Jane Austen fan bids to be part of festival to honour author

Dorset Echo: AUSTEN FANATIC: Natalie Manifold AUSTEN FANATIC: Natalie Manifold

A LOCAL tour guide and Jane Austen fanatic is bidding to be part of an international festival dedicated to the author.

Natalie Manifold, of Literary Lyme Walking Tours, is currently being considered for entry into the annual Jane Austen Festival, which takes place in Bath in Sepetmber.

Natalie, 29, will operate a day trip from Bath to Lyme Regis and will take the visitors on a Jane Austen-themed tour of the town including the areas, such as The Cobb, which feature heavily in Austen’s novel Persuasion.

Natalie Manifold said: “I'm pretty pleased to be able to offer an event like this, to be honest I feel privileged.

“The Jane Austen Festival is a hugely popular event that attracts visitors from all over the world and competition to get into the programme is extremely tough, so here’s hoping I do actually manage to get in.

“It’s taken years of building a good reputation among the Jane Austen community, known as Janeites, to even be considered for entry into the programme, so I really do feel hugely privileged.”

The nine-day festival will take place between September 12 and 21, and the programme for events is yet to be finalised, with some time for additions to be made.

Ms Manifold added: “I have not finished putting together my itinerary yet but I hope the day trip will cost £55.

“It will include a Jane Austen Tour of Lyme, which includes fun facts about the Cobb Harbour, Jane Austen’s characters and where she stayed.

“I would also like to include a talk by Diana Shervington, Jane Austen’s relation, a well-known figure in the Jane Austen Society and in Lyme.

“These tours have been rated five stars on travel site Tripadvisor, so this promises to be a fun event.”

Ms Manifold is also looking to local businesses in Lyme Regis to help out with her bid and is inviting them to contact her with ideas on what they would like to contribute to the day trip.

She is also looking to invite anyone from the town to register interest in the trip.

For details visit literarylyme.co.uk or call Natalie Manifold on 07763 974569.

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