SWALEDALE Festival, the annual Festival of music, arts and walking that takes place across the three northern-most Yorkshire Dales, kicked off with an action-packed bank holiday weekend.

Mimika Theatre brought their miniature show Small Worlds, featuring puppetry, tiny landscapes and animated film, to a canvas dome in Reeth. Guitarist Antonio Forcione’s Quartet played on Saturday night at St Andrew’s in Grinton. The five musicians draw influences from all around the world and their exquisite music had a packed audience in raptures. On Sunday evening, the legendary guitarist Paco Peña stunned the audience at Grinton with his evocative flamenco guitar playing, and on Bank Holiday Monday the Danish chamber music group Esbjerg Ensemble delighted listeners with music by Nielsen, Goehr and Beethoven.

The festival is moving towards its second week and there are still tickets available for many wonderful events. Highlights include the reigning BBC Young Musician of the Year, Lauren Zhang, soprano Rowan Pierce with the great baritone Roderick Williams, world music explorers Kabantu, the Armonico Consort, Reeth Brass and Muker Silver Band, the London Tango Trio, the outstanding Villiers String Quartet, and folk legend Kathryn Tickell.

There is also a series of free art exhibitions: cartoonist John Longstaff’s humorous cartoon sketches are on show at Hudson House in Reeth, Michael Bilton’s Flamenco-inspired paintings are on display at St Andrew’s in Grinton, the young artist Nel Hume’s abstract artworks are at the National Park Centre in Bainbridge, and painter Garry Brannigan’s vibrant and colourful paintings are at the Dales Centre in Reeth. All this, plus lectures, world films, theatre, walks and even a fell run.

Tickets can be bought at www.swalefest.org or 01748 880019.