Where in the UK can tourists participate in Regency period dance workshops?

As an admirer of Regency literature, you may very well be familiar with the enchanting world of Jane Austen. Austen's colourful portrayals of regal balls and eloquent conversations have captivated readers for generations. What if you could step into her world, dress in Regency attire, and participate in the grandeur of a Regency dance? Every year, the UK plays host to several Jane Austen festivals and Regency events designed to transport you back in time, immersing you in the era's charm and sophistication. Let's delve into some of the most prominent places where you can attend such events and even participate in Regency dance workshops.

Bath's Annual Jane Austen Festival

Every September, the city of Bath comes alive with the spirit of the Regency era during the Jane Austen Festival. This ten-day event sees Austen fans from all corners of the globe descending upon the city to celebrate the author's life, works, and her connection with Bath.

The festival is a week-long celebration of all things Austen, filled with walking tours, talks, theatrical performances, music, and of course, Regency dancing. One of the event's highlights is the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade, where participants can don period attire and parade through the city's historic streets.

One of the must-attend events within the festival is the Regency Dance Workshop. Its purpose is to introduce participants to the charm and elegance of the dances of the time. Whether you are a seasoned dancer or a beginner, you can partake in this experience, and you don't even need to bring a partner. Tickets for these workshops sell out quickly, so it's recommended to book well in advance.

Alton Regency Week

Another notable event in the Jane Austen calendar is Alton Regency Week, which takes place in June. Alton is a market town in Hampshire, not far from Chawton, where Austen spent the last eight years of her life. The festival is a tribute to this connection.

Alton Regency Week offers a range of events, from talks and tours to exhibitions and concerts. However, the festival's main attraction is the Alton Regency Ball. Leading up to the ball, tourists can participate in Regency dance workshops. As with Bath's festival, these workshops cater to dancers of all abilities and are designed to ensure that everyone can join in the fun at the ball.

Chawton House Regency Week

In June, Chawton House also celebrates Regency Week - a time dedicated to the exploration and appreciation of Jane Austen's life and times. Chawton House, located in the village of Chawton, was the home of Jane Austen's brother and is now a museum dedicated to early women's writing.

This event is not as big as the Bath Festival or Alton Regency Week, but it offers a more intimate and personal experience. Tourists can participate in a variety of activities, including guided tours of the house and grounds, historical talks, Regency-style picnics, and, of course, dance workshops.

The Regency Dance Workshop at Chawton House is an annual event that helps recreate the festive balls of the Austen era. The workshops are led by experienced dance instructors who guide participants through the steps of popular Regency dances. This experience, combined with the breathtaking setting of Chawton House, provides a truly immersive journey into the past.

Will's Week Regency Dance Workshop

If you find yourself in the UK outside of festival season, fret not. Will's Week Regency Dance Workshop is a year-round event that caters to Regency dance enthusiasts. This workshop takes place in various locations across the UK and is run by Will, an experienced Regency dance instructor.

The format of the workshop is flexible, catering to both groups and individuals. Whether you want to learn a specific dance or simply get an introduction to Regency dances, Will's Week can accommodate your needs. The workshop offers a unique opportunity to not only learn the dances but also gain insight into the historical and social context in which they were performed. Will's Week offers a dynamic and engaging experience that brings the enchanting world of Jane Austen to life.

The UK is a treasure trove of opportunities for those interested in immersing themselves in the Regency period. The renowned Jane Austen festivals, Regency Weeks, and dance workshops offer an authentic and thrilling experience of the time. These events provide a unique perspective and a deeper understanding of the era that inspired Austen's works. They allow you to step back in time, dress in period attire, and partake in the grandeur of a Regency dance. So, don your bonnet, tighten your corset, and prepare to dance the night away in true Regency style.

Leeds Castle Summer Ball

Every July, Leeds Castle in Kent hosts an annual Summer Ball, an event that has truly become a favourite among Austen fans. This majestic castle, surrounded by a stunning moat, serves as the perfect backdrop for a night of Regency-inspired fun.

Aside from a mouth-watering three-course meal, guests are treated to a Regency dance workshop as part of the evening's entertainment. Whether you have danced at a ball before or this is your first time, the workshop will take you through all the steps needed to participate in the evening's dance.

The workshop is led by a team of professional dancers who not only teach the dances but also explain the historical and social context in which they were performed. They carefully guide participants through dances popular during the Austen era, including the Boulanger and the Quadrille.

Instagram post from the event often shows participants in full regency costume, laughing and learning the steps. The view post is always full of smiling faces and bright costumes, capturing the joy of the event. The Summer Ball at Leeds Castle is a must-attend event for any Austen fan.

Jane Austen Centre in Bath

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath is a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Jane Austen. The Centre explores Austen's connections to this historic city and the influence it had on her novels, including "Persuasion" and "Northanger Abbey".

The Centre offers a variety of activities for Austen fans, including an exhibition, a Regency tea room, and a gift shop. However, one of its most popular offerings is the Regency dance workshop. The workshop is run by a team of professional dancers who teach popular dances from the Regency era.

The dance workshops are open to all, regardless of previous dance experience. Participants are guided through the steps of dances such as the Mr Beveridge's Maggot, known to Pride and Prejudice fans as the dance Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet share at the Netherfield Ball.

Remember to keep an eye out for a post shared by the Centre on their Instagram showcasing the fun and excitement of the workshop. The charm of the Jane Austen Centre, its connection to Austen's life, and the opportunity to learn Regency dance make it a must-visit destination.


From the grandeur of Bath's annual Jane Austen Festival to the intimate charm of Chawton House's Regency Week, the UK offers numerous opportunities to immerse oneself in the Regency era. Be it the bustling Alton Regency Week or the year-round availability of Will's Week Regency Dance Workshop, there are options for everyone and every season.

The chance to partake in Regency dance workshops is not just about learning the steps. It allows you to experience the social nuances of the Regency era, appreciate the historical context of Austen's novels, and even create your own Instagram post worthy moment in Regency costume!

So whether you're a die-hard Austen fan, a history buff, a dance enthusiast, or just someone looking for a unique experience, these Regency period dance workshops promise an unforgettable journey into the world of Jane Austen. An adventure filled with elegance, charm, and a little bit of Regency-era fun awaits you in the UK!