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
“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
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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
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
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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
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
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Saturday 19 June 2021 Join Ella for “Home Makers: go for a walk with sounds made by migrant domestic workers” – read more about this forthcoming event.
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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On a visit to LISTEN: A Season of Sound Art taking place in Frome in Somerset, in the summer of 2019, Andrew Stuck participates in an immersive geo-located audio piece called ‘Walking Memories’. The piece has been composed by Phill Phelps and Ralph Hoyte, two of three partners who make up creative team Satsymph, who had been invited to use hours of recorded interviews from a Frome oral history group to create ‘Walking Memories’. Ralph and Phill, with their colleague Marc Yeats, have been making located media since 2004. Their latest work in Frome uses a hugely modified platform they call Satsymph QR with which they compose ‘spatial audio’ as Ralph describes it. For the interview, Andrew, Ralph and Phill are in a car park in Frome, a ‘sound pool’ within ‘Walking Memories’. The interview opens Andrew asking them both to explain a sound pool, and it is Phill’s voice that you hear answer him first. 19’19” 9.0MB
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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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Peter Jaeger is Professor of Poetics at Roehampton University. For over 30 years he has been making pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world, keeping journals of his discoveries and walks. Using these as source texts and drawing on literature and walking narratives, he has composed Midamble a long form poem of book length, in which he has held to specific structural constraints for more than 400 pages. He compares writing long form poetry to walking long distances and during the discussion reveals how he structures the work in a rhythmical durational performance. 23’08” 10.8MB
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