Jane Austen for Hen Parties

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.

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.

Would you like exclusive access to the fascinating Regency home museum 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 also add sparkling wine and a delicious selection of canapes.

Hen groups keen to know more about Jane Austen and her world might enjoy a tailor-made talk 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.

Regency Balls

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.

Regency Dining

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 the 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.

Jane Austen is synonymous with Bath and we can offer your group a full day, guided walking tour of the city with one of our experienced and knowledgeable guides. And if you would like to dress up for occasion, we can arrange that too.

Tour Outline

The day begins on Regency Bath’s most fashionable strolling street, The Royal Crescent, where you will meet your guide and have the chance to take photographs before visiting No.1 Royal Crescent. This Georgian town house is furnished and decorated just as it would have been in Jane's day.

You will then walk to the Assembly Rooms, designed by John Wood the Younger in 1769 as a place for Regency high society to dance, listen to music, play cards and take tea. The building is now also home to the Fashion Museum, renowned for its world-class collection of contemporary and historic dress. You will be treated to an exclusive guided tour of the museum and learn more about the history of fashion, both in Jane Austen's period and beyond.

The tour continues along the The Circus, an elegant street consisting of three curved segments of Grade I listed townhouses arranged in a circular shape, into Gay Street, pausing at No.25, Jane's former home, and on to Queen's Square. Designed in the early 18th century by John Wood the Elder, it became Regency's Bath most desired address and in 1799, Jane herself spent a month at No.13 in the company of her brother Edward, his wife and children and her mother, Mrs Austen.

In the centre of the Square, occupying seven of Wood's original townhouses, is the Francis Hotel where you will stop for a traditional English afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, freshly baked fruit scones, homemade cakes and deserts.

Refreshed, you then continue on foot to Great Pulteney Street, home to Northanger Abbey's Catherine Morland and an excellent place from which to admire the beautiful Pulteney Bridge. Jane Austen's home at 4 Sydney Place lies at the far end of the street.

Next stop is the Holburne Museum, a Grade I listed building that was originally designed as a hotel, but is now home to a fascinating collection of fine and decorative art. We have arranged an exclusive, curator-led tour of the Museum which will not only give you a real understanding of the collection, but also provide an insight into the history of the building and Jane's love of the Sydney Pleasure Gardens where the Holburne is located. At the end of the tour, you will have time to stroll in these pretty gardens, just as Jane would have done.