Sitting With Jane Jane Austen 200 at Festival Place

Sitting With Jane - A Creative Celebration of Jane Austen's Heritage In and Around Basingstoke

Saturday 17th June to Thursday 31st August

Festival Place are the proud headline sponsor and presentation partner for Sitting With Jane, a unique public art trail to celebrate Jane Austen's connections with Basingstoke as part of a global commemoration of her life 200 years on from her passing.

Jane Austen was born in Steventon, just a few miles from Basingstoke, and she lived there for more than half of her life. The places, people and landscapes of the area had an enormous influence on her novels and she drafted Pride and Prejudice while living here. Basingstoke was where she went to shop and dance and Sitting With Jane is aiming to celebrate this local heritage.

Sitting With Jane is a free public art trail made up of 24 'BookBenches' in and around Basingstoke, each uniquely designed and painted by a professional artist with their personal interpretation of a Jane Austen theme. It is in place until September 2017 and is accompanied by a free to download app and a trail guide. Then benches will then be auctioned in aid of Ark Cancer Centre Charity to leave a valuable lasting legacy in the region.

Sitting With Jane App

FREE on The App Store and on Google Play

For more detailed maps and information to track down all of the BookBenches, release special rewards and offers, download the free app.

You can also use the app to upload pictures and selfies to Facebook and Instagram or to tweet them to your friends.


Travel and Accommodation

There are plenty of great places to stay in the area and the local bus (Stagecoach and taxi companies (Alpha Cars 01256 844444) will help you get around.

Our car park is a great starting point for exploring the BookBenches in Festival Place and around the town centre.

Charity Partner

Ark Cancer Centre Charity is raising £5m towards a unique local cancer treatment centre that will be built in the Basingstoke area.

While the landmark centre is largely being funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Ark’s £5m campaign is key to the creation of a calm and uplifting environment, and to ensuring a range of support services and complementary therapies are available alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.

Text JANE17 £2 to dontate £2 today to Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Date For Your Diary

9th - 10th September - Sitting With Jane Grand Finale Event at Milestones Museum

15th September - Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction at The Ark Conference Centre