266 episodes

Clare Balding and guests share inspiring conversations while walking in the great outdoors.
Fresh air and nature, wonderful views and uplifting chat, each week Clare hikes in a different part of our glorious countryside. Walking side by side is the perfect way to cover a huge range of subjects: literature, art, wildlife, nature, taking on personal or physical challenges, dealing with grief, confronting preconceptions about the kind of people who love to ramble.
The conversations are as varied as the landscapes we find ourselves in. If there's a recurring theme, it's the accepted truth that 'solvitur ambulando' - 'it is solved through walking': The sense of wellness, the benefits to mental health, easy companionship, or sometimes just the sense of solitude that being alone in nature brings.
Few things are better than going for a good walk. That's what we aim to share each week on Ramblings with Clare Balding.

Ramblings BBC Radio 4

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 144 Ratings

Clare Balding and guests share inspiring conversations while walking in the great outdoors.
Fresh air and nature, wonderful views and uplifting chat, each week Clare hikes in a different part of our glorious countryside. Walking side by side is the perfect way to cover a huge range of subjects: literature, art, wildlife, nature, taking on personal or physical challenges, dealing with grief, confronting preconceptions about the kind of people who love to ramble.
The conversations are as varied as the landscapes we find ourselves in. If there's a recurring theme, it's the accepted truth that 'solvitur ambulando' - 'it is solved through walking': The sense of wellness, the benefits to mental health, easy companionship, or sometimes just the sense of solitude that being alone in nature brings.
Few things are better than going for a good walk. That's what we aim to share each week on Ramblings with Clare Balding.

    Every Body Outdoors in Gloucestershire

    Every Body Outdoors in Gloucestershire

    Clare is in the Cotswolds this week with a fantastic group called Every Body Outdoors. They begin their walk in the village of King’s Stanley, Gloucestershire and complete a five mile circuit taking in a stretch of Stroudwater Canal, before heading up to the top of Selsley Common.
    Co-founded by Steph Wetherell, Every Body Outdoors is a walking group specifically aimed at plus size people who want to build confidence in the outdoors. Many had tried to join conventional groups but either didn’t feel welcome or had bad experiences.
    Another aim of the group is to work with outdoor brands and retailers to encourage them to provide better designed plus-size kit and clothing . Most technical gear, Steph says, stops at a size 16-18 and there’s little available above a size 20.
    The group has been so successful they’ve recently trained a group of volunteers who now lead plus size walks all around the UK.
    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Donegal with rock climber and mountain guide Iain Miller

    Donegal with rock climber and mountain guide Iain Miller

    In the second of two walks in the Republic of Ireland, Clare meets rock climber, mountain instructor and walking guide, Iain Miller, to explore a stretch of the wild, rugged and spectacular Atlantic coastline of County Donegal.
    They meet at what Iain describes as the most remote place in Ireland, An Port, and the route they take from there affords them views over what he says is Ireland’s last great wilderness including some ‘monster’ sea stacks.
    Iain is originally from Scotland, but has lived in Co. Donegal for years, making it his place of work as well as his – as he puts it – playground. The two are intertwined as Iain’s business involves leading rock climbing, hillwalking, and other outdoor adventures. The route he shares with Clare is more gentle coastal stroll than vertiginous technical climb but the experience and views are no less impressive.
    If you want to look at their location on a map, they met here: WhatThreeWords: ///simplicity.school.escalates
    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Donegal with Nikki Bradley - Adaptive Adventurer and Amputee

    Donegal with Nikki Bradley - Adaptive Adventurer and Amputee

    In the first of two episodes recorded in the Republic of Ireland, Clare travels to Moyle Hill in County Donegal to meet adventurer and motivational speaker, Nikki Bradley.
    Diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at just 16 years of age, Nikki (now in her 30s) has defied expectations by living a very active life. She was the first person on crutches to climb four Irish mountain peaks, which took her 32 hours. She scaled the Sólheimajökull glacier in Iceland, and has completed the Fan Dance, one of the toughest endurance challenges in the UK including two ascents of Pen y Fan.
    Her latest enormous challenge has been to undergo a very unusual leg amputation. The damage caused by the cancer led to two hip replacements in her twenties, but her pain and discomfort continued so ultimately her medical team suggested a procedure known as a rotationplasty. Her upper leg was removed, and her lower leg was turned 180 degrees, raised and attached to the top of her thigh to become her ‘new’ upper leg. Her foot faces backwards at knee height, with the idea that it acts as the knee joint itself. It’s been emotionally very difficult coming to terms with her change of appearance and the pain associated with the procedures and rehab.
    But, in characteristic spirit, she has continued to push forward and after many months of recovery is now back walking again.
    Producer: Karen Gregor
    Presenter: Clare Balding

    • 24 min
    Blowy Bamburgh Beach with David Almond

    Blowy Bamburgh Beach with David Almond

    David Almond marks 25 years of his extraordinary book, Skellig, with a walk from Seahouses to Bamburgh in Northumberland. As he tells Clare, it's a landscape that has long inspired his imagination and writing.
    Skellig tells the tale of Michael, a young boy who befriends a magical creature - part owl, part angel – that needs Michael’s help to survive. The book has won multiple awards, been adapted for stage, film, radio and opera and translated into 40 languages.
    As they walk, David tells Clare how his childhood in the north-east shaped both his character and writing, and discusses why walking is a necessary pleasure. The stretch of coastline they’re exploring is rich with historical, religious and cultural significance and the entire region has provided inspiration for David’s writing over the years.
    They met at Seahouses Harbour and walked through sun, rain and wind to the most dominant man-made feature in the area - Bamburgh Castle.
    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Painting Bluebells in Shropshire

    Painting Bluebells in Shropshire

    Clare walks to a glorious display of bluebells to capture them in watercolour in the company of artist Shelly Perkins.
    On a beautiful day in mid-May they set off into Mortimer Forest near Ludlow to find several acres of bluebells that stretch across high meadlowland.
    Shelly is an artist and while Clare is not known for her painting prowess, they take a moment to stop, take in the bluey purply haze and capture it in vivid watercolours en plein air.
    Clare and Shelly met at the Black Pool Car Park and hiked a roughly five mile circular loop through a conifer plantation, into open hay meadow with skylarks hovering overhead, and then onto a huge field full of bluebells. You can see their artwork on the Ramblings instagram page: @bbcramblings
    Presenter: Clare Balding
    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Kingfishers on the River Frome with Nadeem Perera

    Kingfishers on the River Frome with Nadeem Perera

    Nadeem Perera is not your conventional image of a birdwatcher. In fact growing up in inner city London he was not raised as or encouraged to be a 'nature boy'. But dropping out of school as a troubled teen he had a revelation. One day he was sitting in woodland and saw a green spotted woodpecker in front of him and his passion for birds was born. Now he can be seen on BBC 1 on the One Show talking about birds and has moved to Bristol to further his career in wildlife presenting. He takes Clare for a walk along the River Frome starting in Eastville Park. It's a grey Winter's day but they are overjoyed to be accompanied along the river by kingfishers lighting up the landscape. Along the way he talks about the project he runs called Flock Together and about his passion for combining young people of colour with the outdoors and nature.
    They walk from Eastville Park to Snuff Mills and the Stoke Park Estate
    Producer: Maggie Ayre

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
144 Ratings

144 Ratings

C Go 1 ,

So many reasons to love this podcast!

From the crunching sound of the footsteps to the bird sounds to the host’s conversations with fellow hikers, this is a gem of a podcast!

DH1884 ,

Such an inspiring program

I look forward to each episode. I listen to it when walking. Totally different environment as I live in Florida, while recalling or discovering the various locations, as we travelled extensively through the UK over the years.

VA Jane ,

Enjoying Ramblings!

Such an interesting program!

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