Why Autumn in Bath is a Special Time
As the seasons change, there are always losses and gains.
So yes, summer to autumn (slowly) sees days shorten and cool, but, conversely, the start of September always sees an enormous upswing in all kinds of activity: theatrical, comedic, culinary, cultural. (It’s almost like everyone’s back from their holidays and back doing things to entertain, amuse, divert and delight us again … )
Autumn in Bath threatens to spoil you for choice: we’ve already told you about the Jane Austen Festival (8th -17th September) so won’t go over old ground. Suffice to say it’s a big (and hugely entertaining) deal in these parts and worth dropping in on, even if you’re more Austen-curious than Austen-convinced.
Books of a different kind take over from 29th September – 8th October for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival: story-times, screenings, poetry, drawing, writing, and making workshops, as well as interactive events for all the family. Over 100 authors and illustrators will be in the city to read, entertain, answer questions and engage young minds. There’s even a short trailer to give you a taste of it.
And The Great Bath Feast in late September (22nd-24th) will give you all the taste you can handle. Milsom Street’s the venue: chef demos, street performances, music, signings, street food, talks, kids’ events, artisan market and bars. Our own Chris Cleghorn will be one of the celebrated local chefs featuring in this always well-attended and lively event.
One of the guarantees of autumn in Bath is the rise in the number and quality of stand-up comedy shows. Coming as it does after the Edinburgh Festival, it’s when many of the UK’s comedians (with reputations small, medium and large) are criss-crossing the country on long national tours. Some of them end up at Komedia, and it’s worth keeping an eye out for famous names (tickets go quickly), and also the lesser-known ones (tickets sell more slowly, but you might be seeing tomorrow’s big name today).
Currently there are few bigger names on TV than Brian Cox who, despite a very long and distinguished career, is currently best known to many as Logan Roy, from HBO’s Succession. In October (12th-28th) he’ll be remedying the oversight of somehow never having appeared at The Theatre Royal when he plays Johann Sebastian Bach in the world premiere of Oliver Cotton’s new play The Score, also starring Nicole Ansari-Cox, and directed by Trevor Nunn, former artistic director of the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.
The theatre, like the rest of the city, will be bursting with activity all autumn, reflecting in its repertoire the range which makes it so popular. Between The Egg (for children), the Ustinov Studio and the main house, there’s invariably a rich mix of the serious and comedic, the operatic and the singalong, the up-and-coming and the national treasures.
Just to close out the cultural theme, 20th-29th October’s when 2023’s FilmBath Festival is happening, featuring previews, special events, Q&As, documentary features, silent films with new live scores, shorts and awards.
Of course, notwithstanding all these events, autumn in Bath features plenty of great things to do unrelated to specific days of the week, or the need to buy tickets. You might need an extra layer on the various guided walks – around the city or local countryside – still running; you might sample our rich range of restaurants (including our very own Olive Tree), pubs, cafes and bars from an inside not outside table; our many galleries may feature slightly changed collections of art.
But the fact is that much of what’s great about Bath remains great regardless of temperature, natural light, wind-speed or time of sunset. So why not come and sample some of it with a stay in one of our rooms (and kick some brown leaves around while you’re here)?