Top things to see and do around Bath in September including catching the annual Jane Austen festival, seeing The Human League at Bath Racecourse, and celebrating the 25th birthday of the Somerset Arts Week festival


Have your bonnets at the ready as September can only mean one thing in Bath – it’s time for the annual Jane Austen Festival. Now in its 19th year, the 10-day festival sees all manner of talks, events and Regency drama take over the city in a celebration of one of the nation’s most-loved novelists from 13–22 September. There will be live readings, food tastings, walking tours, dance workshops, and hilarious modern adaptions of Austen’s work on offer. And if you fancy dressing up, you can take part in the record-breaking Grand Regency Costumed Promenade on 14 September where more than 500 people will stroll through the city to Parade Gardens in full Regency costume. Bath Preservation Trust’s Dr Amy Frost explores why the architecture in Austen’s novels has such character and meaning on page 48;


1980s chart-topping band The Human League will be headlining Bath Racecourse’s open-air stage on 14 September, playing the group’s biggest hits following a thrilling afternoon of horse racing. The band, who have been cited by the likes of Madonna, Pet Shop Boys and Robbie Williams as music inspiration, have sold 20 million records worldwide, including their much-loved number one single Don’t You Want Me. The event will kick off with seven races from 2pm, with the band taking to the stage at 6pm. Admission from £35;

The Human League performing at Bath Racecourse


Mary Shelley wrote most of Frankenstein while residing in Bath, yet her life was just as extraordinary as her world-famous gothic novel. Frankenstein In Bath is a walking tour that explores the forgotten stories of secrets and lies, suicides, concealed births, false identities and ruined reputations associated with Shelley and her friends. Described by @weirdbath as “sensational, fabulously gothic fun filled with revelations and scandals,” you can walk in Shelley’s footsteps and discover where she lived, wrote, and kept dark secrets. Begins outside Sally Lunn’s every Friday until 8 November, 7pm. £10;


How can we make a city that is good for our body, mind and soul? This month will see a week of walks, talks and activities in and around Bath as the Therapeutic City Festival, hosted by Architecture Is, opens the conversation about how we can design and manage a city for wellbeing in the modern age. From 20–27 September, experts will be exploring the past, present and future of Bath as a therapeutic place to live and visit, and will be asking what should a 21st-century spa city be like? Programme and tickets available online;


Celebrating its 25th birthday, Somerset Art Weeks Festival (21 September – 6 October) hosts a diverse programme of inspiring art exhibitions, workshops, talks and films in 135 locations across Somerset. There will be four new commissions by internationally celebrated artists on show, installations by 12 local artists who have been awarded SAW bursaries, as well as showcases of emerging new talent. Plus there’s a family-friendly finale weekend on 5–6 October where children can get stuck into some creative activities. See the full programme online;

The Homecoming by Peter Lawrence

Main image: Jane Austen Festival: Owen Benson