Bespoke Group Tours of Jane Austen’s Bath and Hampshire
We design unique and inspiring Jane Austen-themed tours for family and friendship groups, clubs, societies and even corporations looking for an unusual team building experience. We work with groups of 10 and more and look forward to immersing you in Jane Austen’s elegant world through tailor-made programmes of visits to key sights, expert talks and Regency experiences such as an authentic afternoon tea and even a costumed ball.
We can arrange accommodation to suit your group’s budget and requirements, whether that is a charming 4* hotel in a picturesque market town just outside Bath or a luxurious 5* spa hotel in the city centre.
Please explore the options set out below.
We can organise an insightful and informative talk on all things Jane Austen from specialist historian Dr. Roberta Anderson, lecturer on the University of Bath's MA Jane Austen's England programme. Dr. Anderson can either meet your group at your hotel, or for an extra special focus, we can arrange for the talk to be held at No.1 The Royal Crescent.
Would you like exclusive access to No.1 The Royal Crescent? Then why not let us arrange an evening tour, complete with readings from Jane Austen's novels? And to make the evening even more special, we can add sparkling wine and canapes too.
If you’re looking for an immersive experience, there’s nothing like dressing up in Regency costume to eat, dance and play cards, just as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy would have done. We can organise tables at both the annual Farthingales Grand Regency Ball, held in the historic surroundings of the Assembly Rooms’ ballroom, and the Jane Austen Festival Ball which takes place in Bath each September.
Both events are preceded by afternoon workshops where you can learn how to dance a Cotillion and Le Minuet like a member of 18th century Bath’s high society.
We can assist with period dress hire, hair and make-up for both the workshop and the ball.
Enhance a visit to Chawton House, home to Jane's brother Edward, with a buffet lunch around the very table Jane herself would have dined at and sample recipes from a cookbook used by Jane Austen’s family.
Indulge in an authentic Jane Austen afternoon tea of ham hock terrine, Bath buns and fruit fool at Bath’s historic Pump Room Restaurant.
We are able to help with Regency/Georgian costume hire, including day dresses, overcoats, parasols, jewellery, men's suits, top hats and capes so that you can visit the key sites looking like a lady or gentleman of the period. We can also arrange for a photographer to join you so you have a wonderful memento of the day.
Learn to dance like a Regency lady or gentleman at a specialist dance demonstration and workshop held in one of Bath's beautiful Georgian buildings. As well as mastering the key steps, you will also learn about the etiquette, fashion, history and social customs of the Regency and late Georgian period.
We can assist with period dress hire, hair and make-up for the workshop.
The Assembly Rooms
Described in 1771 as 'the most noble and elegant of any in the kingdom', the Bath Assembly Rooms was where Regency society came to dance, play cards, listen to music and drink tea. The building is now also home to the internationally-acclaimed Fashion Museum with its world class collection of historic and contemporary dress. Visitors seeking a truly immersive experience can even try on a replica frock coat or gown.
No.1 Royal Crescent
Step through the elegant front door of this museum and straight into the home of a fashionable Georgian family. Decorated and furnished as it would have been between 1776 and 1796, the museum creates a vivid picture of life in Jane Austen’s Bath.
The Pump Room
This Grade 1 listed building was once the heart of the Regency social scene. It is where Catherine Morland first set eyes on the dashing Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey and Persuasion’s Admiral Croft went to seek a cure for his gout. You can still sample the warm, mineral-rich waters from the King’s Spring water fountain.
Chawton House & The Jane Austen House Museum
Edward Austen inherited the Elizabethan manor Chawton House from distant family members Thomas and Catherine Knight and Jane often went to stay, referring to it in letters as ‘the Great House’. Now open to the public, there are still many traces of her time there, including the table she dined at and an alcove in the Oak Room where she liked to sit and read.
In 1809 Jane, together with her beloved mother and sister, moved into the bailiff’s residence, five minutes’ walk away. The house is now home to the Jane Austen House Museum. This charming recreation of the Austen women’s home and garden not only offers an insight into their domestic life, it also gives visitors the chance to see the desk where Jane wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion.
St Nicholas Church where Jane’s mother and her sister Cassandra are buried is a short walk away.
Dating from the 13th century, this perfectly-preserved Wiltshire village was used as the location for Meryton in the BBC’s production of Pride and Prejudice. Take time to walk along the pretty streets where the Bennet girls, in particular Lydia and Kitty ‘whose minds were more vacant than their sisters’, shopped for bonnets and hoped to attract the attentions of a young officer named Mr Wickham.
This pretty Hampshire village is where Jane Austen was born, raised and wrote the manuscripts for her first three novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. The Rectory itself is no longer there, but we visit the lime tree – said to have been planted by Jane’s brother James – that marks where it stood and the 12th Century church where she used to listen to her father preach.
In 1817, suffering from a kidney disorder, Jane moved to College Street in Winchester in order to be close to her physician. Sadly, she died a few weeks later and was buried in the Cathedral. The original memorial stone makes no mention of her literary achievements, but a few year's later Jane's nephew commissioned a brass plaque engraved with the inscription ‘Jane Austen, known to many by her writings’. Both can be seen in the Cathedral today, along with a beautiful stained glass memorial window.
More and more brides-to-be are looking to celebrate their forthcoming marriage with a hands-on experience rather than a night in a bar. Tapping into this trend, ECT Travel is able to adapt its Strictly Jane Austen tours to suit groups of 10 or more looking for a hen party that will leave lasting memories.
For more information, please click here