4 Dates for your Diary – September

Are these events that you’ll be popping in your diary?

1. Bath, UK
Books and bonnets

Why go? With her head newly pressed on the new edition ten pound notes, the Jane Austen Festival (13-21 September) will certainly be turning a few of their own. Expect natural Arcadian walks, Georgian musical delights and even a grand regency costumed promenade. Live performances of her favourite works, duelling competitions and fashion shows will draw in crowds over the 8 day event to celebrate her literary legacy. After the larger than life homage to the wet-shirted Mr. Darcy in Hyde Park, London this summer, let’s hope the original heartthrob makes an equally grand appearance here.
Where to stay: The Georgian hotel The Halycon offers luxury rooms just 2 minutes walk away from the train station, Roman Baths and Abbey, with some good discount promotions available. Standard cost from £128 per night.
Getting there: First Great Western offer train tickets from Paddington, London to Bath (90 minutes) with a 2-4-1 offer on activities including spa treatments, hot air balloon rides and cookery classes.

Ladies looking for Mr Darcy

Ladies looking for Mr Darcy

2. Disneyland, Paris
Bon Anniversaire Mickey!

Why go? Like Wanderlust, Disneyland Paris is celebrating its 20 year anniversary in 2013, and the Disney characters had so much fun that they are extending the celebrations until 30 September 2013. The park has longer opening hours and premieres its Magic Disney Parade, a pyrotechnic Disney Dreams night show filled with HD projections, and will host a grand relaunch of their flagship store World of Disney in September.
Where to stay: The magical 5-star Disneyland Hotel sits at the entrance of the park, and from £1,454 for a three day, two night package deal it includes half board, park passes and free tickets for U7’s, in addition to the newly opened Celestia spa.
Getting there: Disney offers discounted prices on the direct Eurostar train from London St. Pancras station to Marne-la-Vallée/Disneyland, taking under 90 minutes from £27rtn.

Disneyland Paris and the nightime spectacular

Disneyland Paris and the nightime spectacular

3. Jakarta, Indonesia
Cosplay and ‘I Love Anisong’

Why go? Last year’s concert attracted over 40,000 fans, and the second Anime Festival Asia is set to be even bigger (6-8 September; IDR 380,000/£24 for full access day pass). The event showcases Japan’s anime stars performing live on stage, exclusive movie screenings with the film producers, and gives budding anime artists a chance to exhibit their work. Don’t forget to dress up if you want to enter the national Cosplay Championship, or if that’s not your cup of tea, enjoy the usual kind at the Maid and Butler Cafe.
Where to stay: MaxOneHotel offers wi-fi, kooky artwork and comfortable rooms for the reasonable price of IDR 396,200 (£25) per night.
Getting there: Emirates flies Gatwick/Heathrow to Jakarta via Dubai from around £553rtn, with taxis ready to shuttle you 20kms to the city centre.

Anime Festival Asia is back!

Anime Festival Asia is back!

4. Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire
Shooting birds with a lens

Why go? After learning some top tips on how to frame those feathers, it’s time for you to try it out for yourself. The Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve, stretching for three miles along the coast from the Wash to Skegness, is home to a wide range of bird species that live in the sandy dunes, saltmarshes and freshwater lagoons. In September, expect to see thousands of dark-bellied Brent Geese, Knot, and some Shorelarks, Snow Buntings, Short-eared Owls and even Hen Harriers. Admission to the bird reserve and visitor centre is free, and binoculars are available in the viewing gallery.
Where to stay: The Best Western Vine Hotel is a renovated hotel that offers a hot meal and cosy surroundings after a day outside. It is just 2 miles from the reserve, 1 mile from the town centre and a 10minute stroll to the beach, from £62 per night.
Getting there: The reserve is 2 miles south of Skegness, but there is limited public transport so walking or driving is recommended. There are two car parks outside the reserve entrance that charge a small fee to park.

A wading avocet at the Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve

A wading avocet at the Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve

Photo credits:

Jane Austen festival, http://gaze.aminus3.com/image/2011-05-16.html

Disneyland Paris, http://www.magicforum.eu/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10945&start=1640

Anime, http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannychoo/7626779144/

Gibraltar Natural Reserve, http://www.countryfile.com/days-out/gibraltar-point-national-nature-reserve-lincolnshire

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