Newport, Rhode Island, March 4th, 2011 – Long before this month’s release of director Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) and screenwriter Moira Buffini’s (Tamara Drewe) bold new film version of Charlotte Brontë’s beloved Jane Eyre, The Wayfarers had created a seven-day walk through the wild heather-filled moors, towns and villages that inspired the Brontë sisters to create Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. In its exclusive Brontë Trail walk, The Wayfarers brings literature fans up close and personal with landmarks well-known from Jane Eyre. Walkers pass by North Lees Hall in Peak National Park, the private manor that inspired Charlotte to create Jane Eyre and which was used in various film adaptations as Thornfield Hall, where Jane works as governess for Mr. Rochester. The private guided tour of Haddon Hall will take on new meaning to movie fans this year, as the 12th-century medieval manor house is cast as Thornfield Hall on-screen in Focus Features’ Jane Eyre, which opens in New York and Los Angeles on March 11th and in additional cities throughout March. The movie stars Mia Wasikowska as Jane, Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester, Jamie Bell, Golden Globe Award winner Sally Hawkins, Holliday Grainger, Tamzin Merchant, Imogen Poots, and Academy Award winner Judi Dench. Throughout the week-long program, walkers will discuss the novel and film with experts and also get the inside scoop on anecdotes from the filming of the new movie. The walk is scheduled June 19-25 and August 21-27 and is priced $3595 per person. To prepare walkers for their upcoming trip, a Pocket Guide to the new Jane Eyre movie is included in the free Wayfarers iPad and iTouch app, available from iTunes.
The Jane Austen walk, following Hampshire routes familiar to author Jane Austen, is offered June 26-July 2 andOctober 2-8, and is priced $3695 per person. Like the Brontë Trail walk¸ this walk includes day and evening accompaniment by literary experts who explain Austen’s involvement with her surroundings, in addition to a music recital one evening and another evening’s “Dressing Jane Austen” presentation with actors who sport Regency period costumes. The third literary walk, Wales’ Pembrokeshire Coast, meanders along coastal pathways through areas that inspired much Welsh literature, and includes an enlightening evening with Welsh Poet Laureate Gillian Clarke. This walk is offeredSeptember 24-October 1 and is priced $3795.
To be fully immersed in local culture and customs, The Wayfarers’ guests enjoy accommodations in rustic inns and manor houses and dine in traditional pubs and restaurant. Favoring small group sizes, most Wayfarers’ walks average 8-10 participants. Packages include all accommodations, meals and trail snacks, wine with dinner, entrance fees, guides, van transport for moving luggage and resting walkers, and all taxes and gratuities at hotels and restaurants.
Wayfarers’ Literary Walks
England: The Brontë Trail
The Brontë Trail explores the region that inspired Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë’s literary works in the 1800s. Beginning in Haworth and ending in Chatsworth, Jane Eyre fans will admire Britain’s most evocative literary landscapes including Yorkshire’s Haworth Village, home of the Brontë sisters. Named one of the “Top 50 Trips of a Lifetime” byNational Geographic Traveler, this walk features a visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, the Brontës’ childhood home, and the location where Charlotte Brontë penned Jane Eyre. The Victorian and Gothic spirit of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights is present throughout the region’s ruined farmhouses, picturesque valleys, and remote plains. Other highlights include tours of the literary- and film-inspiring North Lees and Haddon Halls (the latter seen on-screen in the bold newJane Eyre movie opening this month) and an enlightening pre-dinner talk by Brontë expert Ann Dinsdale. Walk Rating: 2, Easy/Moderate.
Offered June 19-25, August 21-27. Priced $3,595; $420 Single Supplement.
England: Jane Austen Country
In this walk, travelers follow in the steps of Jane Austen, exploring the picturesque region that inspired her to write Emma,Northanger Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility. Set in charming Hampshire, the walk travels along lanes and footpaths in an area that impacted much of Jane’s perceptive and often biting social commentary. Stops include Steventon, home to Jane’s father’s rectory; the village of Chawton, later home of Jane Austen and site of today’s Jane Austen Museum; and Oakley Hall, the 18th-century Manor House Hotel considered the inspiration for Mansfield Park. In a new addition this year, the walk includes a private dinner at Chawton House, served at the very table used for meals by Jane and her friends. The walk concludes at the ancient Winchester cathedral, Jane Austen’s final resting place. The program also includes information about clothing of the period and a pre-dinner discussion led by an Austen expert. Walk Rating: 1, Easy.
Offered June 26-July 2, October 2-8. Priced $3,695; $450 Single Supplement.
Wales: Pembrokeshire Coast
Wales’ 186-mile Pembrokeshire coast path is the setting for hiking, photography, and poems. Walkers will learn about the impact of this location on Welsh literature and will also discuss poetry with Welsh Poet Laureate Gillian Clarke. Dramatic backdrops along the coastal path include panoramic views from rugged cliff tops and expansive beaches. Visits to the national cathedral of Wales in St. Davids, a 5000-year-old New Stone Age cromlech, and Dylan Thomas’ boathouse on the Teifi Estuary are featured. Author and artist Pamela Petro is the guest host. The Wayfarers will treat guests to an overnight stay between the September 18 Snowdonia walk and the September 25 Pembrokeshire Coast walk if bothwalks are booked. Walk Rating: 3, Moderate
Offered September 25-October 1. Priced $3,795; $535 Single Supplement.
The WayfarersNamed by National Geographic Traveler as purveyor of one of the “50 Tours of a Lifetime,” The Wayfarers offers an eco-sensitive walking holiday of both culture and fitness in 15 countries, with 39 itineraries and 76 departure dates. Now in its 28th year, The Wayfarers offers exclusive entrées into homes and gardens otherwise closed to the public, graceful accommodations, outstanding cuisine, and meetings with local residents. Walks are from 6-13 days and are rated on a five-level challenge scale. A new iPad and iTouch app containing walk info, video, and news is available free at iTunes. The Wayfarers is a member of Trusted Adventures, dedicated to the highest standards of small-group travel and to giving back to the areas visited. www.thewayfarers.com. 800-249-4620. Twitter: @Wayfarers Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thewayfarers