Jane Austen was notably Bath’s most famous citizen. This English novelist was born in Bath and lived at several residences there until her death in 1817. The Jane Austen Centre is dedicated to preserving the works and memory of this historic citizen.
Who was Jane Austen?
A world-renowned author, Jane Austen is perhaps best known for works such as Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice. She was one of eight children born to her parents, who were considered to be at the lower end of the social scale. Her father was a minister of the Anglican Church, while her mother reared and educated Jane and her siblings. She never married, although rumour has it she received several marriage proposals during her youth.
The Jane Austen Centre
Located at 40 Gay Street, The Jane Austen Centre Bath is remarkably close to one of the residences she lived in during her time here. This centre gives visitors an idea of how this charming city influenced her writing. Walking and group tours are available, with reservations being required for group outings. Tours take between 60 and 90 minutes to view the grounds, and guests can also take part in a tea or dress up in period costumes if they would like. Guides are available for all tours, and provide travellers with some background about this famous author as well.
Regency Tea Room
One of the highlights of the Jane Austen Centre Bath is the Regency Tea Room. This tea room serves some of the best scones found anywhere in the city. They also offer homemade cake, sandwiches, and toasties. Visitors can choose from an assortment of loose-leaf tea, coffee, or hot chocolate to go along with their lunch or snack. The tea room offers a remarkable view of the city, and is an excellent place to relax after touring the museum.
Another one of the main attractions at the Jane Austen Centre Bath is the gift shop. Here visitors can purchase souvenir items that are crafted around some of the characters in Austen’s books. There is an entire line of “I Love Darcy” goods ranging from shopping bags to buttons. Guests can also peruse items such as stationery, jewelry, cross stitch kits, hats, and postcards among other things.
Jane Austen Festival
This festival takes place over a nine day period each autumn. During this time, visitors to the Jane Austen Centre Bath are treated to elaborate plays depicting some of her more famous works. One of the leading events of this festival is the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade, which takes place the day after the festival opens. During this time, actors in period costume parade down Milson Street accompanied by military units in full uniform. Various readings and concerts also take place during this annual event.
A visit to the Jane Austen Centre Bath can be a step back in time for visitors to this English city. This educational and nostalgic tour can be ideal for literary enthusiasts of all ages to attend.