Review: The Calendar Road Podcast — Just Superb!

I was over in Malvern this weekend taking advantage of the hospitality of Bob and Rose Cartwright’s hospitality. We didn’t do that much although we did have a country amble on Saturday and a potter around the Malvern Hills on Sunday. I was hoping that — as Bob was just back from the trade show in Frierichshafen — there would be lots of gear to play with, but there seemed to be little that caught Bob’s eye this year.

But I did discover a wonderful podcast, the Calendar Road. Bob discovered this while he was judging the European Podcast awards.

The Calendar Road is one of a number of podcasts that is published by who describe themselves as a

“free audio podcasting site featuring exclusive interviews with and performances by Irish writers of Poetry, Prose and music as well as  Irish culture and heritage including Myths and Legends and People and places.”

If you like Ireland there’s a lot of fascinating stuff here, but it is the Calendar Road that is the real star.

The concept of the Calendar Road is wonderfully simply. Each month host Sinead McClure walks the same road, a small rural road (somewhere in the North West of Ireland). It is not a long road just a mile and a half long, and a return walk is just three miles. It is a tiny farm road, just wide enough for one vehicle. Sinead walks the road each month and each month she produces a podcast that describes not only the land she is walking through but also details the seasonal changes that she sees and experiences along the way.

It may only concentrate on a tiny stretch of road but the Calendar Road Podcast is truly superb. Sinead has a quiet style that is somehow riveting. She talks about the changing season, local wild life, local history and folklore, in fact anything about the Road and its surroundings. If you like the Guardian Country Diary you’ll love this but if not you’ll probably find yourself attracted to this mobile, audio podcast. Each podcast is between ten and twenty minutes each, perfect for downloading to an iPod, smartphone or simply just listening to on your laptop.

The series has been running for a couple of years now so you’ll have a could of annual cycles to listen to and to compare across the years.

As someone who has created a lot of podcast content by travelling far and wide I’m quite stunned by this and I’m already wondering if I can steal the concept a little and do a regular piece on my favourite South Shropshire Hills as I’m out there more than anywhere else.

Sinead has created something very special and you should certainly have listen. Calendar Road shows how you can get much for the outdoors even when it is right next door to you.

There is an iTunes feed for all of material which you can find here and I’ll certainly be checking out the rest of their material.

Just give Sinead a whirl. I reckon a lot of you will be just as transfixed as I am!  She also has has a Calendar Road Twitter account which is also well worth following.

The Calendar Road

Twitter: @thecalendarroad

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  1. Michael Woods says

    I will whole heartily concur with your comments on The Calendar Road Podcast and I have been fallowing in from one month to the next with how Sinead has the ability to jar a visual picture of a simple country lane and all that this road stores in it’s treasures beside along the road and beneath the feet. It’s in the song of a bird, peddles of flowers and their smells, the changing of the elements and weather that changes what is seen in all that nature provides and to what is felt from month to month in a walk. With all this painted imagery set in the minds eye in listening it may establish a new appreciation for those little out of the way places in a person own neighborhood and Sinead can do it in such a pleasing way.

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