211 episodes

Clare Balding joins notable and interesting people for a walk through the countryside

Ramblings BBC

    • Society & Culture

Clare Balding joins notable and interesting people for a walk through the countryside

    The Slate Island of Seil

    The Slate Island of Seil

    Clare crosses the famous ‘Bridge over the Atlantic’ for a ramble on the island of Seil. Her guide is the writer, educator, and director of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics, Norrie Bissell. Geopoetics is described as “creatively expressing the earth” and is critical of the western way of thinking which separates humans from the rest of the natural world. Norrie has also published a novel, ‘Barnhill’, about George Orwell’s final years on the relatively nearby Island of Jura where he wrote 1984.

    Approximately twelve miles south of Oban, Seil is a small island separated from the mainland by the narrowest of sea channels. It became known as one of the ‘slate islands’ thanks to its slate rock deposits which were quarried and used to ‘roof the world’. Norrie and Clare begin their walk on the mainland side of the bridge, at Grid Ref NM 785 196.

    Please scroll down to the 'related links' box on the Ramblings webpage for more info.

    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Producer for BBC Audio in Bristol: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Off the Beaten Track on the Island of Iona

    Off the Beaten Track on the Island of Iona

    Clare is walking on the beautiful island of Iona in today’s Ramblings. One of the Inner Hebrides, Iona is just three miles long by around a mile wide yet punches well above its weight both in terms of scenery and history. Her companion is David Allaway: a keen photographer, founding member of the island’s craft co-operative and a volunteer fire-fighter he also runs guided walking tours. Beginning and ending at the ferry terminal, they circumnavigate the coast at the north end of the island.

    See the 'related links' box at the bottom of the Ramblings webpage for more info about David Allaway.

    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Slippy Rocks and Otter Spotting on the Island of Mull

    Slippy Rocks and Otter Spotting on the Island of Mull

    Clare takes on a challenging coastal route from Lochbuie to Carsaig on the island of Mull. Her guide is Wendy Lloyd who – like most islanders – has several strings to her bow. As well as working for Christian Aid, farming pigs on her croft, and hosting visitors in a yurt, she is interested in helping people navigate pilgrimage walking routes across Mull and over to Iona. She tells Clare about all of this as they attempt a long and arduous hike across slippy rocks and through shoulder-high bracken but the rewards are immense with spectacular scenery and obliging wildlife.

    Scroll down to the foot of the Ramblings webpage to the 'related links' box where there is further information available.

    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Karen Gregor

    • 25 min
    The Turquoise Sea and White Sands of Ardnamurchan

    The Turquoise Sea and White Sands of Ardnamurchan

    Clare explores a remote and beautiful stretch of coastline between Portuairk and Sanna Bay on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. Ardnamurchan's far coastline is the most westerly part of the British mainland and has some of Scotland’s most gorgeous beaches. Sanna Bay, in particular, is an expanse of white sand and turquoise seas with views that stretch across to the inner Hebridean islands of Rum, Eigg and Muck. Her guide is Dee Heddon, a Professor of Theatre at the University of Glasgow. She co-created the ‘Walking Library’, a project that brings together walking and reading; and she’s recently launched a new study to explore how creativity and walking have become more connected during the pandemic.

    Scroll down on the Ramblings webpage to the 'related links' box to find out more about Dee's projects.

    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    White Stags and Kidney Donation in Fife

    White Stags and Kidney Donation in Fife

    Clare is in Fife hiking with John Fletcher who, in 2009, was the first man in Scotland to donate a kidney to a stranger. In another pioneering first, he launched Britain's first commercial deer farm back in 1973.

    Their route begins on John's farm in Auchtermuchty, surrounded by rare white stags. Walking brings John great joy and he - along with a fellow kidney donor, and a renal nurse – takes Clare on one of his favourite rambles.

    See the 'related links' section at the bottom of the Ramblings webpage for a list of organisations, including the NHS blood and transplant website.

    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    A Sunny Stomp on the Pentland Hills

    A Sunny Stomp on the Pentland Hills

    Clare hikes with the inspirational adventurers Hazel and Luke Robertson on the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh. They are mountain leaders, polar explorers and public speakers with many personal experiences to draw upon. Hazel spent four years of her childhood growing up in Canada and Alaska, which developed her love of the outdoors. At the age of 30, Luke became the first Scot to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole. This was in 2016, just two years after major brain surgery. Both are originally from the North East of Scotland, but now live in Edinburgh from where they run their company 'Everyday Exploring'. They've chosen to take Clare on one of their favourite local walks: Starting at Bonaly (Grid Ref: NT 211 674) they head up White Hill and onto Capelaw hoping, first, for views across the three bridges that span the Firth of Forth and then a broader view taking in more of the Pentlands range. See the 'related links' box on the Ramblings webpage for more information about what's been discussed in the programme.

    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Karen Gregor

    • 24 min

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