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Bath and the Jane Austen Festival

I am working on plans for the Fall and was thinking about Bath for a few days. I was there in Sept 2013 for 3 nights and really enjoyed Bath and the area. The time frame I am looking at will be during the lead up to the Jane Austen Festival and include the first weekend of it. I am not a huge Jane fan but am a HUGE Regency era fan. The 2015 programme will not be up until June and I have not been successful in finding a 2014 programme to see what actually goes on during the festival. I see there is a Grand Promenade on Saturday with 500+ people in costume which sounds like fun. On the website it lists events by type (concerts, book readings, walks, etc) but no specifics on theses events yet.

I would probably go from London to Bath on Wednesday, go to Salisbury on Thursday for a day trip, do a Mad Max Stonehenge/Avebury/Lacock/Castle Combe tour on Friday (looks like they run every day), and do the festival on Saturday and Sunday. Then I would likely link up with the RS Best of England Sunday afternoon which does the Roman Baths and a Walking tour among other things before heading out.

I have checked the 2 B&B's I'm interested in and both have availability for that time frame. Prices don't seem more, but they do have the usual-for-Bath 2 night stay on the weekend requirement. I think both were cheaper on the Wed and Thurs which makes up for the higher prices on Fri/Sat.

What has been anyone's experience with being in Bath for the Festival? Did you enjoy the Festival related events or was it too crowded to move in Bath?

Thanks for any input!

Posted by
1189 posts

We just happened to be there last September when the festival was in full swing. (it was not planned). We were there on a Thursday/Friday. While we did not participate in any of the festivities. I can say that Bath did not seem overly crowed. (I have only been there one other time, and it was about the same). It was fun to see people strolling through town in their costumes. The only place we had any problems was having tea at the Jane Austin tea rooms. If you want to do that, make a reservation!

Posted by
9675 posts

Thanks so much Connie! I was not sure if folks who had been would see the post, so I am glad to know your experience. I did the JA Centre Museum last time and skipped tea there. I'm not a big one for tea as I'm vegan and there is no way I can convince myself that clotted cream is non-dairy as much as I used to enjoy it in my dairy days, lol!

The more I think about it, the more I think seeing the people in costume would be great fun!

Posted by
2254 posts

I was there during the festival the year before last, though not on purpose. We were there over the weekend. There were a lot of people, but nothing extreme. I had no trouble getting into the Roman Baths or the abbey, and we had no problems getting into restaurants, although we ate dinner on the early side. I agree with Connie -- it was fun to see people walking around in costume. It added another dimension to the trip.

Posted by
9675 posts

Thanks Carroll for adding your experience!