Festivals of Bath – Jane Austen Festival 2015

Jane Austen is BIG in Bath. Wherever you go there’s some reference to the writer and if you love the two books she set in the city (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion) then you’ll also be aware of many sights that would have been familiar to Jane, even now.

Free Smartphone App Available for Jane Austen Fans

Jane Austen portrait

Austen has more connections with the city than you may first think. Her mother, Cassandra Leigh was from a well-known Bath family, and when she married the Reverend George Austen, she did so at St Swithun’s Church, Walcot, Bath in 1764 (and where George was later buried).

Though Austen herself had grown up in Hampshire (born 1775 – the same year that the Royal Crescent in Bath was completed), the family visited her mother’s relations in the city, firstly in 1799, when they stayed in Queen’s Square.

Queen Square, Bath

Queen Square, Bath

It is widely recorded that Jane didn’t think much of Bath personally, but this was, in my opinion, because of two important incidents in her life. Firstly, her father’s decision to up and move them away from the familiar surroundings of Steventon into the bustling city was probably quite a wrench for a country girl like Jane. It’s one thing to visit a city, another to live there. Secondly, it was in Bath that her father sadly passed away in 1805 leaving the family in dire straits. No wonder Jane did not view Bath as pleasingly as the many visitors to the city regard it today.

However much Jane herself disliked the city, she evokes late 18th and early 19th Century life here, with much colour and vivacity. It is for this she is remembered in Bath and is the reason for the wonderful Jane Austen Festival that takes place annually.


This year’s festival occurs from Friday 11th September until Sunday 20th September and is ten days packed full of Regency fun and activities.

You can enjoy walking tours, coach trips and workshops to learn to dance, play the harp or even create your own bonnet. Recitals, film shows, plays and a Festival Fayre are all to look forward to as well. From breakfast until dinner there is something on for all you Austen fans.

Grand Regency Promenade

Grand Regency Promenade

The most famous part of the Jane Austen Festival is the spectacular Grand Regency Costumed Promenade, that starts from 11am at the Assembly Rooms on Saturday 12th September, and wends its way through the city. Hear the drummers and pipers play and watch the ladies and gentlemen of fashion promenade through the streets as they once did 200 years ago.

Last year’s Grand Promenade actually broke the Guinness World Record for most Regency costumed participants – 550 in total walking through Bath. What a sight! You too can join in if you want to. Participants must sign up and pay £10 (which goes towards the Festival’s Charity), plus bring their own costume to wear. All entrants must begin assembling at 10.30am outside the Assembly Rooms. The Promenade begins at 11am sharp, and you don’t want to be late!


Of course you can still walk about and enjoy the city Jane Austen knew at any time of year. Immerse yourself in her world at The Jane Austen Museum in Gay Street, a street where she once actually lived. You can also walk around to other locations where she and her family once resided, such as on The Paragon at the home of her aunt and uncle, the Leigh-Perrot’s. You can see the plaque to Jane at the house she lived in for three years at Sydney Place, and step into the ballroom at the stunning Assembly Rooms where she once danced.

Bath Assembly Rooms - Tea Room

Bath Assembly Rooms – Tea Room

If you’re looking for accommodation for this year’s Jane Austen Festival, then hurry and book your room soon. Many of our guests book year upon year to stay at The Bailbrook Lodge, and you can understand why when they can enjoy an historic setting (alas we are a few years out to have been known by Jane but we are still an early 19th Century Grade II listed building), beautiful garden, FREE parking, en-suite rooms and a delicious home cooked breakfast every day, accompanied by champagne!


Prices start from as little as £89.00 per room per night, with free parking and champagne breakfast. You can upgrade your room to one of our Four Poster luxury bedrooms from as little as £20 per night, simply ask at the time of booking.

Call us today on 01225 859090 or book via our website for the best deals online. We look forward to welcoming you to Bath and for the Jane Austen Festival 2015.


See the No.1 Royal Crescent Closing Ceremony

The Royal Crescent, Bath

See the No.1 Royal Crescent Closing Ceremony

Many people pay a visit to the most famous address in Bath each year: No.1 Royal Crescent. Now a museum, it portrays upper class life in an 18th century town house. This was the first house to be built in the Royal Crescent, featuring a Palladian masterpiece design by the architect John Wood the Younger.

On October 14, No.1 Royal Crescentwill host a special closing ceremony before it goes through a period of refurbishment. The project will see No.1 reunited with its original servants’ wing at No.1a, which is due to be opened in late November. Continue reading

Beckford’s Tower & Museum in Bath

Bath has a whole host of different things to see and do all year round, with many of its historical attractions and buildings open to the public throughout a large duration of the year. If you are staying in one of the beautiful Georgian period Bath hotels for your accommodation, you will be able to appreciate this spa city’s heritage.

A special building which should feature on your itinerary and has recently opened after it was extensively and painstakingly restored to its former glory is the Beckford’s Tower and Museum located just off the north side of the city centre and offers visitors truly magnificent panoramic views across the city of Bath and the surrounding countryside.

Beckford’s Tower and Museum is a 120 foot unique neo-classical tower and was originally built by the wealthy historical Bath resident William Beckford in 1827. At the time William Beckford was one of England’s most accomplished and intriguing characters and he used the building as study retreat.

Today it is now open to the public and visitors can look around the tower and museum, which houses a collection of Beckford’s personal items and artefacts to illustrate his life and interests.

Beckford’s Tower Museum is open during weekends from 10.30 – 17.00, and admission ranges from £2.00 – £8.00, for more information, contact: 01225 422212 / 460705.

Make sure you book a well placed luxury Bath bed and breakfast within easy reach of the city’s attractions like Beckford’s Tower Museum and the city centre.

A Night at the Museums in Bath

As Bath is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, it only follows that the spa town has a fantastic selection of museums that any city would be proud of. Bath’s museums feature a wide variety of subject matter and sources of interest, which are sure to engage with anyone.

During the month of May, many of the city’s best museums will be holding a range of unique evening events, taking place at various museum locations throughout the city from May 18 – 20.

The following museums will be participating in the events: the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, the Bath Postal Museum, the Museum of East Asian Art, the Museum of Bath at Work, No. 1 Royal Crescent, and the Roman Baths, whilst the Building of Bath Collection will be hosting a 1940s night.

Many of these special evening exhibitions and events are free, although some have an entry fee as they offer additional entertainment. These are part of the national events organised by Culture24. For more details and information either contact any of the individual museums directly or call 01225 477757

So, if you are planning a visit to the spa city during these events and are looking for Bath hotels, why not stay at the Bailbrook Lodge for a luxury Bath bed and breakfast? This offers the ideal location for all of the city’s attractions.