The Great West Way
As well as being the home of a host of attractions that explore the arts, this autumn, the Great West Way will also see some of the UK’s best art and literary festivals.
During September, the world’s finest musicians, writers, artists and local performers will come together to entertain audiences at the 50th Anniversary of Windsor Festival. From Sunday, 15 September to Saturday, 28 September, at locations around Windsor, talks, walks, tours, exhibitions, open houses and concerts, will help celebrate Windsor’s status as a Royal Town, and inspire the next generation of artistic talent and creativity.
The Jane Austen Festival is a ten-day celebration of the English novelist who for a period resided in Bath. Events taking place during the festival running from Tuesday, 13 September to Thursday, 22 September, include tours and workshops, as well as a Costume Masked Ball and Country Dance Ball.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Marlborough Literature Festival takes place from Thursday, 26 to Sunday, 29 September in Marlborough, Wiltshire. This year’s festival offers a varied programme of nearly 40 events with special guest authors including Ian Rankin, Joanne Harris and Cressida Cowell.
Europe’s largest dedicated children’s literature festival, Bath Children’s Festival, runs from Friday, 27 September to Sunday, 6 October. Bath Children’s Festival promises a world-class line up and hands-on workshops for children and adults, including the chance to make your own clay character of Shaun of the Sheep with Aardman Animations, creators of Wallace & Gromit and Early Man.
Taking place in the grand English country house of Cliveden in Berkshire, The Cliveden Literary Festival is a two-day festival on Saturday, 28 September and Sunday, 29 September. Events include panel topics and sessions, as well as talks from notable speaks including Professor Brian Cox who will be sharing the secrets of the universe with the irrepressible Chris Evans.
Henley Literary Festival will take place in venues around Henley, starting on Saturday, 28 September to Sunday 6, October. The week-long festival features talk from popular authors including Mary Berry, The Unmumsy Mum, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nadiya Hussain.
The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol, is hosting its Annual Open Exhibition, now in its 167th year from Sunday, 29 September to Sunday, 1 December. This major exhibition provides a platform for artists to showcase painting, sculpture, print-making, photography, textile, film and installation. 1600 artists submitted 2852 works of art for this year’s exhibition.
Windsor Castle is hosting a week of evening performances of immersive dance and drama, celebrating 500 years of Leonardo da Vinci, from Friday, 25 October to Sunday, 3 November. Masterpieces of Motion is a unique family event combining curation, dramatisation and dance interpretation. Featuring at the event will be six original Leonardo drawings that inspired the performances.
Expect the warmest of Bristolian welcomes, extraordinary artists and performances at The In Between Time Summit, running from Friday, 11 October to Sunday, 13 October. Experience a three-day gathering of art, activism and conversation in venues across Bristol that include Arnolfini, We the Curious and Redcliffe Caves.
Along the Great West Way, you can immerse yourself in the arts all year round when visiting attractions such as The Holburne Museum in Bath, which is home to a collection of fine and decorative art, from Renaissance treasures to masterpieces by Gainsborough. The Holburne Museum offers a jam-packed calendar of events throughout the year.
A new exhibition is on offer at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington from Tuesday, 3 September to Wednesday, 11 September featuring work by Russell Terry.
The Pound, an arts centre in Corsham, also provides a year-round programme of performances, workshops, exhibitions as well as a youth theatre. In their first exhibition of the season starting on Wednesday, 11 September, The Pound’s trio of resident visual artists, Rachel Heard, Caroline Rudge and Clare Winnan highlight their joint interest in reviving traditional techniques to nourish fresh, contemporary art practices.
World-famous artist Banksy has used the city streets of London, LA and New York as his canvas, but some of his earliest work can also be found dotted around his childhood city of Bristol. To help you find his early art, embark on the Banksy Walking Tour.
England’s great landscape painter J.M.W Turner built a small villa in Sandycombe Lodge near the Thames at Twickenham, here the painter became an architect guided by his friend John Soane. Take the House Director’s Architectural Tour of Turner’s House on Sunday, 13 October at 11.00am, which will explore the diverse architectural styles Turner employed at his house.
There are many more locations along the Great West Way that champion the arts. For more information on the Great West Way, visit: www.GreatWestWay.co.uk