THE 21st Swindon Festival of Literature began this morning with its traditional dawn chorus in Lawn Woods.

That will be followed by several events at Lydiard Park later today, with a freedom 5km park run at 2pm and Alexandra Heminsley discussing her book ‘Running like a Girl’ at 3pm in the Stable Block, near to the House.

Rachel Rose Reid will be holding a storywalk from the same venue at 2pm for those who like the pace a little more gentle and over at the Richard Jefferies Museum, in Marlborough Road, between 1pm and 3pm there will be a free wildflower story hunt with Hilda Sheehan.

Patrick Barkham will round off the day with a talk at Lower Shaw Farm on badgers from 7pm for £5 a ticket.

Tomorrow’s headliner will be Ann Widdecombe, on penance and pentinence, at the Arts Centre at 12.30pm for £8 a ticket. She will be followed at the Devizes Road venue by Philip Lymbery at 6.30pm for £6 a ticket and Laurens de Groot at 8pm for £7.

Linda Regan will be at Highworth Library at 7pm, and Jo Bousfield and Marcus Moore will present Here Today at Cakes and Ale, in Devizes Road from 8pm for £7 on the door.

For more information and ticketing visit