Explore the family connections of one of England’s best loved authors Jane Austen. This easy access walk, suitable for wheelchairs and buggies will take you on a literary journey through the heart of beautiful Tonbridge.
Jane Austen was born at Steventon in Hampshire on the 16th of December, 1775, to George and Cassandra Austen. George’s family had many links to Kent, and to Tonbridge in particular. This walk will take you to places known to be connected to the Austen family.
Starting and ending at the library, the walk will take you past buildings and landscape, some of which would still be recognised by the Austens today. There is plenty of opportunity to stop off for some well earned refreshments or something more substantial at several points throughout the walk.
You’ll walk through the gatehouse at Tonbridge Castle as well as a number of family homes of the Austens’ found near or on the High Street. You’ll also walk past Tonbridge School, one of the leading boys boarding schools in the country where George Austen (Jane Austen’s father) was a pupil and later taught.
If you’re here for the history the parish church of St Peter and St Paul where many of the family worshipped, is a must do on your visit as some of the Austen family are buried here including her grand parents William Austen and his first wife Rebecca. Susanna his second wife who outlived him is also buried here.
Following your walk, you may be inspired to read a Jane Austen novel. Her books are perfect to read with a cup of tea in a cosy tea room in Tonbridge and are certain to while away a wonderfully pleasant afternoon!