Bookings have opened for the annual Two Moors Festival in which the churches of Exmoor and Dartmoor are filled with music for 10 days (October 15–25). Some concerts are designed to be part of a walk muddy boots are welcome, as are dogs in churchyards, as long as they’re tied up during a concert.

‘The festival has had considerable impact on the profile of culture in the South-West,’ says director Penny Adie, who started it in 2001 to cheer an area blighted by foot-and-mouth disease. ‘When it first began, there were fewer choral societies; now, in Exeter, there are at least six, standards of which are extremely high. Music clubs have been springing up like crocuses. People have moved to the area because of the festival and B&Bs and pubs have increased business last year, one pub opened specially, successfully serving 80 people in under an hour!’

Highlights include pianist Angela Hewitt (Ashburton, October 17), a ‘Mozart Marathon’ (Dulverton, October 20), harpsichordist Trevor Pinnock (Chulmleigh, October 20) and tenor Mark Padmore (Okehampton, October 23). Country Life’s Editor-at-Large Clive Aslet will be giving a talk on his book Everyman at War, about the Dartmoor village of Lydford, on October 21 at Witheridge. For tickets, telephone 01643 831006 or visit www.thetwomoorsfestival.com

This article was first published in Country Life Magazine on August 27 2014