Slow Cotswolds

  • Slow Travel at Cheltenham Literature Festival

    You may have stumbled across the Slow Cotswolds website and be wondering what slow travel is all about. In which case, a visit to the Cheltenham Literature Festival should be pencilled into your diary. It starts tomorrow, Friday 7th October! There's a programme of nearly 500 debates, interviews and workshops over ten days. But specifically on Wednesday 12th October, is The Art of Slow Travel when Adrian Phillips, publisher of Bradt's Slow Travel Guides (of which Slow Cotswolds is one), and Alastair Sawdays, founder of Sawday's Publishing and Special Places series, will explain what slow travel is and discuss the celebration of regional character and landscape. What's more, Adrian will be talking in particular about the Cotswolds. The hour-long chat takes place at 7.30pm at The Inkpot in Cheltenham's Imperial Square.

    Established in 1949, the Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the oldest literary events in the world. In addition to The Art of Slow Travel discussion, you can rub shoulders with politicians, comedians, sporting greats, chefs, gardeners, newsreaders, columnists and renowned authors. There are fascinating talks, lectures, informal chats and workshops. And that includes a very exciting line up of events for children, including meeting bestselling authors like Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz and Philip Ardagh. In addition to the slow travel talk, this is my pick of events over the ten day billing:

    Friday 7th October - The Bront√ęs: Life At The Parsonage - a discussion on how family relationships and deaths, home and landscape influenced Charlotte, Emily and Anne. 2.15pm, The Sunday Times Garden Theatre.

    Saturday 8th October - Party games and stories as guests are taken on a celebratory adventure for Winnie-the-Pooh's 90th birthday. 10am, Town Hall, Pillar Room.

    Sunday 9th October - Emma Bridgewater talks to the editor of The English Home to share the personal inspirations behind her celebrated British ceramic designs. 12.30pm, Town Hall Baillie Gifford Stage.

    Monday 10th October - Antonio Carluccio, best-selling cookery author, provides delicious food and culinary chat. Includes lunch. 12.30pm, The Spiegeltent.

    Tuesday 11th October - Capability Brown: Visionary or Vandal? - Celebrating the 300th anniversary of the landscape gardener's birth with a discussion about his legacy. 11.30am, Town Hall, Baillie Gifford Stage.

    Wednesday 12th October - Creative Writing: How to Write for Young Adults - a 3-hour masterclass with Narinder Dhami (Bend It Like Beckham, 13 Hours) to develop techniques and writing skills for a young adult audience. 1pm, The New Club.

    Thursday 13th October - Frank Gardner and Peter Hanington - Two of the most gripping debut thrillers of 2016 have been penned by journalists with long experience of reporting across the globe. 1.15pm, The Times Forum.

    Friday 14th October - Saving the Countryside - A chat among authors, including Simon Jenkins, to celebrate the 90 years anniversary of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, and look to the future of England's landscapes and rural communities. 1pm, Town Hall, Baillie Gifford Stage.

    Saturday 15th October - The Ages of Bowie - the many faces, styles and sounds of the late, great Starman. 9pm, The Sunday Times Garden Theatre.

    Sunday 16th October - Young Model Makers Workshop: Shaun the Sheep - Join an expert model maker from Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Gromit, for this workshop to create your very own clay model of Shaun the Sheep. 12.30pm, Town Hall, Drawing Room.

    Tickets for all events are available from

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