School Visits

A school visit to Jane Austen’s House is the perfect way to bring the world of Jane Austen and her novels alive for all ages. We offer a range of options for school and educational group visits

Begin your visit to Jane Austen’s House with an introductory talk about Jane’s life and her time here in Chawton, followed by a guided tour of Jane Austen’s House.

Your group can then enjoy a variety of sessions, each lasting between 45-60 minutes, depending on the length of your visit. Choose from an inspiring Creative Writing Workshop, an energising Drama Workshop or a fascinating Historical Village Walk.

Alongside these formal sessions, you can choose from a range of fun, self-led activities such as Garden Games and our Universal Truth Prompt.

Throughout the day your students will gain insight into Jane Austen’s works, her family history and life in the Regency era, all of which are so valuable when exploring her novels.

The day can be adapted to suit each Key Stage. Whether your group is new to Jane Austen or studying a specific novel, we can shape the sessions accordingly.

See below for an outline of each session:

House Tour

Duration: 45-60 mins

‘Our Chawton home – how much we find

Already in it, to our mind’

Explore the house where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life and see the rooms she shared with her mother, sister Cassandra, and family friend Martha Lloyd. Discover rooms Jane knew and loved and objects belonging to the family, including furniture, letters and first editions of her novels.

Your guide will showcase the relationships Jane had with her friends and family, and reveal the stories behind everyday objects that Jane knew well – from the tiny table where she wrote and revised her novels, to items of jewellery that she cherished.

The House Tour will provide your students with valuable context about rural life and the Regency era. They will learn about Jane’s domestic and writing life, and her wide-reaching legacy that has shaped the literary world for over 200 years.

Creative Writing Workshop

Duration: 45-60 mins

‘Effusions of Fancy by a very Young Lady Consisting of Tales in a Style entirely new’

This session is led by award-winning poet and former Jane Austen’s House Writer in Residence, Ellora Sutton. Taking inspiration from Jane Austen’s own ebullient teenage writings, students will explore some of Jane Austen’s lesser known short stories, enjoy short writing exercises to inspire creativity, and finish by writing their own short story inspired by ‘The Beautifull Cassandra’.

Students will have the chance to work with an award-winning writer and will be empowered to create their own new work in a fun and engaging atmosphere. With plenty of chances to share their work in a friendly and supportive environment, this workshop helps to increase students’ confidence in their own creative writing skills and gives them prompts for inspiration and creativity.

Drama Workshop

Duration: 45-60 mins

‘a love of the theatre is so general, an itch for acting so strong among young people’

We are delighted to offer a bespoke drama workshop, led by experienced actor and workshop leader Alasdair Craig (West End/Shakespeare’s Globe).

Making use of fun, interactive drama games and improvisation exercises, students will explore the themes of Jane Austen’s work and, by stepping into their shoes, they’ll get to know the characters at first hand.

This exclusive, interactive and inspiring workshop builds confidence and creativity, and helps bring the novel to life off the page in a fun, lively way that your students will remember!

At present this workshop is available for Pride & Prejudice and Jane Austen’s Teenage Writings – more topics coming soon!

Village Walk

Duration: 45-60 mins

‘Three or four families in a country village is the very thing to work on’

Jane Austen was famously inspired by country villages. The fictional villages she created in her novels are just like the real-life village of Chawton, where Jane had her greatest period of creativity.

On our Village Walk your group will follow in Jane’s footsteps as we explore the picturesque village of Chawton, see the buildings she would have known, and learn about her neighbours (some of which may even have inspired her characters!).

This session provides historical insight into Jane’s life and inspiration, and into the rural way of living that thrived in Chawton in the early nineteenth century. Lost aspects of village life that are celebrated in her novels are made real as you see buildings and homes that immerse you in history.

Self-led Activities:

Duration: 45-60 mins

In our student-led sessions your group will have the chance to make use of our beautiful garden, historical games and making-activities. These are ideal for taking a break and having fun between sessions.

Garden Games

In our student-led sessions your group will have the chance to make use of our beautiful garden and our selection of Regency garden games. These are ideal for taking a break and having fun between sessions.

‘Universal Truth’ Prompt

We have developed an activity that builds upon Pride and Prejudice’s iconic opening line ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged’ which encourages the students to explore their own universal truth. This will allow them to gain awareness of their own core beliefs and understand their own character, just as Jane teaches us about hers.

Make a Lavender Bag

In the Regency era, lavender was often used to scent clothes and linen. In this fun, simple making activity students will make their own lavender bag to take home.

Write with quill and ink

Jane Austen wrote with a quill pen on small sheets of paper. Students will see examples of her beautiful handwriting before having a go themselves – it’s harder than it looks!

Booking Information

School visits can be booked for Mondays and Tuesdays, when the House is closed to visitors. This helps us to maintain a low capacity in the House, and gives your group space to explore undisturbed.

We have a small site with a maximum capacity in the House and in the Learning Centre. Whilst we are happy to welcome large groups, these will be split up into smaller groups in order to rotate activities. Please contact us to discuss options!

Pricing:

Intro talk + House tour: £5 per student

Village Walk: £3.50 per student

Creative writing workshop: £150 (max 30 students)

Drama workshop: £175 (max 20 students)

Self-led activities: free with any workshop

Teachers and accompanying adults join for free. We require one teacher/adult to accompany each ten children in the group. Any 1-to-1 support is also free. 

Whilst admission charges are necessary for the upkeep of the Museum we are keen to foster our relationships with local schools and can therefore offer reduced rates – please get in touch to discuss!

Please email enquiries@janeaustens.house for more details and bookings, or to discuss your needs.