St. Nicholas's Church is located just a short walk away from Jane Austen's home in Chawton. Jane worshiped there until her weakening health no longer allowed her to walk up to the church. The church is open to visitors free of charge (donations are welcome). There are several references to the Austen family inside the building, and Jane's mother and sister Cassandra are buried in the church's graveyard.
Upon the death of her father, Jane Austen moved from Bath to Chawton in 1809 with her mother and sister Cassandra. As much as she had despised living in Bath, Austen felt right at home in Chawton and the years she spent there were her most productive as a writer. While in Chawton, she put the final touch to Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice, and went on to write Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.
Tthe house was turned into a museum in 1949. Visitors are free to go through all the rooms at their own pace. Several objects that belonged to Jane and her family are on display, and there are sheets giving out useful and interesting information in all the rooms. There's also a really nice giftshop full of Austen-related items, from critical essays to cookbooks and DVDs of the many cinematographic adaptations of her novels.
I love Jane Austen, so this stop was a must on my list. This is the house where Jane was living at the end part of her life. The tour was nice and leisurely and wasn't crowded when we were there. There were lots of descriptions and interesting facts to read in and around her house. The picture shows a quilt that Jane made. If you like Jane, make this a stop on your tour!
Not that there are much restaurants to choose from in Chawton but still, after visiting Jane Austen's house, I would highly recommend stopping at The Greyfriar for lunch or dinner. This charming English pub serves really delicious food (you can take a look at the online menu to have a better idea) and has a great selection of beer on tap at a very reasonable price. A very pleasant surprise in so small a village!
Favorite Dish: I ordered the lunch special, it was a goat cheese salad served with caramelized onions, it was absolutely scrumptious.
The best (and nicest) way to get to Chawton is to take the train to Alton, and from there walk down Winchester Road to Chawton. Jane Austen was a great walker and she often made the short trip on foot between Chawton and Alton to go shopping or to visit some acquaintances. It is a pleasant 10-15 minute walk and it allows you to think about what life must have been like when Jane Austen lived in Hampshire!