As the leaves turn from green to gold in our beloved valley we tend to retreat indoors more here at the Inn, except for some brisk walks in the Autumn sunshine of course. We also plan ahead to take some trips into nearby Stroud in October to soak up some classic culture at the town’s premium Arts Festival.

Stroud Arts Festival is one of the oldest events of its kind in the country. This year will see its 77th run since it was founded in 1946 using a bequest from a local couple, Margaret and Netlam Bigg.

As ever this year’s programme focuses on the more classical, traditional forms of music, voice, theatre and visual arts, but what makes the Stroud Arts Festival stand out from the crowd is its ethos of inclusivity and accessibility. Many of the events are free (though booking is required) and all the others encourage young participation by keeping ticket prices at £5 for under-18s.

If you’re heading for the festival from out of town, or a local planning to make the most of this opportunity to celebrate the arts, don’t forget to call in at our Inn for a homely meal or at least a drink on your way in or out of Stroud.

By the way, tickets are available from the venue: The Box office at The Sub Rooms, George Street, Stroud GL5 1AE, open Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 4pm. Call 01453 796880.

You can see the 2023 Stroud Arts Festival varied programme in the form of a flip book on the Festival website, or pick up a brochure at any number of cafes and shops in and around Stroud. Here’s a taster of some of the highlights:

  • 25 October, 2023 (7pm & 9pm)

Bristol Ensemble – Dark Side of the Moon 50th Anniversary Concert

The Dark Side of the Moon – the album released in 1973 – was arguably rock band Pink Floyd’s greatest musical achievement. It became the fourth most successful album of all time and sold 45 million copies worldwide. In celebration of its 50th anniversary Bristol’s professional chamber orchestra – the 17-piece Bristol Ensemble – will deliver a specially commissioned arrangement of this rock classic that is bound to be an exhilarating hour-long concert experience.

  • 27 October, 2023 (7.30pm)

The London Tango Quintet

If you’re passionate about the tango you’ll be in a whirl hearing this performance by the London Tango Quintet, which is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Argentinian composer Astor Piazzola’s music. It takes five to tango – guitar virtuoso Craig Ogden, accordionist Miloš Milivojević, pianist David Gordon, bassist, Richard Pryce, and violinst and founder of the group, David Juritz.

  • 28 October, 2023 (7pm)

Will Todd’s Mass in Blue & Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert

You’ll be excited and inspired by this wonderful evening designed to weave choral and jazz music together into a tapestry that celebrates two great composers. The concert will be conducted by Paul McLaughlin, who lives in Stroud and is a choral singer, jazz musician, teacher and conductor. He’ll be joined by soprano, Nina Bennet, dancer Luc Bailey and a community choir.

  • 29 October, 2023 (7.30pm at Lansdown Hall)

Silent Film: Diary of a Lost Girl (accompanied by Elizabeth-Jane Baldry)

Experience the magic of the silent movies, enhanced by harpist Elizabeth-Jane Baldry’s powerful specially composed musical accompaniment which brings this iconic black and white film to life. The story tells a tragic tale set in pre-Nazi Germany, starring Louise Brooks, and the film is regarded as a late masterpiece of the silent era.