Did you know Jane Austen once called Bath home? The celebrated novelist knew Bath as a thriving spa resort, popular with fashionable society, and set two of her six published novels – Northanger Abbey and Persuasion – in the city.

We’ve sought out the ten quirkiest ways in which you can remember Austen and her legacy in the city.

1. Stay

Immerse yourself in the world of Jane Austen with a stay in the city. The four-poster grandeur of the Jane Austen Room at Bailbrook House is perfect for a romantic escape, or you can enjoy some regency splendour at Dukes Bath, The WindsorAbbey Hotel or Hotel Indigo.

For some extra luxury in some period Georgian settings, book yourself into a boutique room at The QueensberryFrancis Hotel or No.15 by Guesthouse, or go fully five star at The Gainsborough or The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.

The Jane Austen Room with four-poster bed at Bailbrook HouseImage - Bailbrook House

Bath Luxury Rentals and The Private House No.5 are charming Georgian townhouses ideal for families and small groups. For some artistic inspiration, you can even book a stay in Austen’s former family home between 1801 and 1805 via Airbnb. 

2. Discover

You couldn’t take a Jane Austen pilgrimage to Bath without visiting The Jane Austen Centre. This beautiful centre on Gay Street expertly guides you through Jane’s time in Bath and the effect that it had on her writing. Dress in Regency costume, discover what Jane really looked like (it’s controversial!) and afterwards enjoy a spot of refreshment with afternoon tea in the Regency Tea Rooms.

Man in period costume looking at exhibit at Jane Austen CentreImage - The Jane Austen Centre

You can also dress up in regency costumes while learning about what life was like during the time Jane Austen lived at No.1 Royal Crescent. The museum also hosts special Jane Austen-themed events throughout the year.

Once you've finished exploring, stretch your legs on the Strictly Jane Austen Tour. Let an expert guide transport you back in time to the Bath that Austen knew, with fascinating stories from the city's time as a popular spa resort for high society in the Regency era. Or follow the Jane Austen Trail around Sydney Gardens to find out about the author’s time in the city.

No.1 Royal Crescent exterior
Image - No.1 Royal Crescent

3. Eat

According to Michael Raffael’s book “The Curiosities of Bath” [Birlinn 2006]; “Bath buns don’t slip into the English language until a young Jane Austen writes a typically mischievous letter about 'disordering my stomach with Bath bunns.' The extra letter ‘n’ may not be an accidental slip. She could be referring to Sally Lunns. Nor is she criticising their indigestibility, simply implying that she liked pigging out on them as a form of comfort eating.” Take the taste test for yourself at Sally Lunn’s.

Sally Lunn's Historic Eating HouseImage - Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House

Save room for tea too, a popular drink in the Regency era with Austen's characters often taking tea together. Today you can enjoy a quintessential afternoon tea at The Pump Room, once described by Austen as the place where 'every creature in Bath was to be seen in the room at different periods of the fashionable hours', as well as at The Jane Austen Centre Regency Tea Rooms.   

Afternoon tea at The Pump Room Restaurant
Image - Afternoon tea at The Pump Room Restaurant

4. Drink

Familiarise yourself with ‘Gin’ Austen and savour a Bath Gin cocktail upstairs in The Bath Distillery Gin Bar or in the chic surroundings of Circo Bar & Lounge

Bottle of Bath Gin with Jane Austen on the labelImage - Bath Gin

5. Listen

Follow In The Footsteps of Jane Austen, an audio tour featuring extracts from Austen's novels and letters. The tour lasts around one and a half hours and takes you around the city, describing how it would have been in its Georgian heyday.

Two women dressed in Regency-style outfitsImage - Jane Austen-style costumes

6. Promenade

During Jane’s time in Bath, one of her favourite pastimes was to “take the air” in Sydney Gardens after breakfasting at the Sydney Hotel, now The Holburne Museum. Follow in Jane’s footsteps with an alfresco breakfast in the museum’s beautiful Garden Café, followed by a stroll through the charming gardens on the Jane Austen Trail

Canal boat in Sydney GardensImage - Sydney Gardens

7. Snap

Discover the places Jane Austen frequented while brushing up your photography technique on the Jane Austen Photo Tour with Photo Tours in Bath

Royal CrescentImage - Royal Crescent

8. Shop

Milsom Street, where Jane and her contemporaries would have shopped for hats and ribbons, is still the place to go for trinkets and fripperies, gifts and high fashion. Read our guide to the street and surrounding areas to find stylish places to shop, eat and drink while you're there. 


9. Soar

In Bath’s Georgian era, residents would have raised their eyes to the sky in wonderment and awe at the relatively new ‘technology’ of ballooning. 200 years later, ballooning is no longer the preserve of the Georgian gentry – take flight with Fly Away Ballooning or Virgin Balloon Flights to enjoy a breath-taking view over the “seven hills” of Bath.

Hot air balloon flying over Royal CrescentImage - Hot air balloon over the Royal Crescent

10. Celebrate

The Jane Austen Festival takes place over ten days in September and welcomes everyone from faithful fans to fair-weather friends. With a festival line-up including concerts, performances, talks, tours, workshops and promenades, the occasion is a true celebration of the life of this influential novelist.

People in costume taking part in the Jane Austen Festival promenadeImage - The Jane Austen Festival promenade

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