The Jane Austen Festival returns to Bath for 2016!

7th September 2016

If you love your Jane Austen, you will absolutely adore the next couple of weeks in Bath. The 16th annual Jane Austen Festival is hitting venues across the city from Friday 9th to Sunday 18th September 2016, bringing with it a host of events and diehard fans celebrating the author’s life, work and connection with the historic city of Bath.

Whether you’re a fan of Regency fiction or simply love the idea of thousands of people parading in period costume through the streets of Bath, there is lots to see, do and enjoy during this year’s festival. Here’s our guide to the best picks of this year’s event…

Grand Regency Costume Promenade

On Saturday 10th September at 11am, make your way to the Assembly Rooms (right next door if you’re staying at the Bath Holiday Rentals Alfred Street apartment) for the start of the Grand Regency Costume Parade. Quite the sight indeed, the parade once broke a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people dressed in Regency costume, and no doubt organisers are aiming to break that same record again this year. If you fancy taking part, you’ll need to dust off your costume and buy a ticket, but it’s completely free to watch as the parade makes its way through the city centre.

Mini bus and walking tours

This year’s festival is jam-packed with opportunities to explore the city and learn more about its most famous literary resident at the same times. There are walking tours and mini bus tours leaving practically every hour during the festival, exploring places that Austen knew well while also showcasing some of Bath’s best features, architecture and landmarks – more information and times are available on the festival’s website.

Pride and Prejudice – the musical

Created especially for the festival by Tin Roof Productions, this is a lively staging of the classic Austen novel, complete with beautiful costumes and original songs. Performances take place on Wednesday 14th September (matinee and evening) at the Mission Theatre.

Regency Costumed Masked Ball

A really special event takes place on Friday 16th September from 7pm, as the famous costumed ball begins at the Roman Baths & Pump Room. A drinks reception followed by dinner and dancing, this is the perfect opportunity for those who love all things Austen to really immerse themselves in her world. If you haven’t been lucky enough to get yourself a ticket, you may still be able to steal a glimpse of the attendees in all of their Regency finery if you arrive at the Roman Baths at 7pm.

Afternoon tea

While cafes, hotels and eateries across Bath will no doubt be doing their own afternoon specials during the festival, there is also a special event taking place at the Abbey Hotel. A very musical afternoon tea takes place at 3pm on Thursday 15th September, with songs from the Pride and Prejudice musical followed by a classic Regency afternoon tea.

If you’ve got your bonnet ready and are heading to Bath for the Jane Austen Festival this year, make sure you have somewhere suitably elegant to stay. Bath Holiday Rentals have properties throughout the city, and it may not be too late to book your stay.