Celebrating its ninth year, the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is in full swing preparing for this year’s bumper Festival, with plenty to inspire and entice.


Situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on East Devon’s Jurassic Coast, South West England’s most prestigious literary festival provides the perfect backdrop to showcase some superb nature and wildlife writing.

The programme includes the acclaimed academic Philip Hoare whose latest book, Risingtidefallingstar, is the third of his water-themed series which includes the Samuel Johnson Award-winning Leviathan, or The Whale.

This highly-regarded historical writer goes in pursuit of human and animal stories of the sea; of people enchanted or driven to despair by the water, accompanied by whales, birds and seals. Along the way, he encounters drowned poets, eccentric artists, wild utopians and national heroes. Get swept away on a rip-tide of discovery with Philip Hoare in the Public Hall on Wednesday, 13 September at 5.15pm.

Bringing you ashore for more expert musings of the past is prize-winning author, geographer, explorer and presenter of Coast and Great British Journeys, Nicholas Crane. In an already sold out event drawing from his book, The Making of the British Landscape, Crane will lead us on a geographical journey through time, change and adaptation, punctuated with stunning images to fully illustrate the history of our landscape since the Ice Age.

From the Ice Age to Wonderland, you’re invited to join Stephen Moss on Thursday 14th September as he unpacks his literary account of a year-long field trip looking at Britain’s wildlife. Moss is the award-winning producer of Springwatch and Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival, and this is a rare and coveted opportunity to hear him talk in person.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire is the captivating new book by the bestselling and award-winning novelist, Alex Preston, who joins the programme later the same day. Looking for moments ‘when heart and bird are one’, Preston weaves the very best writing about birds, from Keates to Ted Hughes, into a personal and eccentric narrative that is as much about the joy of reading and writing as it is the thrill of wildlife. For bird lovers and bookworms alike, this event is set to entice.

As someone who has spent his life travelling, Alastair Sawday provides a valuable insight for those who yearn to understand the world and make sense of its infinite variety. Travelling Light is a memoir of his gradual awakening to the fragility of everything we love through contemplative, consciously slow journeying. Experience all of this from the comfort of your seat on September 13th.

Annie Ashworth, Artistic Director, says: “This picturesque coastal setting could not be a more fitting backdrop for speakers who are concerned with the natural world. The landscape around us provides a rich and valuable source of inspiration for writers and we have some first-class authors who will be attesting to this.”

Nature and wildlife is small part of the extensive Festival programme that will be on offer from 13th to 17th September in Budleigh. Other prolific writers including Dame Hilary Mantel, Michael Morpurgo OBE, Times Rugby Correspondent Owen Slot and award-winning author Sarah Perry lend their names to what is going to be an epic showcase of some of today’s most notable writers.

Tickets for this year’s Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival are available by post or in person from the Box Office at Budleigh Salterton Tourist Information Centre, or online.

For the full programme line-up,  visit the website . For updates about the event, follow the Festival on Twitter Facebook or Instagram.