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Dartington Literary Festival

Literary festivals offer a great chance to take a break from the digital world and return to reading books. It’s also a wonderful way to meet people and exchange ideas.

However, some literary festivals create a more intimate and inviting atmosphere than do others. The Dartington Literary Festival is, in my opinion, the best of the lot. This year I was lucky enough to be invited to Dartington, to speak about The Key to Calm.

The speakers I listened to were well prepared, and everyone finished in good time to allow for questions. Members of the audience are treated with respect, and anyone who wished to express a viewpoint was given the opportunity to do so–there was no sense of hurry.

There was a generous and leisurely feel to each day. Talks were never scheduled ‘back to back’: instead, there was always plenty of time between each talk to permit book signing and an opportunity for audience members to talk with the author who had just spoken.

Then there’s the setting. Devon is already beautiful! But this particular estate, located near the River Dart in rolling green unspoiled countryside, is perfect for taking walks or going for a swim (if you don’t mind cold water!)

The food was delicious: fresh, beautifully prepared and cheerfully served. If you chose to stay overnight (I did), the accommodation offered on the site is top quality–clean, spacious and tastefully decorated.

I don’t know anywhere else where you can feel so relaxed, comfortable and welcomed, and at the same time learn so much about such a wide range of fascinating subjects.

I’d encourage anyone wanting to reawaken their desire to learn and to love to learn to attend one of the Ways Words Literary Festivals–Dartington, Southwold or Keswick.

I’m off now to read one of several books I couldn’t resist bringing back with me!