In the footsteps of Jane Austen in Bath

Oh! Who could ever be tired of Bath?

Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen

 

 

It is said that Jane Austen only reluctant exchanged the country life against the life in Bath. It is said that she fainted, when hearing that they leave Steventon to Bath. Some of her heroes/heroines show their dislike in her novels:

She disliked Bath, and did not think it agreed with her;
and Bath was to be her home.

Anne Elliot in Persuasion

For six weeks, I allow Bath is pleasant enough;
but beyond that, it is the most tiresome place in the world!

Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey

 

But after reading a few letters from her, we are not entirely sure, that she too - like Anne Elliot - liked Bath so little! Of course she enjoyed her life in Hampshire, but would she send two of her heroines there to find their fortune, when she really so disliked the city of Bath?

Jane Austen Centre

Gay Street Nr. 40
www.JaneAusten.co.uk

The Jane Austen Centre can not be missed - because of the life-size figure of Jane Austen. Next to it stands normally one of the most photographed man in England – the „Meeter and Greeter“ from the Jane Austen Centre: Martin Salter.

There is a little exhibition from the life of Jane Austen, her novels and the film adaptations of her work (among others film costumes). On the ground floor you can find a nice Jane-Austen-shop and on the second floor invites the „Regency-Tearooms“ to drink „Tea with Mr. Darcy“.

 


Jane Austen

Martin Salter, Meeter and Greeter, Jane Austen Centre

Tea with Mr. Darcy, Regency Tearooms

S C O N E S ♥

Royal Crescent

The semicircular building is the landmark of Bath and is backdrop for many movies (among others Persuasion 2007, The Duchess).

... they hastened away to the Crescent,
to breathe the fresh air of better company.

Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen

 

No. 1 Royal Crescent

www.Bath-Preservation-Trust.org.uk

In Royal Crescent No.1 you find a museum, which shows insights into a georgian urban villa and the life of wealthy families in the 18th Century. Since 2013 the museum has been extended by some rooms of the adjoining building and now shows rooms away from the high society: laundry room, rooms of servants, etc.

 

Royal Victoria Park / Botanical Garden

The Royal Victoria Park next to the Royal Crescent is the biggest park of Bath. In Jane Austens time known as „Crescent Fields“; but renamed after Queen Victorias visit in 1830 in „Royal Victoria Park“ to honor her.

In the west you can find a beautiful botanical garden, which is to be seen in the film adaptation „Persuasion“ (2007): Anne Elliot and Lady Russell walk over the little bridge before they meet Sir Walter Elliot and Mrs. Clay...

On Sunday we went to Church twice, & after evening service
walked a little in the Crescent fields, but found it too cold to stay long.

Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra
12 May 1801

 


Royal Victoria Park and Royal Cresent

Royal Victoria Park

Royal Victoria Park and Royal Crescent

Botanical Garden
Filmlocation Persuasion (2007)

The Circus

The paragon for the building of the Circus should be the Colosseum in Rome. The huge trees in the middle of it, Jane Austen should have seen as small trees ; they were planted in 1790 :-)

Also this building is shown in a film adaptation: e.g. Persuasion (2007): Anne Elliot and Lady Russell drive along the Circus in a carriage, while they talk about the expected engagement between Captain Wentworth and Luisa Musgrove.

 


The Circus

The Circus

Assembly Rooms

Bennett Street
www.NationalTrust.org.uk/Bath-Assembly-Rooms/

In the middle of the 18th century the Assembly Rooms were a meeting place for social life; here you meet for balls, concerts, to play cards etc. Even today the rooms can be booked for balls and weddings. And you can see the Assembly Rooms also in film adaptations; among others in Persuasion (1994 and 2007), The Duchess.

Mrs. Allen was so long in dressing,
that they did not enter the ball-room till late.
The season was full, the room crowded,
and the two ladies squeezed in as well as they could.
As for Mr Allen, he repaired directly to the card-room,
and left them to enjoy a mob by themselves.

Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen

 


Entrance Hall

Georgian Ballroom

Tea Room

Octagon Room

Fashion Museum

Bennett Street
www.FashionMuseum.co.uk

On the basement is the Fashion Museum located, which shows dresses from the 16 th century until today . The exhibitions are changing nearly yearly. And in the Museum Shop you find a lot of fashion books, postcards, etc.

She is dressed in a white gown, with green ornaments,
which convinces me ot what I had always supposed,
that green was a favourit colour with her.

Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra
24 May 1813

 


Fashion Museum

Fashion Museum

Fashion Museum

Fashion Museum

Gravel Walk / Georgian Garden

In Jane Austens novel „Persuasion“ the Gravel Walk is a very special and romantic walk. Anyhow Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth choose this beautiful walk for their first steps together, after their renewed engagement.

On the Gravel Walk is the entry to a little Georgian Garden. It is open daily from 9am to 16.30pm and the entry is free.

... and soon words enough had passed between them to decide their direction towards the comparatively quiet and retired gravel walk, where the power of conversation would make the present hour a blessing indeed, and prepare for it all the immortality which the happiest recollections of their own future lives could bestow.

Persuasion
Jane Austen

 


Gravel Walk

Gravel Walk

Georgian Garden

Georgian Garden

Bath Abbey

Abbey Churchyard
www.BathAbbey.org

The late Gothic Abbey is also known as „Lantern of the West“ because of the beautiful windows. Interesting are also the many memorial stones, which can be found on the walls.

 


Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey by night

Roman Baths

Abbey Churchyard
www.RomanBaths.co.uk

Bath owes the only british hot spring the city founding and also the reputation of the most important spa town in the 17th and 18th century . The Roman Bath Museum tells about the history and shows the old roman temple complex.

 


Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

Roman Baths

The Pump Room

Abbey Churchyard
www.RomanBaths.co.uk

In the 18th century the Pump Room is THE social meeting place for „to see and to be seen“, to promenade, to exchange latest informations and of course to drink the famous spa water. This spa water is discribed by Charles Dickens in „The Pickwick Papers“: „a very strong flavour o´warm flat irons“. He is not quite wrong with that – even better that nowadays you get your spa water mixed with different fruit juices ;-)

You can take your Afternoon Tea while listen to the piano player in the Pump Room - very classy! Do not get discouraged because of the waiting lane!

Mr. Allen, after drinking his glass of water,
joined some gentlemen to talk over the politics of the day
and compare the accounts of their newspapers;
and the ladies walked about together, noticing every new face,
and almost every new bonnet in the room.

Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen

 


Afternoon Tea

Spa water drinking fountain

Splendid Spa Water ;-)

Afternoon Tea

Bath Street

Jane Austen and her family know the Bath Street very well. Her aunt, Mrs. Jane Leigh-Perrot, was accused of stealing a small piece of lace in a shop. While the proceeding it came out, that it was smuggled into her purchases, with the intention to blackmail her.

In „Persuasion“ Mary watches the meeting between Mr. Elliot and Mrs. Clay in Bath Street. In the film adaptation from 1994, this street plays a special backdrop: after reading Captain Wentworths letter, Anne Elliot hurries out of a door from this street. They meet between the collonades of Bath Street and - at last - they kiss ♥

... there is Mrs. Clay, I am sure, standing under the colonnade,
and a gentleman with her. I saw them turn the corner from Bath Street just now.
They seemed deep in talk. Who is it? Come, and tell me. Good heavens!
I recollect. It is Mr. Elliot himself.

Persuasion
Jane Austen

 


Bath Street

Bath Street

Bath Street
Filmlocation Persuasion (1994), Amanda Root & Ciaran Hinds: Anne Elliot runs out of the first door after reading
Captain Wentworths letter.

Bath Street
Filmlocation Persuasion (1994),
Amanda Root & Ciaran Hinds:
Kissing scene ♥

Milsom Street

Even Jane Austen estimates the many shops in Milsom Street and also her heroines stroll through this shopping street: in „Northanger Abbey“ Catherine Morland and Mrs. Allen go shopping here; in „Persuasion“ the sisters Elliot and Mrs. Clay visit the pastry shop „Molland´s“.

Where once was to be found „Molland´s“, is today „only“ a fashion shop :-)

Do you know, I saw the prettiest hat you can imagine,
in a shop window in Milsom Street just now -
very like yours, only with coquelicot ribbons instead of green;
I quite longed for it.

Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen

 


Milsom Street

2 Milsom Street: "Molland´s pastry shop" is nowadays a fashion shop

Sally Lunn´s

North Parade Passage Nr. 4
www.SallyLunns.co.uk

The oldest house of Bath is now a restaurant, which is famous for the Sally Lunn Bun. It is believed that the French woman Solange Luyon brought the recipe with her. On the first floor you can have a seat in the „Jane Austen Room“ and on the basement you can find a little kitchen museum.

 


Sally Lunn´s

The oldest house in Bath 1482
Sally Lunn lived here 1680

Pulteney Bridge / Parade Gardens

The Pulteney Bridge is built upon both sides with shops, and is so one of three bridges in that style worldwide (the two others are the Rialto Bridge in Venice and the Ponte Vecchio in Florence).

You have a great view at the bridge from Parade Gardens - a small park, lying on the river Avon. The entrance is between Grand Parade/Orange Grove/Pierrepont Street (September 2010: £1).

 


Parade Gardens, Pulteney Bridge

Parade Gardens

Parade Gardens

Parade Gardens, Pulteney Bridge

Sydney Place Nr. 4

Sydney Place Nr. 4 is one address, where the Austens lived. The house is private property and could therefore not be visited; in the meantime parts of it can be rent as a holiday apartment. On our last visit in Bath we were surprisingly invited to one apartment, and so we could view some rooms , the staircase, etc.

 

 

More known residences in Bath:

  • Paragon Buildings Nr.1 (1797)
  • Queens Square Nr. 13 (1799)
  • Green Park Buildings (the building was destroyed during the 2nd World War)
  • Gay Street Nr. 25 (near the Jane Austen Centre Bath)
  • Trim Street

Each building is now private and not open for public!

Holburne Museum / Sydney Gardens

Great Pulteney Street
www.Holburne.org

At the end of Great Pulteney Street is the Holburne Museum, Baths art museum. In Jane Austens time it is known as „Sydney Tavern“ or „Sydney Hotel“ and location for meetings, balls, concerts, etc.

Behind the museum is the oldest park of Bath. Jane Austen walked often here and she also wrote about it in her letters. Nowadays she would not recognise it. Not only because of "new" buildings (e.g. Replic of "Temple of Minerva", built in 1909); also the train goes through Sydney Gardens :-)

It would be very pleasant to be near Sidney Gardens!
We might go into the labyrinth every day.

Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra
21 January 1801

 


Holburne Museum of Art

Sydney Gardens

Sydney Gardens

Sydney Gardens

St. Swithin´s Church, Walcot

The Paragon
www.StSwithinsWalcot.org.uk

The Walcot Church appears twice in the chronicle of the Austen family. Jane Austens parents, Reverend George Austen und Cassandra Leigh, married there in 1764. In 1805 Jane Austens father died in Bath - you can find his gravestone at the little churchyard.

The Funeral is to be on Saturday, at Walcot Church.

Jane Austen to her brother Francis Austen
22 January 1805

 


St. Swithin´s Church, Walcot

Gravestone of Jane Austens father

Under this stone rest the Remains of the Rev. George Austen, Rector of Steventon und Dean in Hampshire.
He departed this life on 21 January 1805. Aged 73 years.

Camden Place

Camden Crescent

Camden Place can be found on the map as „Camden Crescent“. Apropos: in the film adaptation of Persuasion from 2007, Anne Elliot doesn´t run out of this building for speaking with Captain Wentworth – but from the Royal Crescent Nr. 1!

Sir Walter had taken a very good house in Camden Place,
a lofty dignified situation, such as becomes a man of consequence;
and both he and Elizabeth were settled there, much to their satisfaction.

Persuasion
Jane Austen

 


Camden Crescent

Camden Crescent

Beechen Cliff / Alexandra Park

GoogleMaps

The way to Alexandra Park on Beechen Cliff is not only for Janeites, but also for Bath visitors interesting. You have an impressive view over the city of Bath!

The footpath starts at Calton Road, goes over many uneven steps upwards to the Alexandra Park. When we asked for the way, we got the answer: „Good luck! It´s a quite steep walk!“ We did not find it sooo hard; although, we recommend good shoes :-)

The way that is mentioned in Jane Austen letters, leads up over Lyncombe Vale Road and Greenway Lane and offers some beautiul view points towards Prior Park.

They determined on walking round Beechen Cliff,
that noble hill whose beautiful verdure and hanging coppice
render it so striking an object from almost every opening in Bath.

Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen

 


Calton Road, Footpath to Beechen Cliff


Beechen Cliff / Alexandra Park

Prior Park Landscape Garden

Ralph Allen Drive
www.NationalTrust.org.uk/PriorPark/

The completely neglected Prior Park was incured by the National Trust at the 1990ies and was reconstructed from old plans. While a walk through the park you can see the beautiful Palladian Bridge, but you can also enjoy a great view over the city of Bath.

The former manor of Ralph Allen up on the hill harbored today a school.

The easiest way to the Prior Park Landscape Garden is to go by „Bath City Sightseeing Bus (Skyline Tour). Your busticket reduces the price for the ticket into the park!

 


Prior Park Landscape Garden

Palladian Bridge

Prior Park Landscape Garden

Prior Park Landscape Garden, Bath Panorama

Bath City Sightseeing Bus

www.BathBusCompany.com/Tours/Bath-Tours

With buying a ticket (Juni 2012: £12,50) you can use the City Sightseeing Busses for 24 hours. One bus goes through the city, while the other one explores the surroundings (e.g. Prior Park Landscape Garden).

Through headphones you get many informations and the history of sights, buildings, etc. With the busticket you get reduced entrance to some museums.

They passed briskly down Pulteney Street, and through Laura Place,
without the exchange of many words.

Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen

 


Bath Sightseeing Bus

Bath Sightseeing Bus

Jane Austen Tour und Movie Map

On the website of the tourist information of Bath you can find great and free downloads for more expeditions through Bath:

 


Regency-Lady with MP3-Player ;-)

Jane Austen Festival

www.JaneAusten.co.uk/Festival

Every year many fans from all over the world come to attend the Jane Austen Festival. Some of the events are very recommendable (e.g. dance events), from others we maybe expected more ;-)

We highly recommend the „Regency Costumed Promenade“! In 2009 during the festival, there was a world record attempt for „The largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costumes“ (to find in the Book of Records 2012).

Tickets for the Promenade and the Festival-Friends-Tickets are available in the Jane Austen Centre Shop; every other tickets are sold by the Festival-Box-Office.

 


Regency Costumed Promenade,
Royal Crescent

Regency Costumed Promenade,
Royal Crescent

Regency Costumed Promenade,
Gravel Walk

First edition "Pride and Prejudice"

Travelling to Bath:

  • by train from London Paddington to Bath Spa
  • or by coach from Heathrow Airport to Bath Spa

More Links:

Tourist information Bath

Map:

Show larger map

In the footsteps of Jane Austen

In the footsteps of
Jane Austen

Our journeys

 

Bath

Lyme Regis

Chawton

Winchester

Lacock (Filmlocation)

 

Biography

What are men to rocks and mountains? Oh! What hours of transport we shall spend! And when we do return, it shall not be like other travellers, without being able to give one accurate idea of any thing. We will know where we have gone; we will recollect what we have seen. Let our first effusions be less insupportable than those of the generality of travellers.

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
 

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