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Spending a Day with Jane Austen in Bath

Trying to do all things Jane Austen in a day

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After 2-1/2 days in Salisbury I thought we should take a day in Bath before heading off to the castle for our anniversary.

Really, I love Jane Austen; her books, the movies, anything Jane Austen. We visited her home in Chawton a couple of years ago, ate lunch in the kitchen of her brother’s home across the way, walked the streets that she would have walked. So really, a trip to Bath would be all about Jane Austen.

We took the train to Bath and walked the ½ mile to our Bed and Breakfast. Uphill and over cobbled streets, like all of the streets we have been on. But it was good exercise.

After dropping our bags off we went off to find Jane Austen. The first stop was the Jane Austen Center where, who else but that rascally Mr. Wickham was introducing Jane Austen. As we were just a minute late, Mr. Wickham introduced himself and I had to say, “Oh no, we know all about you”.

The center is just a couple doors down from where Jane Austen actually lived and all sorts of memorabilia has been set up.

After the introduction to Jane Austen the remainder of the exhibits are self-guided. There are paintings of how the area was during Jane Austen’s time and items from her time. Mr. Wickham came up to me several time and we would discuss whatever exhibit I was at. He was very knowledgeable and it was fun to discuss her home in Chawton as well. At the Center we also received a book with a tour of Bath laid out. Everything was close to our room.

From the center we went to a little tea shop, Bridge Coffee Shop, over the river Avon. This coffee/tea shop is built on the Pulteney Bridge and it reminds us of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.
After some coffee we walked to the other side and down along the river for a bit. But the walk did not look so nice after a short way and it was getting dark and starting to rain.

I still wanted to see a couple of sights that were in some of the books and 2 movies; Laura Place and Great Pulteney St. This is the widest street in Bath and was the “it” place to live. It is also in a couple of the movies.

We walked down the street, peering in open windows when possible and it is quite the “it” place still.

From Pulteney St we turned on Sydney Place to find the house where Jane Austen first lived in Bath. There is a plaque on the door identifying it. By this time, it was totally dark and still raining but the lights were on inside and the window blinds open. I’m sure that the family saw us but I’m also sure that they are used to this! Anyway, it was great fun to see inside a bit where Jane Austen would have been sitting and dining.
The following day we had to check out and wanted to get on the 1pm train to Amberly, but we thought that we’d just do the rest of our walk that included the Circus and the Royal Crescent. These were only a few minutes from our room.

We walked up to the Circus; these are buildings that are built in a circle around a park in the center. The building was started in 1754.
From the circus the Royal Crescent is only a couple of blocks away. Jane Austen visited her aunt and uncle here at #12. Again, the blinds were open so that we could see inside from the street.
We walked down the gravel walk where the gentry were carried down in their sedan chairs to the baths. Why I wasn’t carried? Dale announced that I wasn’t gentry enough! Humph!
We went on down to Trim Street, the last place that Jan Austen lived in Bath. The apartment she lived in is gone but looking at the street gives one a really good idea of how low she and her mother went in their housing.
Having seen all we had time for in Bath it was time to catch the train for the castle and our anniversary celebration.

Posted by Miss Chris 10:50 Archived in England Tagged bath jane_austen international_travel the_royal_crescent the_circus jane_austen_center

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