Where can I walk in the footsteps of Gustav Holst?


My article about the Gustav Holst Way appears in the January 2021 edition of Cotswold Life Magazine – you still have time to grab a copy!

Here is a summary of my article

Holst’s name will forever be linked with the night sky, with darkness, other galaxies, astrology and outer space. As walking is an earthly activity and one’s feet must be on the ground, and walking celebrates daylight and the changing seasons, perhaps it seems surprising that in 2014, exactly a 100 years after Holst began to compose The Planets that the Holst Birthplace Museum established The Gustav Holst Way. Yet, as many composers had done before him, Holst also found inspiration in nature and walking helped him to compose. In 1892 when he became the organist at Wyck Rissington and the Choir Master at Bourton-on-the-Water, he would walk the 4 miles between the two locations often daily and sometimes after a concert twice daily.

The Composer, Gustav Holst - Credit Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum
The Composer, Gustav Holst - Credit Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum

Walking was always a constant in Holst’s life and many of his works are terrestrial and are firmly rooted in the soil of Gloucestershire. In 1923 he wrote to his friend the composer Vaughan Williams stating that amongst his chief reasons for gratitude in life were “Music and the Cotswolds.” The Gustav Holst Way is a perfect walk and a perfect way to celebrate Holst’s life and his many diverse interests and passions. When we walk in his footsteps, we are not only commemorating a great British composer but getting fit, improving our own mental health and maybe if we are lucky we will be inspired and find on returning home that we too are filled with the desire to be creative.

Amelia Marriette, Former Curator of the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham. Statue of Holst in the b/g
Amelia Marriette, Former Curator of the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham. Sitting near the Statue of Holst

The article also includes my list of 10 things to make walking in winter more enjoyable and a list of 10 pieces of music to accompany you on your walk (with lots of Holst to enjoy!)





I am raising money for the Holst Birthplace Museum and will donate £5.00 for every paperback sold and £1.00 for every e-book sold. To find out more about Walking into Alchemy please visit www.ameliamarriette.com/shop

Choose from a special signed, edition with over 50 photographs in full-colour for £23.00 (including postage and packing UK/EU only) or an e-book for £3.99.

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