Emma Griffin is a transport journalist, turned pedestrian activist, and maker of Footways maps of London, that identify calm and pedestrian-friendly routes and streets for us on foot to enjoy. One such route is the canal-side towpath, that Emma and Andrew Stuck walk along when they meet at Haggerston in Hackney, or so it should be, however, they have to share the path with inconsiderate cyclists. Emma argues that cyclists are part of the solution towards a more pedestrian-friendly London, as are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, and the real battle is with the car drivers. 26’09” 12.3MB
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As a former specialist photographer in an academic library, Julius Smit has always been fascinated by the composition of words and pictures. Through a series of walks on the South Downs and in and around Eastbourne where he now lives, Julius has been publishing ‘zines and chapbooks of his poetry and photography, that he has printed and gives away to people he meets on his walks. Andrew Stuck meets him early on a February morning, to walk along the promenade in Eastbourne, and discuss the process Julius follows to create his ‘zines, and how he views his efforts as a way to resist the digital world and encourage us all to slow down. 29’51” 14 MB
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Anna Luyten is a Belgian academic working across a number of disciplines, including commercial journalism and non-fiction writing, theatre, change management and philosophy. Her interests include teaching by wandering, creating collective confusion amongst her students, and encouraging flexible gazing of the layers of daily life, all of which is engendered through walking. Influenced as much by American war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, as by German philosopher and cultural critic, Walter Benjamin, she teaches ‘wandering as a discipline’ for which she has defined four pillars of walking. With only a narrow window of time in our busy schedules, Andrew Stuck meets Anna outside Tate Modern, in London on a busy and crowded summer Saturday, having to record snatches of their conversation when they find quieter places. The interview opens with Andrew asking Anna to explain each of the four pillars. 18’02” 8.5MB
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Charlie Lee Potter has had a lifelong passion for working with sound especially in creatively weaving soundscapes to evoke places. As a former BBC radio journalist and foreign correspondent, she knows how the sound of a place helps to tell complicated stories and has applied this to a fascinating series of podcasts recorded on walks called “Inside a Mountain”. However there is a lot more to Charlie than just working with sound, as Andrew Stuck discovers on the walk they take across Christchurch Meadows in Oxford. 25’50” 12.1MB
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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 theBig Trails. 23’10” 11.1MB
“Where My Feet Fall” is an anthology of essays on walking by 20 contemporary authors, brought together by Duncan Minshull. Duncan was for decades an editor and senior producer for BBC Radio, and if like Andrew Stuck you are a fan of listening to books read on the radio, then it has been Duncan who is likely to have chosen them. “Where my feet fall” is not his first anthology of writing on walking, and Andrew is keen to establish, why he chose that topic, of all the ones he could from a lifetime career of choosing books for the radio. They meet in Paddington Recreation Ground, a popular London park close to where he lives. 18’56” 8.9MB
Published to coincide with the publication of “Where My Feet Fall” – you can join a conversation with Duncan at the Walking Writers’ Salon at 7pm BST on Tuesday 5 April – read more and book your ticket here.
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
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
Peter Fiennes, former publisher of Time Out Travel Guides, has turned his hand to writing books. Reviewers and book readers have loved his engaging and humorous prose, so it was a pleasure for Andrew Stuck to record an interview with him to talk about the travel writers that he most admires, a dozen of whom he has ‘accompanied’ in his latest bestselling book: “Footnotes: A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers”, the paperback of which will publish in August 2020 .Recorded on Clapham Common, in south London on a windy February day in 2020, pre-pandemic lockdown, when frequent jet planes and a helicopter interrupted the recording. 19’57” 9.3MB
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Children’s book illustrator and comic book artist, Lizzy Stewart, when drawing herself, draws herself walking – striding confidently across the urban scene. Her latest book, called “Walking Distance” is a personal account of the way she sees her life out and about on foot – she argues that walking is the ‘clearest way to participate in life’. Her work touches on themes of how women are observed in the city, both in reality and on film, as well as revealing insights into her creative process and her own ways of working. Recorded in and around the gardens surrounding the Horniman Museum in south east London on a February day in 2020. 22’08” 10.4MB
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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
Ella Parry-Davies, a post-doctoral researcher at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, has been facilitating homemakersounds.org, a collection of soundwalks made with Filipina domestic and care workers employed “behind closed doors” in the Lebanon and the UK. In this interview, the ambiguity, complexity and unfairness of government immigration policy is discussed, as well as how recording and co-editing soundwalks develops an intimacy rarely found in ethnographic research. 21’12” 9.9MB
Recorded in February 2020 on a walk around residential streets in Swiss Cottage, London. Published to coincide with International Women’s Day 8 March 2020