Decoding the Landscape with Mary-Ann Ochota

roman_roadEvery weekend many tens if not hundreds of thousands of people ride their bikes in the British countryside. But are we taking the time to really understand and appreciate the things we see and places we ride through? Or is it all day dreaming about the next cake stop or going hard for that next personal best on Strava?

Mary Ann Ochota has made it her mission to help people discover the history of the landscape by looking out for signs and clues that are often hidden in plain sight. She’s appeared on television presenting documentaries and archeology shows including Time Team and Britain’s Secret Treasures and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Mary Ann Ochota’s new book “Hidden Histories: A spotters guide to the British Landscape” is published by Frances Lincoln.

Photograph of Roman road near Bainbridge, North Yorkshire by Chris Gunns (CC-SA)

Counting Cols

gospel pass-1

Acclaimed historian, biographer and lifelong cyclist Graham Robb joins Jack Thurston by phone to talk about his latest book, a comprehensive catalogue of the 2,002 cols and passes of the British Isles. They also talk about Robb’s earlier books The Discovery of France, The Ancient Paths and why the bicycle is the perfect vehicle for the historian in the field.