Ramblings

Ramblings

United Kingdom

Programme in which the presenters join notable and interesting people on a walk through the countryside

Episodes

Northumberland: Bothy Bagging  

Clare Balding meets Phoebe Smith, an expert in planning long walks and bagging bothies.

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The Cotswold Way  

Clare Balding joins Graham Hoyland and his partner, Gina Waggott, as they retrace the steps they took last year along the Cotswold Way as part of their three month epic walk of five hundred miles, following the progress of the spring as it spread up England from the south coast to Gretna Green. They planted an acorn every mile and are thrilled to discover some of them have grown. They talk to Clare about the joy they felt in sharing this journey, their favourite rucksack snacks and their future walking plans. Producer Lucy Lunt.

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Severn Way with Lucy Newcombe  

Clare Balding continues this series of epic walks by meeting up with a retired RAF officer, Lucy Newcombe, who started walking round the coast of Britain last summer. By the time her journey ends she expects to have covered over six thousand miles. Lucy and Clare discuss the kindness of strangers, their love of the British countryside, home-made cake and the best way to deal with dogs. They walk for six miles along the Severn Way and are joined by Lucy's sister in law, Laura, who, as she lives locally, has been operating as landlady, laundress and taxi driver for the past two weeks. She tells Clare about the changes this journey has made to Lucy, once a loner, now discovering that she likes the company of her fellow man. Lucy however insists she's not walking alone to discover herself, find her inner voice or to make plans for a new career. Lucy walks for the joy of it and the chance to see more of the country she loves. Producer: Lucy Lunt.

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Wayfarers Walk with Nigel Clifford  

Clare Balding and the head of Ordnance Survey, Nigel Clifford walk along Wayfarers Walk from Coombe Gibbet to Highclere, on the Berkshire, Hampshire Border. In this series Clare talks to those involved in epic walks of many consecutive days and covering many hundreds of miles. Clare and Nigel talk about the joy of poring over maps while planning such adventures. They are accompanied by Clare's dog Archie, who particularly enjoys their lunch stop. Producer: Lucy Lunt.

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The Essex Way  

Clare Balding continues her series exploring epic walks, by joining four women as they take their final training walk before they set off to complete the eighty-two mile Essex Way, in just three days. Rebecca Rose and her friends have been training since Christmas to walk from Epping to Harwich. They're walking in aid of a local charity close to their hearts, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance. Four years ago Rebecca's daughter Katy's fiancé was involved in an accident at work, he was treated and air lifted to a London hospital by the local air ambulance. Although he sadly died, the family remain very grateful that they attended, as they know he received the best possible care. Katy was pregnant at the time and grandson, Oscar will be there to encourage the walkers at the beginning and end of the walk. Producer Lucy Lunt.

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Glyndwr's Way with Ursula Martin  

Clare Balding gets serious in this new series of Ramblings as she discovers what it takes to be a more adventurous walker. Today she joins Ursula Martin who walked over three thousand, seven hundred miles, around Wales in an eighteen month period. After being treated for ovarian cancer she decided to walk to her medical appointments from her home in mid-Wales to the hospital in Bristol. Ursula then just carried on walking, raising money for research into the condition and spreading the word about diagnosis. Today she takes Clare on small section of her favourite walk, along Glyndwr's Way in Powys, Mid Wales, starting just outside Llangadfan, they walk for about eight miles to Llanbrynmawr, just west of Welshpool , a few miles south of Snowdonia National park. The route takes them through farmland, onto open moorland and into a pine forest, where the moss covered trees allow their imaginations to run wild. Ursula spent many nights rough sleeping but she also describes the incredible kindness and generosity she received from total strangers who offered her meals, accommodation and the greatest gift of all; transporting her backpack to her next destination. She explains to Clare the joy and pain she found in walking day after day across the country she has adopted as her own. Producer: Lucy Lunt.

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Isle of Dogs  

An unusual urban walk to finish the series: Clare Balding is in London on the Isle of Dogs for a ramble along the banks of the River Thames. It's not a true island, rather it's enclosed on three sides by the river, and has a rich and fascinating history. Clare is joined by Sarah Wynne, her sister and a friend. Sarah moved to the Isle of Dogs when she was six and grew up there. People are intrigued when she tells them this, they want to know what her childhood entailed: did she ever play outside, or go to the countryside, how did she get to school? For Sarah, walking gives her a breathing space in fast-paced London life. She often walks with only a vague idea of where she is going, and likes to see where she'll end up. She finds it empowering to simply follow her instincts about which direction to take. Producer: Karen Gregor.

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Eyam, Derbyshire  

Clare Balding walks to Eyam this week - the Derbyshire village best known for its heroic approach to the bubonic plague in the 17th century. She rambles along the brand-new Peak Pilgrimage long distance footpath, devised to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the plague, during which Eyam famously put itself into quarantine to stop the disease spreading further. Producer: Karen Gregor.

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Oxfordshire: In Memory of Catherine  

Clare Balding joins a group of women in Oxfordshire, who meet every year to remember their friend Catherine, who died of breast cancer at forty-five. Some in the group knew each other before Catherine's death; others have met, and become good friends since. There are her friends from her school days, her book club and from her career as a nurse. Catherine would have been fifty this year and her daughter Sarah now sixteen explains how she has derived comfort from helping to raise money for research into the disease and by getting together with her mother's friends to share memories while walking together. Producer Lucy Lunt.

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Trent, Dorset  

Clare joins a lively primary school walking club as they ramble through the Dorset countryside. Pupils, teachers, local farmers and parents join the group which has been helping to draw the local community together for twelve years. Starting at a farm near the school, Trent Young's C of E near Sherborne, they walk on footpaths and over private farmland - made accessible by the farmers who help lead the walk - learning about the countryside as they go. Producer: Karen Gregor.

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Samaritans  

Clare Balding walks from the famous dragon at Bures on the Essex/Suffolk border to Assington in Suffolk. Joining her is a group of volunteers from the Colchester branch of the Samaritans charity. It's a supportive walking-group which helps volunteers to bond and decompress, something that's necessary in an emotionally challenging although rewarding role. Producer: Karen Gregor.

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Loughrigg Fell - Simon Ingram  

Clare Balding explores Loughrigg Fell, in Cumbria with the writer and journalist, Simon Ingram. With all the passion of a convert, he explains to Clare how he became bitten by the mountain climbing bug and why he wants to pass on his obsession to anyone who'll listen. In the space of a morning they are hit with torrential rain and howling winds but nothing deters them from their walk and Simon also explains how to stay safe while enjoying the mountains of Britain, no matter what the weather. Producer Lucy Lunt.

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Walking with a Purpose: The Surrey Hills  

Clare Balding joins Jenni Williams and her disabled three year old daughter, Eve, as they take their daily walk in the Surrey Hills. These walks are the highlight of their day as both enjoy being outside, admiring the views and watching the antics of their young and exuberant, golden retriever, Scout. Jenni talks candidly to Clare about how she and her husband, Steve have come to terms with Eve's condition and how they feel blessed to have such a happy and life affirming child. Producer Lucy Lunt.

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Artists' Ways - North Somerset  

Clare Balding walks with Carolyn Savidge in the final programme of this series which has been themed Artists' Ways. In the first programme she walked with an artist who created outdoor artworks to help her to come to terms with never having had children. In this final programme, Carolyn explains how walking and art have helped her deal with the loss of her husband. Carolyn's walk leaves from her front door in the village of Bleadon in North Somerset, and takes her out onto the hills and levels of north Somerset. On the way she describes the written, photographic and sound based project she has created since losing her husband to cancer. It's a moving walk, but also very uplifting as Carolyn describes how embracing the landscape has helped her begin to move forward with her life. Producer: Karen Gregor.

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Artists' Ways - Wiltshire  

Clare Balding has been exploring Artists' Ways in this series of Ramblings. This week she walks with Matthew Hopwood whose project 'A Human Love Story' takes him walking through England as a pilgrim, seeking hospitality where it is offered, meeting people where they are; on the path, in the pub, around the corner, on the street, in prison, in church, on the towpath. The people he meets share their love stories, which Matthew records and publishes on his online audio archive. Producer: Karen Gregor.

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Nun Appleton House, North Yorkshire  

Clare Balding goes in search of Nun Appleton House in North Yorkshire, the subject of one of Andrew Marvells most famous poems. She's accompanied by contemporary landscape poet, John Wedgwood Clarke and Stewart Mottram a Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Hull University. Producer Lucy Lunt.

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Artists' Ways - Falkirk  

Clare Balding walks along the Forth and Clyde canal to the spectacular Kelpies - 30 metre high statues of horses' heads, modelled on Clydesdales. Walking with her is a group led by Jan Bee Brown - the Reader in Residence at Falkirk Libraries. Producer: Karen Gregor.

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Windsor Great Park with Bill Bryson  

Clare Balding heads out across Windsor Great Park in the company of writer and prolific walker, Bill Bryson. He explains how he developed a passion for exploring both Britain and parts of America on foot. They discuss how ones notion of distance changes dramatically when you walk. 'A mile becomes a long way, two miles literally considerable, ten miles whopping, fifty miles at the very limits of conception. The world, you realize, is enormous in a way that only you and a small community of fellow hikers know. Planetary scale is your little secret.' Bill takes Clare on one of his very favourite walks around Windsor Park, a place he has enjoyed walking with his family. Producer Lucy Lunt.

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Artists Ways: Louise Ann Wilson, Warnscale  

Clare Balding discovers the essential role walking plays in contemporary artist's work. In this programme she walks with Louise Ann Wilson, a sceneographer, who has created a walking guide and artbook specific to, and created in, Warnscale, an area of fells to the south of Buttermere Lake. Louise explains to Clare that this 9 kilometer walk and the accompanying guide, are aimed at women who are childless by circumstance. Society offers no rituals or rites of passage through which women who have missed the life-event of biological motherhood can be acknowledged and can come to terms with that absence. Louise created this project to offer imaginative and creative ways through which women can engage with landscape to reflect upon and even transform their experience of this circumstance. It provides a multi-layered yet non-prescriptive means for the walker - whether walking alone, with a partner, friend or in a group - to make and perform their own journey, and can also be used by others who are in sympathy with women in this circumstance and persons in comparable situations. They are joined by Zakyeya Atcha, who has undertaken the walk before and found it a consoling and affirming experience and Dr Celia Roberts of Lancaster University The route can be followed on OS Explorer - The English Lakes North Western Area Grid reference NY 196 150 www.louiseannwilson.com Producer Lucy Lunt.

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Edge Hill  

Clare Balding revisits the English Civil War by walking round Edge hill in the company of a group of fathers who've been walking together for twenty years.

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