Clare Balding joins a men's group who meet every winter solstice to walk to the top of the Stiperstones in Shropshire as a way of bonding as a group of fathers.
In this new series of Ramblings, Clare Balding explores the way walking can help us bond with other people, the countryside and our history. In this first programme she's invited to take part in the 20th annual walk up to the top of the Stiperstones in Shropshire with a group of men who came together to bond as fathers. Quentin Shaw started the tradition when his sons were at primary school as a way of encouraging the men to get to know each other.
The group has grown from the original five fathers to about fifty men, from teenagers to some in their seventies: fathers, colleagues, friends, sons, friends of sons. The aim is now to keep the group as diverse as possible, introducing men who would not otherwise meet: men working in mental health, children's services, housing, health, education, ex-army, scouting, craftsmen, tradesman etc. Quentin explains to Clare that overall ethos has always been to celebrate fatherhood and friendship in a low key way, and to give men a reason for a day off when they are stressed out just before Christmas.
Clare is the first woman ever to be invited to join the group, who end their morning walk with a large cooked breakfast at a local pub.
Producer: Lucy Lunt.