Jane Austin Festival in Bath

5 of the best things to see and do at the Bath Jane Austen Festival 2019

25th July 2019

This September, Bath will play host to the 19th annual Jane Austen Festival. There’s a packed schedule of events from 13th to 22nd September, taking place across the city – which is of course is famous for being the acclaimed novelist’s home from 1801 to 1806. The nation’s favourite spa town was also Austen’s inspiration, being featured in her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. 

Highlights of this year’s festival

Thinking of donning a bonnet and joining in this year’s Austen-inspired festivities? Tickets go on general sale on Monday 1st July, so don’t delay if you’ve your heart set on coming along!

Here’s our rundown of 5 of the best events and activities you mustn’t miss:

  1. The Grand Regency Costumed Promenade 

This is the real spectacle of the festival, a grand parade of hundreds of Austen fans in full, glorious regency costume. It’s a real treat to see them walk among virtually unchanged Georgian buildings such as the Royal Crescent, almost like stepping back in time. It’s free to watch, and you can even join in for a small fee!

  1. Austen Undone! 

This theatrical walkabout performance by the Natural Theatre Company is a hilarious exploration of the literary life and adventures of our heroine, Jane Austen. It’s an interactive, witty and charming piece of comedy, one that takes place anywhere the audience likes – as long as it isn’t in a traditional theatre! Austen Undone! is designed for around 20 people at a time, and is around 60 minutes long. 

  1. Georgian Ice Cream – demonstration by Jane Walton 

Now for something a little different. This is a unique and fascinating workshop at the Old Theatre Royal where you can learn how Regency Era ice cream was made – and of course you get to taste it too!

  1. Being Mr Wickham

This brand new production at the Old Theatre Royal by Catherine Curzon sheds new light on Austen’s most iconic troublemaker, often written off as a bit of a rogue. Actor Adrian Lukis returns to the role of Mr Wickham, setting the record straight in an engaging and must-see performance. 

  1. Regency Costume Masked Ball

This extravagant ball is the jewel in the festival’s crown, the last big event in the packed schedule. It’s the perfect way to finish, with reception drinks, hot supper and dancing late into the evening, all taking place in the Pump Room. All attendees will be dressed to the nines in their very best Regency gowns or breeches, with glittering accessories and of course, Venetian-style masks. Snap up tickets for this one early if you want to go, as they sell out quickly!

Where to stay for the 2019 Jane Austen Festival

The city is bound to fill up around festival time, so make sure you book your accommodation early. Bath Holidays Rentals has a great choice of elegant apartments (including Georgian properties if you really want to get in the mood for the festival) – spread right across the city centre, close to all the main festival venues.