Go List 201325 PLACES TO GO IN 2013
Why Go Now The 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and the 100th anniversary of the always-spectacular Chelsea Flower Show offer a bouquet of reasons to visit England this year. One spot for year-long activity is Jane Austen's House in Chawton, near Winchester (where the writer is buried). In September the Jane Austen Centre in graceful Bath, a city featured in memorable Austen scenes, hosts the annual Jane Austen Festival. Austen loved gardens and would surely approve of the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show in London, a May extravaganza with dozens of glorious gardens in the heart of the capital. –by Linda Cabasin
Where to StayIn London, experience the chic neighborhood vibe of Marylebone at the Dorset Square Hotel, a stylish townhouse property that won a Fodor's 100 Hotel Award in 2012. A design overhaul has brought in bold hues and dramatic fabrics, but you can still sit by the fire in the drawing room. If your Austen pilgrimage includes Bath, maintain the mood at the elegant Queensberry Hotel. Here 29 rooms in three 1772 townhouses mix Regency stucco ceilings and marble tile with sleek modern design. There's even a walled garden.
Insider TipBook well in advance for the Chelsea Flower Show; tickets are on sale now, and it may sell out. When you visit, get there early in the day to beat the crowds.
Word of Mouth "You just cannot go wrong with a day in Bath," notes PalenQ. "You need not have planned anything as this is a visual feast. Wondrous, cohesive Georgian architecture dominates the whole town. You could just wander around and not be disappointed, and of course hit the special-interest things like Jane Austen stuff and the famous Roman Baths."
When to Go The Chelsea Flower Show runs May 21–25. After a day or two in London, head out into the countryside to visit English gardens at their freshest and follow the Jane Austen trail in places including Chawton, Winchester, and Bath. In spring and summer, you can also check out some of the stately homes used in film or TV adaptations of her novels. In September, when the Jane Austen Festival comes to Bath from September 13–21, you can don Regency attire and attend a ball.
Plan Your Trip Start planning using Fodor's England Travel Guide.