The Jane Austen Festival is the world's largest and longest running celebration of the author and the Regency area, spanning over 10 days in the city of Bath, where the author made her home. Events of all shapes and sizes take place all over the city with plenty to choose from depending on your interests.
One of the best days to attend is Saturday 9 September. The Grand Recency Costumed Promenade is the headline event. The 500-strong parade holds a Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costumes’. It’s taken pretty seriously by the good folk of Bath – if you’re taking part (tickets £15) don’t even think about turning up without an empire line dress, tailcoat or era-appropriate army uniform to show off; they won’t let you take part. However, if you’re just for watching you can do that for free and you don’t need to dress up. Join the crowds lining the streets to watch this amazing spectacle of bonnets, soldiers, and dresses make their way through the historical streets of the city.
Following the promenade is the Festival Fayre, held at the stately Bath Assembly Rooms, a Grade I listed building which was at the heart of Bath Regency society – even Jane Austen herself was known to stick her head round the door back in the day. It’s the perfect place to soak up the festival atmosphere and shop for Regency finds including jewellery, hat, or fan to elevate your look.
There are close to 100 separate events spread over the 10-day festival. You can take part in walking tours around the city and surrounding villages, a Regency games' night, driving tours, and talks about Jane Austen with Regency experts. The absolute headline event is the Regency Ball held on the first weekend of the festival. Dress up in your finest Regency outfit and dance the night away!
Afternoon tea was a staple of the Regency era and there are plenty of opportunities at The Jane Austen Festival to try it for yourself. The Regency Picnic is the perfect opportunity to bring your own afternoon tea and socialise with other Jane Austen and Regency era fans. This event is one of the only non-ticketed and free events at the festival so make sure to make the most of it.
You can book your events here: Jane Austen Festival
Affordable, convenient and comfy rooms close to the event you're going to
We recommend these three hotels:
Closest? Abbey Bath A Tribute Portfolio – central location, near train station, unique rooms
Cheapest? DoubleTree by Hilton Bath - clean and sensible with all your basic amenities
Feeling Fancy? The Gainsborough Spa - central location with beautiful spa facilities and custom furnished rooms
Bath Spa train station is served by Great Western with links into London Paddington. Book as far in advance as you can; it’s much cheaper. Buses run throughout the city daily, and parking may be limited due to road closures during the event.
Bath is home to many exquisite restaurants, however, The Pump Room offers a wonderful Afternoon Tea experience perfect for living out your Jane Austen fantasy.
Most venues are accessible. As each event is held in a different venue, please check each listing for more details. Only the walking tours marked as being step-free in the programme are suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any other enquiries.
Affordable, convenient and comfy rooms close to the event you're going to.
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