House. 9.30–10.30am, £10 per person.
Saturday 9 October
- An introduction to Jane Austen in Alton. 11am–12.30pm, £5 per person.
- Autumn Walk and Workshop: Persuasion at Jane Austen’s House. 10am–12.30pm, £25 per person.
Sunday 10 October
- Book launch for Nicola Chester’s On Gallows Down. 2pm, £10 per person.
All events may be subject to change.