Jane Austen Festival in Bath – part 2: The Grand Regency Promenade,

The next day (Saturday the 19th) was the biggest day really, the day of the Grand Regency Promenade (amongst other things)!

As soon as I had finished my breakfast I hurried up to my room to get changed into my costume. For the first time I had a complete outfit to wear! As I came downstairs on my way out I ran in to my hostess, who after seeing me insisted on her husband taking some pictures of me in their garden. Which was very sweet of them I think!

Me in my costume

From where I was staying to where I was going (everyone who was to take part in the promenade were to meet outside the Pump Room) there was about a 10 minute walk. And I can tell you, I got a lot of attention during those 10 minutes! Everyone stared, several people asked what the occasion was. Someone even rolled down the window to his car to ask! It was pretty fun actually!

I did however finally arrive at the Pump Room, and there I was far from being the only one in costume!

People in costume

More people in costume

I met Karin and Dortie again, my friends from last night, and we had this picture taken of us. (See, told you it would end up here on my blog!:))

Me and some friends

Karin, me and Dortie

I also met some of the people from the Sense & Sensibility forum, who were there on the costume tour. (If you want to read about their trip in more detail, what they did and where they went, you can check out this blog here.) I was very excited to finally meet some of them, and they were all such lovely people (though of course, I knew they would be!)!

Sense & Sensibility group

Lily, Elizabeth, Scott, Joanna and Karen.

So then at “eleven of the clock” (as the man with the megaphone kept saying) we started. I must say it was quite and experience taking part in this! As we made our way, walking two and two in a looooong line (at least, we were supposed to walk two and two) we were drawing quite a lot of attention to ourselves. The street was completely lined with people! They were like two walls, one on either side of our line, all of them with flashing cameras! It felt like we were celebrities or something!



A lovely mix of modern and historic things!

We promenaded around some of the streets there and then made our way to the Assembly Rooms (yes, the very same Assembly Rooms that are featured in the books and films!). Because that was where the Guinness World Record attempt was to take place. For those of you who perhaps don’t know what record we were trying to break, it was the record for “biggest gathering of people in Regency costume”. I think the record we wanted to break was 200 something.

Waiting in line

Waiting in line to get into the Assembly Rooms

More waiting

Amusing ourselves while we waited

So we were all ushered into the Ballroom, where we had to stay for a while. There was a dance display and some music. In the end, when everyone had been counted, we finally got to hear how it had gone (or actually we didn’t, because it was so extremely hard to hear what that guy was saying, so everyone was going “what did he say?”, “did you hear?” to their neighbors). Our attempt was successful, a new record was set; 409 people!! Huzzah!

The Assembly Rooms

The Assembly Rooms

Me and the other Sense & Sensibility ladies

Me with some of the lovely Sense & Sensibility ladies

From there we made our way to the Royal Crescent, where a photo was to be taken of all of us. It was supposed to be some special photo, 83 feet long or something. Don’t ask me how it works, because I have no idea. However we had to stand there for ages, in the blazing sun (it really was very warm!) in all our layers of clothes. And in the end we, that is me and the group of people I was with, sort of gave up. Instead made our way to the fair in Queen Square, together with all the other people who had given up.

Promenading along the Circus

Promenading along the Circus

Promenading along the Royal Crescent

And the Royal Crescent

All lined up along the Royal Crescent

Half of the all the people lined up for the photo…

All lined up along the Royal Crescent

…and the other half

As we came there we quickly found a shady spot to sit down in, and some water to refresh ourselves with. Promenading in full costume and in warm weather really is rather exhausting! But also, oh,  so fun!!!!

Resting in the shade

Here is a youtube video from the promenade. It sums it all up quite well I think.

Even more coming up!

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3 Responses to Jane Austen Festival in Bath – part 2: The Grand Regency Promenade,

  1. Karin says:

    Great pictures! I really hope I can go again next year, it was so great to be a part of this…

  2. Camilla says:

    Dearest Aurora,

    Wow! This was amazing! How I wish I could’ve gone!

    The Regency dancing reminded me of the Spanish Waltz at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0VSc7ttXp4

    I thought it was Civil War type of dance, because the clothes matched that time, but since I saw it on the video (video #2), I thought maybe I was mistaken.

    Glad you’re back safe and sound!


  3. admin says:

    Thank you Karin! I really hope to be able to do it next yea too, it was soooo nice! 🙂

    I agree Camilla, the dancing in that video and the Spanish Waltz one are quite similar! I am no expert on dances myself, but I would guess it was danced both during the Regency and the Civil War. You can see some slight differences, like the waltz hold, but otherwise it looks like the moves didn’t change so much. 🙂

    Wish you could have gone too!


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