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Top 3 Devon Winter Walks

Supporters of UK classical music festivals will surely know just how much work goes into putting on events of this kind every year – and just how important it is for the organisers to take a few days here and there to really unwind after the event is done and dusted with.

Certainly, we here at the Two Moors Festival relish the few days of quiet time we have after the festival comes to a close. Because we live in Devon, one of the most beautiful parts of the world, going for a day out means we don’t even have to travel very far – there are some amazing hotspots right on our very doorstep.

Here are our top three wintry walks to go on in this stunning county of ours.

1. The Tarka Trail

Tarka Trail

Tried and tested, this is a favourite stroll for many and as soon as you start walking, it’s not hard to see why. Running through 163 miles of beautiful coastline (no, don’t try to do it in a day!), the trail was popularised by Henry Williamson’s book Tarka the Otter (which we actually turned into a much-loved opera a few years ago).

2. The Mamhead Sensory Trail

Haldon-rolling-image-1

This walk, near Exeter, is suitable for all ages so if you’ve got little people don’t be put off… get everyone in their wellies and simply set off! It takes you through Haldon Forest Park and is marked along the way with signs pointing out all sorts of interesting sights and sounds. It’s also pram-friendly so don’t leave the babies behind.

3.  The Middle Dart Valley Walk

 Middle Dart Valley Walk

This south Devon stroll starts and ends in Totnes and is perfect for wintry walks because the going is easy no matter the weather. You’ll get some amazing views of the River Dart and the Dart Valley so don’t forget your camera, particularly if it’s a lovely day.

Classical music tip: Turn to yoga to avoid injury

People outside the classical music industry may not be aware, but professional instrumentalists often face the same sort of career-ending injuries that sportsmen and women do, from hearing loss and anxiety-related conditions to neurological conditions like focal dystonia, which can lead to fingers and hands failing to respond.

Luckily, there are steps you can take as a professional musician to help reduce the chances of sustaining an injury and yoga and pilates could prove particularly useful.

You can improve your body strength, breathing and posture awareness through this sort of exercise – important since the instrument you’ve chosen to play may not be all that ergonomic and when you’re playing them for hours on end day in, day out, you will start to notice all sorts of aches and pains.

Fancy giving it a go? Help Musicians UK is now putting on a class at MU HQ, Clapham Road, London on August 19th as part of Wellbeing Week 2014 to show musicians how the ancient art of yoga can be beneficial.

We’d love to hear from you if you do go, so get in touch to let us know if it helped at all.

What tips do you have for avoiding injury as a musician?

To find out more about the Two Moors Festival and this year’s event, taking place in October, visit our website today.