Jane Austen fans from around the world descend on Bath for festival
Bath went back in time as hundreds of people paraded through the city in Regency costumes.
Jane Austen fans travelled from all over the world to take part in the grand promenade event, in honour of their favourite author.
The walk kicks off the annual Jane Austen festival, which this year runs until Saturday September 22.
This is the 12th festival, and it is a highlight for the city, with fans travelling from as far away as the USA, Australia and Japan to take part in the celebration of Jane Austen’s work.
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The promenade is the best-known part of the festival and as well as characters from the Regency novels, there were also people dressed as naval officers, musicians and soldiers.
Popular characters included Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, Emma Woodhouse from Emma, and Elinor and Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility.
The event started with a military display at the Royal Crescent, before fans set off from Queen Square following soldiers and a drummer.
They then made their way along Gay Street, George Street, Milsom Street, and Stall street past Bath Abbey before finishing in Parade Gardens.
Among those taking part was Anne Stoker, and her husband Bill, who are from Cardiff.
Mrs Stoker, 42, had spent the last month making their costumes, and was dressed as Mrs Dashwood, in recognition of her favourite novel Sense and Sensibility.
She said: “I just love Jane Austen, and have read my copy of Sense and Sensibility so many times that it is falling apart.
“I have taken part in the parade for the last six years, after I was introduced to it by a friend.
“This is the first year that Bill has joined me, and I really enjoyed the challenge of making a mans costume.”
Jill Haywood, 29, and her husband Martin, 32, from Devon, were taking part for the first time, and decided to dress as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet after getting married last month.
They had a Regency wedding, and were keen to use the costumes again.
She said: “We both love this era, and for our wedding last month decided to dress as one of Jane Austen’s most famous couples Elizabeth and Mr Darcy.
“All our friends and family dressed up too, and it was a friend that told us about this festival.
“We decided to take part as it sounded fun, and we wanted to wear the outfits again.”
Dedicated fan Hillary Marsh travelled from New York with her husband John and two children Sapphire, nine, and Felix, seven, to take part.
She first found out about the festival when the family was on holiday in Bath is 2009.
Ever since they have planned their holiday to the UK around the festival.
Mrs Marsh said: “I love Bath, it is my favourite place to visit, which is why we keep coming back.
“And now that we take part in the Austen parade I love the city even more.
“My husband and children love it too, and we all really enjoy getting dressed up and walking through Bath.
“Jane Austen was a great author, and I think it is wonderful that the city holds a festival like this every year.”
Following the promenade there was a military display and regency dancing in Parade Gardens.
As part of the festival visitors could also enjoy a traditional country fair in the Guildhall, with stalls including haberdashers and milliners as well as those selling tea and cakes.
Daily walking tours take place, showing the inspiration for Austen’s two Bath novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, and take visitors around the city that was her home at the start of the 19th century.
Other events include dance and costume workshops as well as the Jane Austen Festival Regency Ball in the Pump Room.
To find out more, go to www.janeausten.co.uk/festivalhome.