PENS AND NEEDLES
CHAWTON VILLAGE, HAMPSHIRE
PREVIOUS BLOG - ST. IVES, CORNWALL
CHAPTER FIVE BEACHWRITER'S BLOG
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JANE AUSTEN’S VILLAGE
Chawton in Hampshire is the lovely village where Jane Austen spent her last and most productive years. You can visit the cottage that she shared with her widowed mother, sister and their friend. Then walk up the road as Jane would have done to go and visit her brother Edward in the ‘big house’ and to attend church. The area is surrounded by the rolling green fields where Jane and sister Cassandra would go for their long afternoon walks. Chawton House also has pleasant gardens you can explore. Cakes and light lunches can be enjoyed in the kitchen.
The day we went was unremittingly grey and misty; that didn’t spoil our day and the spring flowers did their best to brighten things up.
February may not be thought of as a holiday month in England, but there is plenty to do on a long winter weekend. We headed west through three counties and thick fog to reach Saint Ives on the north coast of Cornwall, nearly at the most westerly tip of England. A three night stay gave us two days of fine weather to enjoy.
Cornwall has its own language, flag and nationalist movement. In the past it must have been very remote from the rest of England.
Saint Ives famously has attracted artists since the nineteenth century with the quality of light and beautiful blue seas. Now the town is also well known for its Tate Gallery. Inside, the building is light and airy with a beautifully framed view of the beach.
The town has layer upon layer of higgledy piggledy old buildings and narrow lanes clinging to its steep hills, a headland separating the main bay and the harbour. The scene at the harbour changes with the tides. As the tide starts coming in the fishing boats, no longer stranded, start going out.
Away from the towns the attractions for visitors include old mine workings and the rocky coast where unbelievably blue seas with snow white surf pound black rocks. Fans of the Poldark books and television series will be familiar with the Cornish scenery, still as wild and open as it looks on the television screen.
TURN TO CHAPTER FOUR TRAVEL DIARY
TO READ ABOUT WHERE WE STAYED IN ST. IVES
FOR LOCAL SCENES VISIT CHAPTER TWO COASTAL VIEWS