Visit Bath For The Jane Austen Festival 2020
18 April 2020
If you are a Jane Austen fan, or enjoy the Regency era, then you’d probably also thoroughly enjoy the 2020 Jane Austen Festival. We may still be in lockdown for at least the next three weeks, but we’re hopeful that we will be able to safely travel once more by September of this year, if not before!
Every year, the Jane Austen Festival takes place in Bath in September. Events range from readings, to theatre performances, to costumed balls. The full programme of events is due to be released online from June 16th, with general booking opening on July 1st.
Having said that, there are some events that are already confirmed.
On Saturday 12th September will be the Regency Costumed Promenade, which sees hundreds of people take to the streets of Bath for a marvellous Regency spectacle. Taking part is a real experience, but so is finding a spot to watch the promenade go past (the level of attention to detail is excellent). The Red Coats especially are a sight not to be missed.
Later on the Saturday will be a costumed evening at the Guildhall, then on the following evening, this time at Bath’s grand Assembly Rooms, will be a costumed country dance ball. If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of one of the dance scenes that are common to Period films, this is a great opportunity to do so. It’s the more relaxed and lively of the two costumed balls which are part of the 2020 programme.
The star event though, has to be the Regency Costumed Masked Ball at the Pump Rooms on Friday the 18th. Every year it sells out, and part of the reason that it does is because people who have been once try to come back year after year.
If you’ve never been before, or are a bit rusty when it comes to your Regency dances, there’s the opportunity to learn and practise the dances beforehand at the dance workshops taking place during the festival. These do not require costume, so if you’d like to experience Regency dancing without making or sourcing your own Regency attire (although before and during the festival, Bath has a range of places where you can buy or rent Regency costume), this is a good time to do it.
Other annual events include:
Regency dining experiences
Walking tours exploring Bath as Jane Austen knew it
Workshops where you can make your own bonnet or reticule
Escorted day trips to important Austen places (such as Chawton House Museum – Jane’s Hampshire home)
Short theatre productions based on Jane’s novels
Talks exploring Jane Austen’s life and themes in the novels
Live readings from Jane Austen’s novels
Dukes Hotel is a great base from which to enjoy festival events, and even if you don’t choose to take part in the festival itself, September is a great month in which to enjoy many of the other things that Bath has to offer. The added bonus for visiting between the 11th and the 20th of September, during the 2020 Jane Austen Festival, is the surprise of seeing Regency figures flitting around Bath in the midst of modernity. A historic city Bath is, and it’s certainly obvious if you visit Bath during the Jane Austen Festival!