The Jane Austen Museum at Chawton, UK, represents a grand departure from the hustle and bustle of 40 Gay Street in Bath - though still a required stop for any Jane fan. Chawton Cottage is where Jane spent the last eight years of her life and wrote some of her more famous works. The cottage itself is rather modest compared to the grandeur seen in Bath, but it is still most impressive for the treasures inside. The structure is found along a rather quaint and quiet English street. Though a little out of the way, Jane fans will find themselves quite at home.
Entry is through the visitor center/gift shop where an entry fee is collected. Then visitors meander through a room playing a biographical video that helps bring new fans up to speed with the life and times of Jane Austen. After this room, one finds themselves in the courtyard of the property with access to the gardens and the cottage itself. The gardens are a treat for the eyes, particularly in the greener summer months. One can almost envision Jane and her family walking about the grounds and taking tea.
The cottage is a two-story structure with low ceilings (so mind your head if you are tall). You can access the kitchen with its grand hearth as well as to the main house through a separate door. Nearly every room in the home contains a fireplace and has beautiful natural lighting. The various rooms you'll encounter include the parlor room, dining room and several bedrooms (these are on the upper floor). There are plenty of artifacts that help detail detail life in the early 1800's as well as certain periods of the Austen family's life during their time here. The entire experience will make you marvel at how Jane lived and wrote. You will look through the her windows and wander through her garden, and seeing what Jane saw. It is a priceless opportunity you will not forget.