Category Archives: Adventurer

Interviews with adventurers

Andrea Vassallo talking walking

Andrew Stuck is in Bognor, in West Sussex on a very hot day, walking around the University of Chichester campus with Andrea Vassallo. Andrea is completing a PhD with an installation in which gallery visitors will be able to experience walking beside him on a long walk. For Andrew, long walks tend to be 12 to 15 kilometres; for Andrea, he chose to walk from his home in Lancing (UK) to his childhood home on the outskirts of Venice (Italy) during the summer of 2021.

If you happen to be anywhere near Bognor in the first two weeks of September 2022, visit the installation and experience, falling in step with Andrea as he walks to Italy.

The conversation is about the walk Andrea undertook and why long distance walking is so important to him and (spoiler alert) we also cover details of the exhibition – the conversation opens with Andrea explaining how far he walked and how it took him. 28’47” 13.5MB

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Martyn Howe talking walking

There are 19 long distance national trails in the UK and you are about to hear from Martyn Howe, a man who has walked each of them, but he hasn’t stopped walking, and he is now completing the newly designated English coast path.  So what got him going in the first place, and what kept him going, and what is his advice to anyone considering walking one or more of the national trails?  Andrew Stuck tries to keep up with him as they walk through Regent’s Park in London, as Martyn explains his mantra of beast, feast and yeast and how his endeavours got published in his book, aptly called the Tales from the Big Trails. 23’10” 11.1MB

Tough Soles talking walking

Tough Soles“, aka Ellie Berry and Carl Lange, set themselves a challenge to walk and make video recordings of each of the 42 national way marked trails in Ireland. This adventure was in part to better understand their home country, and grew to be an awareness-raising project encouraging others to discover the trails and the countryside through which they pass. One marvels at Ellie’s and Carl’s determination and discipline.  Andrew Stuck would have loved to have accompanied them on the trails as their infectious enthusiasm and sheer joy spills through in this interview, that we recorded on Zoom. Andrew was also intrigued to establish how this mammoth walking adventure might have impacted on their relationship. 28′.53″ 13.5MB

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Ben Clifford talking walking

Ben Clifford, was almost stranded in Melbourne at the beginning of lockdown. He returned home to Croydon on almost the last flight leaving Australia. With time on his hands, he began mapping and walking the parish boundaries of this large outer London borough. Several weeks later, having walked hundreds of miles, Ben has traced out 8 interconnected walks and called his project “Beating the Bounds”. Having walked the boundary of the London borough of Greenwich, Andrew Stuck was interested to find out what Ben had discovered. They meet on Conduit Lane, close to the start of the Vanguard Way, a long distance trail from Croydon to the south coast. 25’ 10″ 11.8 MB

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Map of Croydon walks and boundary posts created by Ben Clifford

Hugh Lupton talking walking

Hugh Lupton is a storyteller, living in East Anglia, who has been walking the lanes and ways of Norfolk learning stories through walking, and sharing them across the globe. We meet on a cold and windy day in April on one of his favourite walks, beside the River Bure, and talk about how people can value place in a different way if they have a sense of the narratives that are associated with it.

View of the River Bure in Norfolk

It is not the first time that Andrew Stuck and Hugh have met. Both of them took part in the Sideways nomadic art festival, that included a walk across Belgian Flanders in 2012. 20’27″ 9.6MB

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Jonathon Stalls talking walking

In 2010 Jonathon Stalls walked from Delaware to California, crossing the United States on foot in 242 days. Quite an endeavour but it pales besides what he has achieved in the last ten years. He is the founder and creator of Walk2Connect walking beside thousands of people. It began in his home state of Colorado, and has expanded to several states, and even to the UK. It encourages people to walk (or roll) together, at an unhurried pace, to connect more closely with one another and their surroundings, in turn, building their appreciation of the environment and opening their eyes to the obstacles faced by pedestrians. In this extended interview – our first undertaken on Zoom, a month before the COVID pandemic struck, we explore Intrinsic Paths and Pedestrian Dignity, Jonathon’s new creative endeavours, and look into the future at what he anticipates he will be working on in the next 20 years. 32’28″ 15.2MB

As a walking artist, Jonathon sustains much of his creative work by way of patrons. You can learn more about becoming an Intrinsic Paths patron here.

STOP PRESS – buy Jonathon’s new book WALK: SLOW DOWN, WAKE UP, AND CONNECT AT 1-3 MILES PER HOUR – more details here

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Feature image Credit: Art Heffron

Kerri Andrews talking walking

Writer and academic Kerri Andrews has recently written “Wanderers: A History of Women Walking” that challenges the male-dominated history of walking. Drawing on her own experience of hill walking and through research, she has written a compelling book that includes intriguing stories about women walkers since the early 18th century. She focused on women writers who reflected on what walking meant to them, many of whom have been overlooked or ignored.

Unlike the majority of Talking Walking interviews that are undertaken out and about on foot, the COVID pandemic has meant that this interview had to be recorded over the Internet. The interview opens with Andrew Stuck asking Kerri about her own passion for walking and how it began. 24’33” 11.5MB

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Photo: Beinn a’Bheithir near Ballachulish Credit: Ewan Tait

Justin Butcher talking walking

Walking for 5 months and covering 2,000 miles across Europe from London to Jerusalem, the Just Walk marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in which the British Government announced their support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. In this episode Andrew Stuck catches up with Justin Butcher, who conceived and led it, who describes the Just Walk as a ‘pilgrimage of penance’ and a ‘march of solidarity’. Crossing the Alps by the St Bernard Pass to north western Italy was rivaled in its beauty by the Albanian countryside. Accompanied by groups of walkers of different faiths and nationalities, a core group walked the whole distance, meeting refugees making journeys in the opposite direction, and being welcomed as celebrities by Palestinians. It is an extraordinary undertaking, chronicled by Justin in his best selling book entitled “Walking to Jerusalem”. The interview took place on a cold winter morning on the Parkland Trail, from Finsbury Park to Highgate Woods in London. 22’38” 10.6MB Feature image credit: Eleanor Butcher

Photo credit: Mark Kensett

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Image credit: © Jeremy Sancha

In 2020-21 Justin Butcher will be touring his critically acclaimed stage show, which premiered at Dublin Theatre Festival 2017, more details here.

Watch the 4-minute film of Just Walk to Jerusalem

Download the Walking to Jerusalem 2020-21 tour guide here

Jack Cornish talking walking

Jack Cornish is a programme manager for the “Don’t Lose Your Way” campaign at Ramblers, the UK charity promoting walking and defending rights of way. That’s the ‘day job’, but there is much more walking in Jack than just from 9 to 5. He has walked the entire length of the British Isles and is walking every street in London. The interview opens with Andrew Stuck asking Jack what “Don’t Lose Your Way” is all about and what his role entails. 22’06″ 10.4MBY

Since the recording was made, Jack has taken on a new role at Ramblers as Head of Paths.

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Mark Reid talking walking

If you are ever going to be caught out in inclement weather on the mountains or hills of northern England, having met Mark Reid, founder of Team Walking, Andrew Stuck can think of no other person he would rather have as his guide. Mark’s passion for the outdoors is only outshone by his desire to share it with others. He has written many guide books, led countless walks and facilitated workshops in the hills, and has notched up mountain leadership and training qualifications by the score. In this interview, we talk about creative thinking as Andrew has just joined one of Mark’s regular, seasonal ‘netwalking’ events with local businessmen and women in the Yorkshire Dales. However, the interview opens with Mark describing a recent philosophy walk that he co-devised with community philosopher, Graeme Tiffany, revealing how walking with others can take you in to deeper thoughts. 22’15” 10.4MB

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Dan Raven-Ellison talking walking

In this extended episode, published to coincide with the Festival celebrating London becoming a National Park City, Andrew Stuck talks to Dan Raven-Ellison, the campaigner behind the initiative. Dan is far more than just a ‘one trick pony’ having spent a lifetime seeking ways of getting people, young and old outdoors into nature. He has also been exploring new ways of making it easier for people to understand the scale of increasing urbanisation and its impact on the natural world of which we are all part. A self-styled, ‘guerrilla geographer’, the conversation begins with Dan explaining what that means. 34’41” 16.3MB

Recorded in April 2019 in Walpole Park, Ealing in West London on a windy day in which the recording had to be stopped as planes passed overhead.

Dan with EEG head mount recording his brain activity

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Horatio Clare talking walking

www.jamesbedford.com

Within striking distance of Hebden Bridge, as dusk falls, accompanied by his dog Freda, radio producer, presenter and writer, Horatio Clare takes Andrew Stuck on a ‘slow walk’ close to his home in an area known as Hard Castle Crags.  The sky above us fills with insects and the birds and bats that feed on them.  Always alert to the nature that surrounds him, they don’t walk far before they stop, so Horatio can point out some creature Andrew had not as yet spotted and can’t identify.  In a candid conversation, Horatio shares his enthusiasms for slow walking and how it makes compelling radio listening, as well as talking about his writing about nature and travel, and how walking through the landscape are critical to his work. 25’45” 12.1MB

Something of his Art: Walking to Lubeck with J. S. Bach (Field Notes) Little Toller 2018

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