A BESTSELLING author has teamed up with a folk sextet for a tour of the west country featuring traditional songs and new lyrics inspired by the region's coast.

Cornwall-based author Raynor Winn's words about the South West Coast Path have been blended with music to create a celebration of the region's musical and social history. 

Winn has joined forces with Peter Knight's Gigspanner Big Band to create a two-hour Saltlines performance set to tour the south west. 

She became a celebrated first-time author with The Salt Path, an emotive account of how she and her husband Moth walked the 630-mile south west coast path to lead them back to happiness. 

They were homeless and bankrupt at the time, and Moth had been diagnosed with an incurable illness.

The book has been read by more than 500,000 people, became a Sunday Times bestseller, and won the Royal Society of Literature’s inaugural Christopher Bland Prize. 

It was also shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, Costa Book Awards, and Stanford’s Travel Writing Awards.

Knight has been joined in the big band by acoustic and electric guitarist Roger Flack, effervescent percussionist Sacha Trochet, Devon-based award-winning duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin (Edgelarks), and John Spiers of Bellowhead.

Saltlines - described as “a portrait of the South West Coast Path in old songs and new words” - will tour between July 8 and July 17.

It was the brainchild of Knight's wife Deborah, who is also the agent and manager of the Gigspanner Big Band. 

After reading The Salt Path, she walked a stretch of the trail and thought it must hold many more stories of love, loss, nature, and traditional music.

Subsequent research revealed several songs and tunes which have been re-imagined and blended with Raynor's words in a unique celebration of the UK's longest national trail.

Winn said: When Deborah approached me with the idea of the collaboration I did what you do when faced with a big decision – I thought about it or five minutes, then said yes, absolutely yes! They are an amazing group of musicians.”

The show includes a captivating take of ‘Ten Thousand Miles’, a traditional parting song collected by Cecil Sharp in 1904 from Emma Glover of Huish Episcopi in Somerset.

They will open their tour at the Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton on Friday, July 8 at 7:30pm.

Tickets will cost £25 and can be purchased on the theatre's website or by phoning the box office (01823 283244). 

After performing in Taunton, the Saltlines tour will visit Devon, Cornwall, and Dorset.