Friday, 13 September 2013

Festivals in Bath

Bath has become known as a festival city, with a year-round programme of special events which should guarantee something for everyone. Visiting one of the festivals while staying at a bed and breakfast in Bath city centre offers the chance to meet up with other like-minded people. You are also bound to broaden your knowledge of a pet subject, whether it is Jane Austen or opera.

Dukes is the ideal place to stay during short breaks in Bath while enjoying one of the city's festivals. All our 17 rooms have individual features such as high ceilings and sash windows, and each is named after a Duke for a unique touch. We offer our visitors a combination of Georgian elegance and modern home comforts, and we cater for families, including young children.

Here are details of some of the wide range of popular festivals staged over the year, which you can enjoy during your bed and breakfast stay in Bath city centre.

Bed and Breakfast in Bath City Centre – click here for more information.

Bath Literature Festival – February to March. Many famous authors have taken part in this annual festival since it was launched in 1995, including JK Rowling, Sir Terry Pratchett, Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood, and a host of others. Events include workshops for young people and poetry readings in pubs, as well as readings in many of the city's historic buildings, so there is bound to be something to appeal to everyone.

Bath in Fashion – April. With a fashion museum and designer boutiques, Bath is known as a stylish city. Catwalk shows, workshops and exhibitions are all part of its festival each April, which is one of Britain's best-known fashion spectaculars. The 2013 event included a centenary exhibition showcasing the work of great fashion photographer Norman Parkinson, with more than 150 businesses contributing to the festival. If you are a fashionista, this is the perfect time to stay at a bed and breakfast in Bath city centre.

Bath International Music Festival – May to June. The festival was established in 1948, and runs over 12 days, including major orchestral concerts, world music, jazz, folk, and many other kinds of music. It begins with a party featuring 2,000 musicians and performers from the area. Bath Fringe Festival is also staged from May to June, with a wide variety of events including visual arts installations, multi-media, music and street theatre.

Bath Folk Festival – August. Folk music fans planning short breaks in Bath could well be tempted to visit during this annual event. Bath Folk Festival only started a few years ago, but is building its reputation and attracting top names. Morris dancing, skiffle, bluegrass and harp music are among the varied mix of entertainment at the festival, which features both established and rising artists.

Jane Austen Festival – September. This popular annual festival celebrates one of the world's best-loved authors, who was Bath's most famous resident. Highlights include a Regency costumed promenade through the city centre, with 18th-century soldiers firing muskets. There is also a masked ball, offering fans of Austen period dramas a chance to wear the fashions of the era themselves. Stars of the TV dramas also often take part, and festival-goers can choose from a long list of concerts, etiquette lessons, workshops and minibus tours.

Bath Festival of Children's Literature – September to October
. Each year, Bath stages Britain's largest festival dedicated to children's books, with more than 80 separate events putting a host of top authors and artists in the spotlight. There are always many famous names on the bill, from poet Michael Rosen to bestselling author Charlie Higson, while children's parties and storytimes are all part of the fun.

Great Bath Feast – October. There's a lot more to the city's cuisine than Bath buns, and the Great Bath Feast gives a chance to taste a wide range of gourmet delights. Chefs stage all kinds of demonstrations during the festival, and Raymond Blanc, Prue Leith and Mary Berry of 'The Great British Bake Off' fame are among the top names you might spot on the bill. Georgian feasts add a touch of history, and you can also sample wines, ciders and beers from the area.

Bath Mozartfest – November. This annual celebration of the great composer was founded more than 20 years ago. Over the nine days of the festival, many top musicians, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, stage a selection of works by both Mozart and his contemporaries. Historic venues like Bath Abbey and the Assembly Rooms are the perfect settings for the festival, which closes with a grand supper.

If you are planning a visit to any of these festivals, Dukes bed and breakfast in Bath city centre is the ideal place to use as your base. Our central location means you are within easy walking distance of most attractions, and can easily come and go during a festival. We have a choice of rooms ideal for either families or couples, and serve superb breakfasts. Also, if you tell us a little in advance, we can serve afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks or a late-night cheeseboard when you get back from a concert or show.

Short Breaks in Bath – get in touch to book your stay.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Museums in Bath

Bath weekend breaks offer the perfect chance to discover a beautiful city with a wealth of history. One way to find out more about the heritage of this magnificent spa resort is to visit some of its museums. There are collections celebrating everything from Bath's Roman and Georgian past to fashion, food, astronomy and even the postal service.

If you are looking for a boutique bed and breakfast in Bath which you can use as a base to explore the city, Dukes is the answer. Our central location is within easy walking distance of a host of fascinating museums, as well as all kinds of other attractions, from shops to restaurants and theatres. We cater for couples, families, or groups of friends as our hotel has 17 bedrooms, ranging from romantic four posters to family rooms.

Here Dukes has put together a selection of some of the most interesting and unusual museums which you can visit during your Bath weekend breaks.

Bath Weekend Breaks –  click here to get started.

The Roman Baths – Open all the year round, this unique piece of history is a must for any visitor to Bath. The centrepiece is the Roman Great Bath, filled with hot spa water, where characters in Roman costumes wander through to add to the atmosphere. You can also see the saunas, changing rooms and other artefacts from the Roman era. The Georgian past is celebrated here too, with the original pump room which was popular in Jane Austen's day. This is now a restaurant, where it is possible to taste the spa water. You can buy a joint ticket for admission to both the baths and the nearby Fashion Museum. 

Fashion Museum – Bath's Assembly Rooms are the historic setting for the city's Fashion Museum, which attracts around 130,000 visitors every year. The massive collection, open all year, includes clothes, fashion plates, dress patterns and much more, ranging from late 16th-century fashions right up to modern-day catwalk designs. You will be offered the chance to dress up in replica clothes, including crinolines and corsets, something which especially appeals to children.

No 1 Royal Crescent – This unique Georgian town house reopened its doors to visitors in summer 2013 after major renovation. It was the first house to be completed in the famous Royal Crescent, and wealthy guests stayed there during spa visits. Ten rooms have all been beautifully fitted out with period furniture, so the house will give you a glimpse of 18th-century life both above and below stairs. It is open all week from February to October, with limited access out of season.

Jane Austen Centre – If you are a lover of literature, a must-see attraction to fit into your weekend breaks in Bath is the Jane Austen Centre. It is open throughout the year, with costumed guides and a fascinating exhibition looking at the author's life in the city and how it affected her classic novels. The centre is in Gay Street, where Jane Austen lived during her time in Bath.

Bath Postal Museum
Fans of hit TV series 'Lark Rise to Candleford' might find this museum strangely familiar. The reason is that its collection served as an inspiration for the costume drama. Bath played an important role in the development of the postal service. Former postmaster Thomas Moore Musgrave is famed for the mailing of the very first postage stamp used anywhere in the world – the original Penny Black. The museum is open year-round, with activities including the chance to perforate your own stamps.

Sally Lunn's Historic Eating House and Museum
Young French Huguenot baker Sally Lunn is said to have created her famous buns in Bath around 1680. This unusual combined museum and restaurant, open all year, offers the chance to see the kitchens where she first cooked the sweet rolls, as well as sampling them. You can also see excavations showing the history of the site from Roman times onwards.

Herschel Museum of Astronomy
William Herschel was the astronomer and musician who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. The town house where he and his sister Caroline lived, in King Street, is open for most of the year except for a short winter break in December and January. Attractions include Herschel's music room, and the garden where he made his famous discovery using a telescope he had constructed himself.

American Museum in Britain
Despite being just outside the city, the American Museum in Britain is very easy to visit, as there are regular shuttle buses from the centre of Bath. Set in beautiful 120-acre grounds, this is said to be the finest American heritage collection outside the USA. Its collection includes many folk art items and a fine array of quilts, and it stages special exhibitions, activities and concerts for all the family. Its opening season runs from March to November, but it also opens over the Christmas period. The museum is usually closed on Mondays.

These are only some of the great variety of museums in the city. There are also many more, so the only problem you are likely to face during your Bath weekend breaks is that you just won't be able to fit it all in! Dukes boutique bed and breakfast in Bath is the perfect base for your visit at any time of the year, with elegant accommodation and a relaxed atmosphere. We also offer a choice of hearty breakfasts to set you up for a day of sightseeing fun.

Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Bath – contact us now to book your break.