Centuries ago, a great sailing ship was built by the scientific pioneers of the Age of Reason. They sought to traverse the seas of time and space, to conduct their ambitious scientific experiments, they set sail in search of truth and beauty.
But something went wrong. Their pursuit of knowledge gradually became a search for experience, rational thought gave way to revelry and exuberance.
Too late they realised they had become a Ship of Fools.
A vessel crewed by shakespearian fools, inspired scientists and crazy prophets. Meanwhile the passengers - debased gaudy aristocrats and senseless bourgeois revolutionaries - walk the decks, spouting nonsense philosophies into the void.
Join us for an evening of drinks and dancing on our Ship of Fools!
Saturday, 2nd August 2014
6pm till very late
RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
It's a summer barn party, bringing together:
Traditional English country dancing
A fine selection of West Country food
Colourful conversations and random entertainments
...and lots of drinking!
A fabulously diverse assortment of people will be in attendance, friends of Rachel, Chas, Tom, Matt, Alex, Josh and Kyle. We expect around 100 people or so to come and share the experience, which will be as unforgettable as our previous six barn parties at Vulscombe Farm.
Who do you want to be? This is the Ship of Fools.
Come as one of the crew, come as a passenger, or come as one of the many great fools on board:
Think creatively and dress up! Bear in mind that you will be in rural surroundings.
Please do bring alcohol! Cava, prosecco, champagne and fizz of all kinds is always especially welcome. We will have a couple of barrels of local real ale, so you probably don't need to bring beer, we will have wine and cider as well.
Bring your party clothes, but also something warm too. This is a barn party so it will get colder later on, so plan accordingly, although it will be August and we might get another hot summer this year!
Depending on where you are staying, you may want to bring a tent! Which leads us on to...
One option is to bring bedding and sleep on the floor of the house. There's always some floor space somewhere, although it might not be all that comfortable or quiet!
It's much more fun to bring your own tent, and we have lots of field space for you to camp out on. Hopefully it will be a warm August night! In 2011 - the last barn party - we had lots of campers, which was great fun!
The other option is book a nice comfortable bed in a B&B or hotel for the night. There are a few friendly (and very local) B&Bs, and a few hotels in the nearest town (Tiverton) which is a twenty minute drive away.
We'll all be getting up and attempting to banish our hangovers with copious amounts of bacon, eggs, tea and toast!
Please feel free to stay until Sunday afternoon - let's hope for good weather! Some people may opt for a nice walk through the Devon countryside.
The party is at Chas and Rachel's house and alpaca farm near Tiverton in Devon (postcode EX16 8NB). If you're driving, the sat nav can lead you astray so do use our directions to the farm here. Or you can take the train to Tiverton Parkway or coach to Tiverton Town.
With all transport, make sure you coordinate and share costs with other people coming the same way. Let us know when you're coming and we'll put you in touch with others, or organise it on the Ship of Fools Facebook page.
For trains, we suggest you make a note in your diary at the end of May to buy your tickets, as they are generally cheapest around two months before travel. You can buy online via qjump or thetrainline or FirstGreatWestern). We've find that prices are high as soon as they go on sale (around 3 months before travel), then they tend to come down in price, then go back up again as you get close to the date of travel.
For people coming from London, we recommend you get the 14:06 train from Paddington, arriving in Tiverton Parkway at 16:02. Or the 15:06 arriving at Tiverton Parkway at 17.15. It takes about two hours from London on a fast train.
You want to look out for an 'apex' ticket, which should be around £40 for a return from London; otherwise the standard ticket might be around £80 for a 'super off-peak return'. Buying separate single fares there and back might be cheaper. It's a good idea to use the 'Groupsave' discount if you can - it lets three or four people travel for the price of two. Check out the Groupsave information - it may be easier to call or go to a station to book these.
Cheap train tickets to Exeter are available via MegaBus/MegaTrain. You can only book six or seven weeks before the date of travel (so diarise the 14th and 21st June), but MegaTrain could offer a good deal (as little as £1, or more likely £7-15 one way) that would get you from London to Exeter, but then you'd have to get yourselves to Tiverton Parkway station from Exeter station, by train (14 mins journey), which would be an extra £5.30 (standard day single). The return journey on the Sunday would be another train from Tiverton Parkway to Exeter, then it's coaches only from Exeter to London, (as little at £5-7 one way) making it quite a good deal if you manage to book at the right time, and you don't mind long coach journeys.
A company called Berry's Coaches operates a cheap and cheerful coach service between London and Tiverton. It takes 3 hours and 40 mins (leaving London at 15.00, arriving at Tiverton Town at 18.40) and costs £23 period return. To reserve your seat contact Berry's Coaches on 01823 331 356 during office hours (or go to the website) and pay the "hostess" when you board the coach. The return service leaves Tiverton Town at 3.15pm on the Sunday.
If you are lucky enough to have a car, driving could be the best option. Here are directions to the farm, get yourself on the road and follow the directions, and don't forget to offer other party guests a lift!
You'll need to get a taxi to the house from Tiverton Parkway train station or Tiverton bus station, or from your B&B / hotel. If you let us know when you're arriving, we can make sure you share with other people when you can.