Meet literary characters at Groomsbridge Place

Groombridge PlaceI love an immersive literary experience – something to truly tickle my imagination and offer some serious escapism.

The latest one to catch my eye is the literary weekend happening on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September at Groomsbridge Place in Kent. Celebrating 200 years of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (the novel, not the BBC version – Colin Firth’s not quite that old, bless), the event will feature “costumed interpreters” (nope, not quite sure what that means. Actors, perhaps?) performing the roles of “some of our country’s favourite literary characters” who will roam the gardens and Enchanted Forest of the 17th century manor house.With Jane Austen set to replace Charles Darwin on the new £10 note, the anniversary is even more, ahem, note-worthy than ever. Plus Groomsbridge Place served as Longbourn (home of the Bennets) for the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley, the version sadly lacking the afore-mentioned Colin.

As well as characters created by Jane Austen, you might bump into folks from the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, as author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived nearby used to visit Groombridge Place to take part in séances.

Groombridge Place was also the former base of a gang of smugglers, and during the literary weekend the Enchanted Forest will be home to their camp!


Apparently “The interpreters from ‘Past Pleasures’ will use authentic costumes, storytelling, voice projection, singing and dancing skills to allow visitors to experience life in a bygone age.”

Could be a pretty spectacular experience.

Find full details at