What's New

May 2019

It is a big decision to say, "Yes," to a marriage proposal. It is an even bigger decision to refuse the offer after twelve hours. Especially if you are Jane Austen.

This new book, written by Phil Howe, M.D of Hidden Britain Tours is a must-read for all fans of Jane Austen, her real-life, her novels, the films and TV dramas based on her books, and all book-lovers who thrive on stories of romance.

In Twelve Hours, Phil recreates an intense event in Janes life that is often overlooked. It can be read as a story, a dramatic monologue or performed in theatre or non-theatre spaces. It is a sensitive subject which he has approached with sentiment, humour and respect.

It's December 1802. Her father has recently resigned as rector and moved with his family to Bath.

Jane Austen, now twenty-six, is back in Hampshire visiting her friends Catherine and Alethea, members of the Wither family on the prosperous Manydown estate.

Their brother, Harris Bigg-Wither, proposes to Jane Austen.

This is the emotionally charged story of those twelve hours.

Read more about the background to Phil's ground-breaking publication by visiting http://www.twelvehours.co.uk

Copies are available from York Publishing Services www.ypdbooks.com £9.99 excluding post and packaging.

Twelve Hours - A play about Jane Austen's twelve hour engagement.

March 2019

Hampshire is one of the most beautiful counties in England. It is the 7th largest county and includes two National Parks and three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Hidden Britain Tours has been successful in applying to be one of the experiences in The English National Park Experience Collection. This brand-new collection of bookable experiences tells the stories of our iconic National Parks and is a useful resource for the independent traveller.

In the afternoon of our Jane Austen Dancing Year's Tour we take you to the picturesque village of Chawton which nestles on the eastern margin of the South Downs National Park, the UK's newest national park. The village is steeped in history. It was in this very village where Jane Austen settled in 1809. Her brother Edward Austen-Knight had the good fortune to inherit the magnificent Chawton House and he generously offered a comfortable cottage to Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother close by. This cottage is now the Jane Austen's House Museum. Cassandra and Mrs Austen are both buried in the village churchyard.

The village is a model of quintessential Englishness with its mix of thatched cottages and elegant country houses, the village school, cricket pitch, playground, bridle path and grazing animals on green fields. It has a popular pub and a classic teashop which serves delicious sponge cakes on real china plates. It's a gem and a joy to be part of.

Many of our clients take the opportunity to include our Jane Austen Tour as part of a south of England mini-break. The South Downs section of The English National Park Experience Collection is a convenient way to plan your UK stay. It will also generate several other great ideas for where to stay and what to do.