The leading south west literary festival celebrates 12 years in 2020 with 5 days of best-selling authors, debuts, panel discussions, writing and craft workshops, and events for families – all set beside the sea on the stunning Jurassic Coast in East Devon.
When? Wednesday 16th – Sunday 20th September 2020
Where? In various venues around the town including the Public Hall, the Temple Church and St Peter’s Church and the Church on the Green.
How much? Most sessions between £10 and £14 (2019)
Festival Website: www.budlitfest.org.uk
Festival Director? Since 2017 – Annie Ashworth
Previous Festivals: Dame Hilary Mantel, Robert Harris, Cressida Cowell, Jenny Eclair, James Runcie, Kirsty Wark, Dr David Nott, Joanne Harris, Peter Hanington, Christina Lamb, Adam Kay, Lisa Jewell, Emma Smith, Louis de Bernières, John Lewis-Stempel, Baroness Camilla Cavendish, Melanie Reid, Tom Holland, Susie Orbach, Tracy Borman, Diana Darke, Alison Weir, Paul Mason, Dominic Sandbrook, Diane Setterfield, Felicity Cloake, Tanya Landman, Simon James ,Lucy Worsley, John McCarthy, Michael Rosen, Dr Adam Rutherford, Wendy Cope, Dame Hilary Mantel, Patrick Gale, Kate Mosse, Sir Michael Morpurgo, Lucy Siegle, Dan Crickshank, Mary Colwell, Hannah Fry, Sarah Winman, Kirsty Gunn, Lynne Truss, Ben Kane, Johnny Mercer, Christie Watson,Kate Morton, Andrew Miller, Raynor Winn, Julian Baggini, Fiona Sampson, Lalage Snow, John Boyne,Jeremy Vine, Alan Johnson, Bridget Kendall, Stephen Moss, Sarah Perry, Kate Atkinson, Jackie Kay, Helen Rappaport, PD James, Marcus du Sautoy, Jon Sopel, Luke Hardin, Mark Haddon, AC Grayling, Ben Okri and many more
Oh we do like to be beside the seaside…
‘I had a fantastic time. The festival was such a pleasure to be part of – brilliantly organised, wonderful audiences and good book sales to boot!’
Henry Hemming, author of Our Man in New York
‘Every tiny detail was thought about, and it was simply a pleasure.’
Caroline Elton, author of Also Human
‘I was frankly bowled over by how big and professional and smooth running it was. Fantastic!’
Tim Pears, author of The Horseman
‘Such a heavenly experience. Glorious setting, lovely audience, expert but kindly interviewer.’
Allison Pearson, author of How Hard Can It Be?
‘How right everyone is to say that it’s the best hospitality on the circuit. I had a great time, and felt so well looked-after in every way. Particularly impressed by your command of the weather!’
Emma Darwin, author of This is Not a Book About Charles Darwin
About the town
The town lies at the mouth of the River Otter, where the estuary forms an area of reed bed and grazing marsh, an important haven for migratory birds and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The pebble beach and cliffs are part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site, although this is an arrangement of geographical convenience, rather than being correct from the geological time point of view. Much of the geology is Triassic, represented by bunter sandstone (Budleigh Salterton Pebble Beds) and the area is also famous for the radioactive nodules containing vanadium and uranium in red marl at Littleham Cove.
The town is almost entirely residential, with most businesses being situated in the High Street, Fore Street and Station Road (at the High Street end). It is also famed for its elderly population. It came bottom in a 2003 survey of towns giving value for money to homebuyers. Near the town centre is a park, known as The Green.
Fairlynch Museum in the town is a small local museum housed in a listed thatched building. It covers the history and geology of the region, and offers a programme of exhibitions and a local archive.
Festivals and events
* Gala Week – a series of fundraising events, organised by the Lions, held during the last week in May.
* Festival of Music and Drama – the inaugural festival took place in August 2005, and is now an annual event.
* Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival – held annually in September. First festival 18th-20th September 2009
* Budstock – an annual one-day festival featuring local bands, usually at the beginning of August.
* Sundown – an annual 3 day computer arts demoparty, held every September since 2005.
* Imperial College Operatic Society visits Budleigh Salterton for two weeks in late July / early August (every year since 1966) to perform a musical. This year’s show will be Sweet Charity. There are usually ten performances including at least one matinee.
* Christmas day swim, where mad local residents rush into the sea on Christmas morning
* Boxing day raft race down the River Otter, local reidents and groups make their own rafts and launch them down the river from Otterton to Budleigh.