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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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.
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
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.
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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
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
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
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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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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.
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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
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Often uncelebrated and rarely visited, the summits of each of the London boroughs can be somewhat of a let down, by the time you reach them. However, in the company of Rick Pearson, even the climb to the highest point in London, becomes an enjoyable adventure. Andrew Stuck accompanies him to Westerham Heights, Bromley’s highest peak. Andrew admits he was somewhat underwhelmed when they conquered it, yet the passion and sheer exuberance of Rick as he recounts his previous conquests, and those to come, will carry you to the top. Rick, in turn, has accompanied many others on these adventures, and you can listen to their stories on his londons-peaks.com podcast. 23’32” 11.0MB
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Although quite a few inches shorter than Andrew Stuck, Richard Smith was one of the few people Andrew has interviewed who has walked faster than he does. Andrew had to stop a couple of times while recording the interview just to catch his breath! Not only a fast walker, Richard is someone who packs a lot into one life: a gynaecology cancer consultant and surgeon, internationally acclaimed womb-transplant specialist, academic author and father of four. However, it is his enthusiasm for walking long distances, chanting while walking, and discovering pilgrimage sites that has drawn Andrew to him.
Andrew was introduced to him by one of his neighbours, fellow Scot, Tim Ingram-Smith whom Andrew has also interviewed previously for Talking Walking, and who invited Andrew to the book launch of one of Richard’s books: The Journey: Spirituality, Pilgrimage, Chant.
Garroch Head, Bute: a ‘thin place’ & place of pilgrimage
Richard accompanies Andrew on a short walk along the Regent’s Canal and within the breadth of their conversation, they discuss the value to him of walking, chant and walking in silence, as well as the benefits that walking can bring to women as they grow older, whether cancer sufferers or not. 22’48” 10.7MB
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Andrew & Nick walk along “The Backs” in Cambridge with King’s College chapel in the background
A warm mid-summer’s day stroll through the Grantchester Meadows beside the river Cam should have been the idyllic setting for an interview by Andrew Stuck of Nick Hallissey, Deputy Editor of Country Walking magazine.
A professional walker and writer who has an encyclopeadic knowledge of walking routes throughout Britain. For many, his must be the dream job, but as he reveals it is not just endless walks in the beautiful countryside, there’s research and meticulous preparation. Neither of which Andrew appears to have done for this walk. In addition, there are office-bound days prepping monthly issues of the magazine. We are also accompanied by a photographer, as Nick is keen to use images from our walk in a future feature. It is an experience Andrew has not encountered before. 11.4MB 24’19”
You can read Nick’s account of our walk in the March 2018 issue of Country Walking magazine. Want to read more of Nick’s adventures? Country Walking Magazine are offering listeners to this podcast a discounted rate on subscriptions (including a trial package of 3 months for just £5) – just follow this link
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Why don’t you take up the Country Walking Walk 1000 miles challenge in 2018?