RamblingsAuthor: BBC Radio 4
18 Aug 2018

Ramblings

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

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    Cairngorms

    A musical walk around the Cairngorms National Park with the self-taught composer, Alexander Chapman-Campbell. Alexander's latest album is inspired by a 650km pilgrimage through Norway in the summer of 2015. He had intended to have a break from composition but, en route and completely by chance, Alexander came across pianos in the farmhouses he stayed in, and the churches he visited. So began the instinctive process of creating an album, 'Journey to Nidaros' (Nidaros is the Cathedral in Trondheim, where his trek ended.) He recounts this adventure to Clare, as they walk in the Cairngorms National Park, a place that reminds him very much of Norway. Their walk is a five mile circular route around the Glen Tanar estate, near Aboyne, a village on the edge of the highlands, just 26 miles west of Aberdeen. Producer: Karen Gregor.

  • Posted on 21 Jun 2018

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    Laugharne

    Clare Balding walks in beautiful sunshine with one of the longest standing groups we've had on Ramblings. For over 30 years, Derek Fawcett and friends have met for an annual walk. They've known each other since they were at medical school and, despite going into different specialities, have retained a strong connection; they say this is best enjoyed while out walking. Today, they are in Laugharne in south west Wales. They follow a route from Laugharne Castle which takes in Dylan Thomas's former home. Thomas once described Laugharne as the 'strangest town in Wales' and based Llareggub in Under Milk Wood ('bugger all' spelt backwards) on the place. Producer: Karen Gregor.

  • Posted on 14 Jun 2018

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    Up to the Dashwood Mausoleum

    Clare Balding walks to the extraordinary Dashwood Mausoleum, near High Wycombe, with Julia and Lee Clements and their daughter, Cerys. Cerys is nearly six years old and has cerebral palsy, so joins the walk in her off-road buggy. Together Julia and Lee discuss how they have adapted to life with a profoundly disabled child; Julia says she has become a 'fighter', especially for the right to give her daughter blended 'real' food, through the tube in her stomach, and not just formula milk which is the accepted norm. Lee says he once defined himself by his achievements at work, or in running marathons, or going for very long walks whereas, now, he values even the shortest of outings with Cerys - navigating kissing-gates, or pushing her weighty buggy uphill is a joy and a challenge in itself. Producer: Karen Gregor.

  • Posted on 07 Jun 2018

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    Church Stretton

    Clare Balding is off to Little Switzerland in this week's programme, but she's not travelling far: Church Stretton, in Shropshire, earned its nick-name in Victorian times because of the area's Alpine feel. Her companions are Mark and Debbie, who met after both lost their spouses to cancer. Together with Ted, the wire haired Dachshund, they are attempting to complete every route listed in the book "50 walks in Shropshire". They have just passed the 20 mark. Today's walk takes them to the trig point of the Long Mynd, from there they retrace their steps back to the top of Town Brook Hollow and return over the top of Yearlet Hill and Ashlet Hill and back into Church Stretton. Producer: Karen Gregor.

  • Posted on 31 May 2018

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    Reigate, Surrey

    Today Clare is walking in Surrey with a group of asylum seekers who are former detainees of the Gatwick Immigration Removal Centres. Alongside them are volunteers from "Refugee Tales" which is a project run by the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group; it involves monthly walks as well as an annual event which combines walking and storytelling. The idea, they say, is to "reclaim the landscape for the language of welcome". Over 50% of those held in Immigration Removal Centres are released back into the UK community though their cases may be unresolved, their living conditions precarious, and their future uncertain. These walks give the former detainees a chance to meet up with their friends, enjoy the countryside and - for just a few hours - forget their challenging and unknown future. Today the group is in Reigate. The group will walk from the station to the top of Reigate Hill, then along the North Downs ridge where there are views towards Gatwick and the detention centres. They then work their way back along the Pilgrim's Way, and return to the station.. All photos by John Barrett Producer: Karen Gregor.

  • Posted on 24 May 2018

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