Immerse yourself in the Jane Austen Experience

at Riversdown House

 

Sunday 12 – 17/18 December 2021
Sunday 23 – 27/28 January 2022
Sunday 20 – 24/25 February 2022

 

Back-view of Jane Austen. Watercolour by her sister, Cassandra. 1804. Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

 

The Experiencing Jane Austen Programme

 

Sunday

16:30 Arrivals and check-in
18:00 Welcome drinks with a Regency period cocktail
19:00 Historic House Tour
19:30 Dinner
20:30 Lecture: Jane Austen, her Hampshire life and the Riversdown connection

Monday

08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Visit to Chawton, including village tour
13:00 Lunch at The Greyfriar
14:30 Visit to Chawton House, followed by a lecture on site
17:00 Back to Riversdown (free time)
19:00 Dinner
20:30 Evening workshop: quilting

 

Tuesday

08:30 Breakfast
09:30 Workshop in creative writing
11:00 Free time for writing / embroidering / sports / walking / contemplation
12:30 Lunch
14:00 A visit to Jane Austen’s Winchester
17:30 Back to Riversdown (free time)
19:00 Dinner
20:30 Lecture: Regency Fashion

 

Wednesday

08:30 Breakfast
09:30 Lecture: Jane Austen and Gilbert White
10:30 Walk with a focus on Hampshire’s historical landscape and botanicals
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Creative writing workshop
15:00 A visit to Gilbert White’s House at Selborne
17:00 Free time back at Riversdown
19:00 Dinner
20:00 Dramatic reading of Austen texts

 

Thursday

08:30 Breakfast
09:30 Visit to a great house to explore Regency etiquette during dinner parties
13:00 Lunch
14:30 Talk on Regency domestic cookery and household books
16:00 Workshop on Regency cooking
18:00 Pre-dinner drinks and presentations (writings/quilting/reflections) by participants
19:00 Regency Dinner
20:30 Regency Dancing

 

Friday

08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Check-out

OR

08:30 Breakfast
09:00 A full day visit to Jane Austen’s Bath
19:00 Dinner

 

Saturday

08:30 Breakfast
10:00 Check-out

 

Notes:

• Activities on the programme may be subject to change, depending on availability.
• A minimum of 6 participants is required for us to run the programme.

 

 

About Riversdown House

 

 

The Lewis Family invites everyone who is interested in Jane Austen and wants to take a deeper dive in her life, work, contemporaries and inspirations at their beautiful historic Hampshire house, Riversdown, for the four to five day Jane Austen Experience.

Riversdown House is only a 20-minute drive from Jane Austen’s House and is located deep in the landscape that inspired her so much. It too is a Listed Building (Grade II*) and has some historically significant architectural features, such as its ancient oak beams. Riversdown has played a part in the wider Jane Austen story and we are delighted to carry on this tradition.

From 1814 onwards, the owner of Riversdown was Penelope Lutley Sclater, who was not only a former neighbour and acquaintance, but also one of the small circle of people personally asked by Austen to review her books, in this case Emma.

The interior of Riversdown House is cosy, traditional and inspiring, and the warm atmosphere is conducive to both relaxation and creativity. There are quiet spaces ideal for private reading and reflection, and communal spaces where stories and experiences have been shared across the centuries, often in front of a roaring fire. Each bedroom has its own unique character and story.

It is easy to imagine a first edition copy of Emma being eagerly opened and read in this very house. Books written at Riversdown later have also reached a global audience and changed the way cultures interact, as this is a place of learning and creativity too.

 

Highlights of the Jane Austen Experience

 

Chawton

Step into the magical world of history, literature and tradition by joining our guided visit to Chawton, the village where Jane Austen lived between 1809 and 1817, the most productive years of her literary career. Here, you will have the chance to see Jane Austen’s House, have a tour of the village and visit Chawton House once owned by her brother, Edward Austen, whose Library houses a Research & Learning Centre for the study of early women’s writing.

Winchester

Tread in Jane’s footsteps in the historic city of Winchester and visit the bookshop where the Austen family held an account, P&G Wells. Walk through the city’s historic streets and marvel at the city’s magnificent Gothic Cathedral, where Jane Austen’s grave can be found, and see number 8 College Street, her last dwelling place.

Selborne

The programme includes a visit to the picturesque village of Selborne, home to Gilbert White’s House and beautifully restored gardens. From references found in Austen family letters, it is very likely that Jane would have known this famous naturalist and contemporary author of the Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1789).

 

Jane Austen Experience – Cost

 

4-day programme (5 nights) – £1500 per person (if sharing a double room, £1300 per person)

5-day programme (6 nights) – £1750 per person (if sharing a double room, £1500 per person)

The programme cost is fully inclusive of:

• Accommodation on site at Riversdown in a private room with its own bathroom
• Breakfast, lunch & dinner (with cocktails and wine) both on site and during external visits
• Talks on Austen-related topics by experts in the field
• Workshops by experienced facilitators, including material costs
• Transport & Entrance fees during visits
• Use of sports and leisure facilities: golf course, tennis courts, Finnish sauna & gym

 

For further information or to make a booking, please contact Caroline Lewis at caroline.lewis@riversdown.net