The great Two Moors Festival church crawl

Picture courtesy of Alan Tollhouse on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tollhouses/3641776746/sizes/z/in/photostream/
Picture courtesy of Alan Tollhouse on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tollhouses/3641776746/sizes/z/in/photostream/

If you don’t know anything about the Two Moors Festival, then you won’t know that we’re dedicated to putting on brilliant classical music concerts involving some of the best musicians in the world in the rural south-west, where this calibre of artist and this calibre of production are very rarely heard.

For two weeks in October every year, we host a wide variety of interesting concerts along a set theme (2013’s theme is light) in numerous churches across Exmoor and Dartmoor, and a lot of research goes into finding the churches in which to hold productions. Lots of work, lots of sightseeing and lots of pub lunches here, there and everywhere!

This year, we’re doing something a little different as part of the main two-week event in October – a church crawl. The premise is this: find three beautiful churches within driving distance of each other, each with their own rich and diverse history, then book a string quartet (or an ensemble that doesn’t require a piano) and find a speaker who can give a talk on the church itself. This is typically someone local with unparalleled knowledge of the area and the church.

Earlier this week, we hotfooted it off to some lovely churches in Dartmoor, near Chagford – investigating Spreyton, Hittisleigh, Gidleigh and Throwleigh. It’s vital that the churches have good parking facilities – and a great local pub! Spreyton was an instant success, not least because Uncle Tom Cobley is buried in the churchyard, and Gidleigh was also very sweet, although the other two were sadly no-gos as their parking spots weren’t the best.

The ensemble we’ve arranged to play during the church crawl is the up-and-coming Gildas Quartet, a new young ensemble of brilliant players. They’re relatively small but doing well and are definitely ones to watch!

All in all, it was a lovely day as the weather was gorgeous for such an outing. We had a delicious lunch at the 3 Crowns in Chagford and had a very sunny walk across the moor with festival dog Flora. If only every day could be like this!

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