200 episodes

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

Ramblings BBC

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 99 Ratings

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

    Cressida Cowell in West Sussex

    Cressida Cowell in West Sussex

    The best-selling author Cressida Cowell takes Clare for a nostalgic walk near Chichester in West Sussex. As well as writing the whoppingly successful ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ series, Cressida created ‘The Wizards of Once’ books which draw upon her childhood memories of roaming across the South Downs. She grew up in London but during school holidays would visit her grandparents where she found the freedom of the Sussex countryside intoxicating. Clare and Cressida walk for roughly six miles on a route known as The Trundle Loop, which begins and ends in the village of Charlton.

    Grid Ref for start of walk: SU 888 130

    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Stained Glass in Minsmere with Arabella Marshall

    Stained Glass in Minsmere with Arabella Marshall

    Glass artist, Arabella Marshall, takes Clare for a walk at Minsmere in Suffolk. Their focus is an old chapel ‘bleak and broken’ which provided Arabella with the inspiration for a major work of art: a new stained-glass window fitted into one of the ruin’s old apertures. It’s a striking modern feature in the abandoned building. The idea came to her when out walking which, alongside her artistic practice, is the thing she loves best in life. She says rambling alone provides creative inspiration and a space for problem solving.

    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Walking in Sound: Ellie Williams in North Somerset

    Walking in Sound: Ellie Williams in North Somerset

    Sound Recordist, Ellie Williams, takes Clare for an audio-rich wander at Abbots Pool in North Somerset. Walking, she says, is as essential to her as food and sleep and – whether she’s recording, or not – she’s always super-aware of the richness of the sounds around her. En route she contemplates why her profession is still so male-dominated and how it can be opened up to more women.

    Grid Ref for Abbots Pool Car Park: ST 537 730

    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Big Cats! Rick Minter in Gloucestershire

    Big Cats! Rick Minter in Gloucestershire

    Do big cats roam the British countryside? It’s a long running debate, one that’s never far from the headlines. A few years ago on Ramblings, Clare saw what she described as an “enormous black cat” on a walk near Ross on Wye. Several newspapers followed this up, as did the ‘Big Cat Conversations’ podcast which is hosted by Rick Minter: he set up a camera trap close to Clare’s sighting and made contact with Ramblings. So, for today’s walk, Clare and Rick explore the area around Selsley Common in Gloucestershire and discuss why he’s so sure big cats do exist in rural Britain.

    Grid Ref for the layby where we parked: SO830027

    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 24 min
    Reading the Landscape with Mary-Ann Ochota: Pegsdon Hills

    Reading the Landscape with Mary-Ann Ochota: Pegsdon Hills

    How many times have you been out for a walk and spotted intriguing shapes in the landscape? Your instinct tells you that these dips, hollows, lumps, bumps and oddly shaped stones aren’t natural features, but what on (and under) the earth are they? Mary-Ann Ochota is an anthropologist who writes about these curious archaeological forms and how to understand them. In her book, Hidden Histories, she shows how anyone can become a landscape detective, and start to read the history of the countryside from the clues around them. On today’s Ramblings she takes Clare Balding for a walk around the Pegsdon Hills on the Hertfordshire-Bedfordshire border, and through 6000 years of British history.

    Grid Ref for where we parked: TL133301



    Producer: Karen Gregor

    • 25 min
    From Solicitor to Sculptor: Simon Gudgeon in Dorset

    From Solicitor to Sculptor: Simon Gudgeon in Dorset

    Simon Gudgeon is one of our leading sculptors, but he didn't practice his art until his mid 40s. He'd worked as a solicitor, a photographer, and a landscape gardener before, one day, picking up a lump of clay to see what he could create. It wasn't long before he knew that sculpting was all he wanted to do. His distinctive creations, often inspired by the natural world, are showcased at his own venture, Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset. Set in 26 acres and featuring over 40 lake and riverside works of art, establishing Sculpture by the Lakes proved a financially risky labour of love. Simon tells his story to Clare Balding on a walk from the historic St. Nicholas Church in Moreton, to his home at the sculpture park in Pallington, Dorset.

    Grid Ref for St. Nicholas Church: SY805892
    Grid Ref for Sculpture by the Lakes: SY786912

    Producer: Karen gregor

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
99 Ratings

99 Ratings

lindiatou ,

Balm for these troubled times

I absolutely LOVE this podcast series.

The psychological benefits of “going along” on these ramblings are immense.

I so look forward to a time when I can once again cross the Atlantic and go rambling on your beautiful country paths.

LouiseSh87 ,

Just wonderful

This podcast is a treasure. I’m a British expat and often feel homesick. Ramblings never fails to soothe! Clare Balding is a wonderful interviewer, and she always manages to have genuine, warm, thoughtful conversations with the people she rambles with. There’s often a dog along for the adventure too (or Clare will comment on any who they pass). This podcast provides insight into the different physical and cultural landscapes of the UK. Thank you, Clare and the Ramblings team!

Mumm G ,

As if I’m walking in the UK

When in truth I’m walking in my neck of the woods of Pasadena in Southern California. I LOVE your podcast!! I love your guests, the sounds of the environment no matter the weather. My constant walking companion. Thank you SO much. Great podcast😻

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