Visiting the Festival

In this guide

 

by Maria R. Rathje, 2017 Festival Intern

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How to meet people

Meeting fellow Austen enthusiasts is one of the biggest joys of attending the Festival. Normally, people are happy to chat before or after events if you strike up a conversation – a comment on their costume or the event is an easy way to get started. Don’t be scared- you know you have at least one shared interest with them!

This year, we also have a Facebook event especially for people attending the 2017 festival. It’s an opportunity to connect to people and maybe arrange to meet up at the festival if you want.

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Getting around

The most convenient way to get around Bath city centre is to walk. As the city centre is quite small, most places are easily reachable within half an hour. However, do be aware that some of the streets are quite steep and some event locations for the festival are in the upper part of the city. These locations include the Royal Crescent, Museum of Bath Architecture and the Assembly Rooms.

If you prefer not to walk, buses run frequently in and around city centre and most of the festival events are near to a bus stop. If you need help getting around by bus, you can contact the office at the Bus Station in Dorchester Street, next to the Bath Spa train station.

You can drive into Bath but be warned – during rush hour, traffic moves slowly. The easiest place to park is at one of the three park & ride car parks on the edge of the city. From the park & ride car parks you can take a bus to the city centre. See more about the park & ride here

If you do want to drive into the city there are many car parks, fees vary. You can see the location of the car parks here

Taxis

Bath Abbey Taxi: 01225 44 44 44

V-Cars Taxis Bath: 01225 46 46 46

There are taxi ranks by the train station, at Orange Grove (behind the abbey) and in Milsom Street.

Carriages

If you want to be transported somewhere in true Austen fashion or to take a sightseeing trip around the city in a horse-drawn carriage, you can contact Courtyard Carriages on 01761 471888 or go to their website

Be aware that the map in the festival programme is only for orientation; please use a more detailed map to navigate the city.

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Where to stay

There are quite a lot of options for where to stay while you are at the festival. A few of these are:

High-end options

The Abbey Hotel is a beautiful hotel in a Georgian townhouse. It’s right in the middle of town by the Abbey and 5 minutes from the train station. 

Waterhouse is a 17th century Manor House with a contemporary twist. Just 4 miles from Bath is a nice 4 star hotel. 

The Royal Crescent Hotel is a lovely luxury hotel right at the top of Regency Bath at The Royal Crescent.

Pulteney House is a large Victorian townhouse with picturesque gardens, just a 5 minute level walk from the city centre. 

Bath Boutique Stays has a selection of lovey boutique options for your stay in Bath. 

Budget options

Bath Backpacker’s Hostel is friendly, cheap and nicely located on Pierrepont Street only 5 minutes from the train station.

Christopher’s Inn is another cheap, cheerful place, just around the corner from the Podium. 

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Venue Accessibility

For information about accessibility at each of our venues, please refer to this page.   

Wheelchair users

Please let the box office know when purchasing tickets so we can make sure there is space for you. If you have any further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Jane Austen Festival Office.

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Tickets

The majority of event tickets are on sale from Bath Box Office

Tickets not on sale at Bath Box Office are indicated on our website and also in the programme.

You can pick up your tickets within their opening times or have them sent to you if you live in the UK. If you are unable to pick them up from the box office during its opening hours, all of your tickets will be waiting for you at your first event of the festival. 

Tickets on the door

If an event is not sold out, tickets will be sold on the door on a first-come- first served basis 30 minutes prior to the start of the event. Event tickets bought on the door can only be paid in cash.

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Public Loos

There are public toilets all around Bath, but for a nicer experience you can use the loos at Marks & Spencer, the Bath Fashion Museum, the Pump Rooms, Debenhams, Jolly’s in Milsom Street, the Podium, the Guildhall and Charlotte Street car park.

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Vegetarian or gluten free (and other concerns)

Bath has many vegetarian/vegan and gluten free options, as well as dairy free or any other allergen you might be worried about.

Most restaurants and cafés are happy to cater to dietary requirements if you speak to staff before ordering.

For groceries we can recommend Waitrose in the Podium by the Guildhall, where you can find any kind of gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian/vegan options you need.

If you are coming to a festival event that includes food, please let us know beforehand if you have any allergies or are vegetarian/vegan. All of the food is ordered ahead of time, so if you only tell us on the day there is a chance that we might not have any suitable options.

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 Costumes

Costumes can be home-made, bought, hired, found in charity shops – however you want to do it. The only events where it is mandatory to be in costume are the Regency Masked Ball and the Regency Costumed Charity Promenade. For all other events, you can choose to dress up if you wish.

You can find our extensive costume how-to guide here.

Be aware that the festival does not have costumes for you to hire, so you will need to bring your own if you wish to dress up. You can hire costumes from Bath Theatrical Costume Hire in Frome.

Don’t wear heels if you plan on taking part in Regency dancing. Ballet pumps or low heels will make the evening more enjoyable, even if you are excellent at dancing contemporary dances in heels.

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Opening hours

Most of the local shops in Bath are open from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.

Some exceptions are the supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are all open longer hours.

Marks & Spencer is open from 8 am to 7 pm all days and on Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.

Debenhams is open from 9.30 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday and on Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.

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Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is a lovely experience in Bath. We have a lot of different options for you, some of which are:

The Regency Tearooms at the Jane Austen Centre – 40 Gay Street – open daily 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, last orders at 4.30 pm (From April to October) 

Miss Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms at 6-8 Saville Row (by the Assembly rooms and fashion museum). Open all days from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. 

The Pump Rooms this historical location serves afternoon tea with live music. Open daily from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm (exit at 6 pm). You can book a table on their website. The Roman Baths, Abbey Churchyard.

 

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Smartphones and social media

While we want your phones to be quiet at events so as to not disturb anyone, feel free to use it for shameless selfies and lots of pictures! Please don’t film or record any performances without permission, but please document your time at the festival and share your memories with us using #JaneAustenFestivalBath and tag us @JAFestivalBath

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Luggage Storage

There are some places in Bath that offers luggage storage. Most hotels and hostels offer storage for guests on day of checkout/check-in.

Otherwise, you can use

Bath Backpackers Hostel (13 Pierrepont Street)

Bath Luggage Storage Centre (13 Manvers Street)

Both are very close to Bath Spa train station.

Please be aware that we cannot store luggage at festival venues, both due to a lack of space and for security reasons.

If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

We hope you enjoy your time at the festival!

 

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