Owen Sheers

Writers on Walks: A BBC Radio 3 Collection

Writers on Walks: A BBC Radio 3 Collection

30 Reflections from Exploring on Foot


22 writers talk about their memorable excursions and the act of walking, and share their creative observations

In these six series, taken from BBC Radio 3's The Essay, an array of novelists, poets, journalists and biographers chart the varied and inspiring walks they have taken around Britain and elsewhere. Here are treks taken at daybreak and after dark; in winter and in spring; in the footsteps of the past; and - in the case of Robert Macfarlane - along the ridges of the South Downs.

Dawnwalks and Night Walks find Nicholas Shakespeare, Nicola Barker, Kamila Shamsie, Ian Sansom, Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Owen Sheers, Janice Galloway and John Walsh taking early morning and late-night strolls around locations ranging from their back garden and local cemetery to Manhattan, Paris, Tasmania and the Antarctic.

Springwalks and Winterwalks feature Michele Roberts, Ross Raisin, John Walsh, Kirsty Gunn, Philip Hoare, Deborah Levy, Christopher Hope, Scarlett Thomas, Erica Wagner and Owen Sheers, as they sample the transforming qualities of spring and the wonders of winter. From Poland and the Languedoc to Hampstead Heath and the Yorkshire Wolds, they delight in the details of the landscape and reflect on what it means to them.

Strange Strolls sees Jenn Ashworth, Michael Donkor, Stephanie Victoire, Nat Segnit and Sophie Coulombeau embarking on walks of entertaining eccentricity, revisiting favourite places including Wandsworth Bridge, the Blue Ridge mountains of Appalachia and Ibiza.

And in A Five-Day Journey, Robert Macfarlane walks the length of the South Downs in monsoon rain and in sunshine, discovering its chalk trails and its ghosts. He ponders the relationship between paths and stories; explores the poet Edward Thomas' love affair with tracks; considers the concept of the Aboriginal Australian songline; re-imagines the life of artist Eric Ravilious; and contemplates the sometimes eerie relationship between walking, collecting and creation.

Intimate, evocative and immersive, these 30 uplifting programmes transport us to a wealth of wonderful places, and offer fascinating personal insight into the inner worlds of our walker-writers.

Production credits
Produced by Duncan Minshull, Ciaran Bermingham and Tim Dee

First broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the following dates:

Nicholas Shakespeare 28 March 2016
Nicola Barker 29 March 2016
Kamila Shamsie 30 March 2016
Ian Sansom 31 March 2016
Lucy Hughes-Hallett 1 April 2016

Night Walks
Nicholas Shakespeare 27 October 2008
Owen Sheers 28 October 2008
Janice Galloway 29 October 2008
Kamila Shamsie 30 October 2008
John Walsh 31 October 2008

Michele Roberts in Poznan 31 March 2014
Ross Raisin in the Yorkshire Wolds 1 April 2014
John Walsh 2 April 2014
Kirsty Gunn in Sutherland 3 April 2014
Philip Hoare in Sholing 4 April 2014

Deborah Levy on Hampstead Heath 18 February 2013
Christopher Hope in Languedoc 19 February 2013
Scarlett Thomas 20 February 2013
Erica Wagner 21 February 2013
Owen Sheers in Poland 22 February 2013

Strange Strolls
Jenn Ashworth - The Abiding Mental Riches of Preston 10 February 2020
Michael Donkor - On Westminster Bridge 11 February 2020
Stephanie Victoire - Dark Hollow Falls 12 February 2020
Nat Segnit - The Other Ibiza 13 February 2020
Sophie Coulombeau - Walking Matilda 14 February 2020

A Five-Day Journey
Marking 2 November 2009
Haunting 3 November 2009
Singing 4 November 2009
Flying 5 November 2009
Collecting 6 November 2009

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd.

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