Marlborough came alive as the town welcomed book lovers from across the UK to its 14th annual literature festival.

The event, which took place from September 28-October 1, was attended by several famous faces, including former England footballer and Strictly star Tony Adams.

It was a festival to remember, with more than 40 events covering a range of genres for all ages.

“We had something for everyone this year including big names, first-time authors and a host of free activities for children,” said Genevieve Clarke, chair of Marlborough LitFest.

“The aim has been to give our loyal audience plenty of treats but also to attract people who haven’t tried the festival before.

“It’s been fabulous to get even more local support with lots of shops along the High Street involved in a special trail for families. The town was buzzing."

Swindon Advertiser: The festival was a huge success, with several sellout events and an electric energy.The festival was a huge success, with several sellout events and an electric energy. (Image: Ben Phillips Photography)

The festival launched with 50 children from Marlborough St Mary’s CE Primary School singing on the steps of the Town Hall.

From that moment on, the Town Hall was filled with crowds arriving for talks by big names such as award-winning poet Daljit Nagra, acclaimed Irish novelist Sebastian Barry and local bestselling writer Robert Harris. 

Topics across the weekend ranged from history, cricket, Shakespeare, crime, dance, sketching and more.

Swindon Advertiser: Master storyteller Frank Cottrell Boyce spun his literary magic wand for children in Marlborough.Master storyteller Frank Cottrell Boyce spun his literary magic wand for children in Marlborough. (Image: Ben Phillips Photography)

Young fans of top children’s writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce were also left hanging on his every word as he waved his literary wand in a talk about his latest book, The Wonder Boys.

Mike Brearley pulled in the sports fans on Sunday morning along with football writers including Radio 4 comedian Andy Hamilton.

And Mr Adams, who starred for Arsenal and England, was even spotted in the audience after he travelled to Marlborough from his home in the Cotswolds.

TV lovers were treated to a talk by Luke Jennings, writer of the Killing Eve trilogy which was turned into a hit BBC drama, and young journalist Tomiwa Owolade gave locals a new perspective on race in Britain.

Swindon Advertiser: Football legend Tony Adams was spotted attending the festival.Football legend Tony Adams was spotted attending the festival. (Image: Ben Phillips Photography)

Throughout the weekend, White Horse Bookshop, who temporarily set up shop in the Town Hall, were full to the brim with people queuing to get their books signed, while an army of volunteers served tea and cake in the Festival Café.

A spokesperson said: "It was fantastic! We're very grateful to have the support of all our sponsors for this year's festival."

"It's only through sponsorship and the hard work of volunteers that Marlborough LitFest is able to produce a full programme of live events as well as plan for future festivals with a degree of stability," they added.

Next year's festival will take place on September 26-29, 2024.