Jane Austen, the Brontes, and Beatrix Potter
A unique vacation for literature loversBy Michele Harris
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Called the most quoted first sentence in literature, if you recognize the opening of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, there is a wonderful vacation opportunity waiting for you. New York-based Lynott Tours offers unique excursions into the heart of literature with a tour through the English countryside called “Jane Austen, the Brontes and Beatrix Potter: A tour of their worlds.”
The eight-day journey to the places where these literary greats lived and worked begins with a visit to Austen’s home in Chawton. Chawton Cottage was where Austen wrote and revised her classics Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, and Persuasion. Today, the cottage is Jane Austen’s House Museum, where visitors can see the rooms Austen lived in and learn more about her.
You will also visit Bath, where you will see Stephenson Church, where Austen worshipped, where her brother served as pastor, and where she was finally laid to rest.
Those making the trip in September will get to participate in Bath’s annual Jane Austen Festival, which officially opens with the Regency Costumed Promenade. Austen lovers from all over the world dress in 18th century attire and are led through the streets of town by the town crier.
From there, the tour moves on to the Lake District, home of beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter, best known for The Tale of Peter Rabbit. You’ll see her home and enjoy the beautiful scenery that inspired characters like Tom Kitten, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Samuel Whiskers. You’ll also visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead, where Potter’s original drawings and illustrations are on display.
The Bronte sisters
The tour concludes with a visit to the bleak landscape of the Moors and Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters. Fans of Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall will delight in walking through the cobbled streets of town that inspired Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte and visiting the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
Lynott Tours has been leading tours of the U.K. and Ireland for over 40 years; many of them are unique, theme-oriented excursions. As Ellen McNulty, president of Lynott Tours, says, “We get every age range because those books appeal to so many different people. When you go on a tour like this that is geared toward a very special interest of yours, it’s like having your dreams come true.” McNulty adds that traveling in a small group of people (16 or fewer) who share a common love of literature makes it easy to bond with others in the group.
The tour costs $4,232 with a $518 single supplement. Airfare is not included. Accommodations throughout the tour are in three- and four-star hotels. The package includes admission to historic sites and museums, a private motor coach, a guide, full breakfast daily and two dinners. Upcoming dates for the tour are July 12-18, August 2-8, and September 13-21.
For more information, call 1-800-221-2474 or visit lynotttours.com.