SIMONSBATH Festival returns on Bank Holiday Monday (May 5), kicking off with May Day celebrations for all the family from 2.30pm.

Children’s art workshops will open events at the Old Pottery in the village and storyteller Frances Harrison will be telling magical tales about the Exmoor Forest.

Maypole dancing follows with live music from Howard Harrison and Ben Van Weedle.

For the next six weeks, the village and the moorland that surrounds it will be the setting for an exciting mix of events, from classical concerts, world music and a film premiere to talks and walks.

Bovey’s Tea Rooms will host an exhibition of art.

The first week of the festival is firmly focused on the family. Young brass quintet Westcombe Brass will run a series of workshops during the week at Dulverton Middle and Exford and Cutcombe First Schools.

This will conclude with a joint concert with the children at 6pm on Friday, May 9, at St Luke’s Church, Simonsbath.

Westcombe Brass will be performing songs from the First World War and music composed during that era to mark this year’s centenary.

A film about legendary Exmoor writer and artist Hope Bourne (pictured) made by photographer and documentary film-maker Chris Chapman will be premiered on May 10 at 7.30pm at St Luke’s.

Hope spent 24 years living in a caravan in the middle of Exmoor where she led a life of self-sufficiency.

Chris first met her when he was working as a presenter and photographer for the HTV television series, Secrets of the Moor, in 1992.

His initial fascination and affection for Hope provided the foundations for a friendship which lasted nearly 20 years until her death in 2010.

In his film Chris embarks on a journey of discovery to unravel the mystery and legend surrounding Hope’s life.

The Simonsbath Festival runs from May 5 to June 20.

For more information call Victoria Thomas on 01643-831343, email or visit

To book tickets, call Marian Lloyd on 01643-831451.