Something rather exciting is taking place in the Devon market town of Hatherleigh this year – BBC Radio 3 is on its way, putting on a performance of Robin Holloway’s The Gilded Goldbergs, A re-composition for two pianos after JS Bach, in collaboration with us, the Two Moors Festival, on October 15th.
While this is an excellent and compelling reason for making your way to this quaint little part of the world, there are lots of others that should put Hatherleigh very firmly on your must-visit bucket list. First of all, it really is very pretty around here, nestled in the heart of the great British countryside and if you’re lucky enough to get tickets for the concert, you definitely need to spend a bit of time exploring, come rain or shine.
For some truly magnificent views, follow the North Walk starting at Bridge Street near the car park and head through the wood to Spear’s Fishleigh. You’ll eventually end up at the Belvedere Tower, a Victorian monument commemorating Colonel Pearse, who won the Queen’s Prize in 1875 for rifle shooting – the perfect vantage point to see Hatherleigh at its best and to spot the 12 church spires to be found.
Hatherleigh’s also a great place to start the Tarka Trail from, a route that will take you past coastline, through wild moors and over rolling farmland and which was featured very heavily in Henry Williamson’s novel Tarka the Otter. Keep your eyes peeled for the many mosaic benches to be found along the way, made by local Sustran artist Katy Hallett, which can be found between Petrockstowe and East Yarde, the highest point of the trail.
If you’re staying for a while, you also need to check out the weekly Hatherleigh market, which takes place every Tuesday. Here, you’ll find lots of lovely local produce, homemade cakes, livestock auctions and household sales – where you’re sure to find some amazing bargains!
That’s not all Hatherleigh has to offer, however, and there’s always something interesting going on throughout the year. In November, the famous Hatherleigh Carnival takes place, including age-old traditions that have long since been forgotten elsewhere. Flaming Tar Barrel runs take place in the morning and evening, marked by the procession of 52 flaming torches – not a sight to be missed!
So come to Hatherleigh in time for the concert on October 15th – you won’t be disappointed.
BBC Radio 3 Live in Concert from the Two Moors Festival
Robin Holloway’s The Gilded Goldbergs
Monday October 15th, St John the Baptist Church, 19:30
Call (01643) 831 006 to book tickets