What are your favourite sounds?

Since I am a photographer you might think I am a visual person, and I am.  But I am also very much an audio person and I love sounds, not only music but all sounds – well, perhaps not literally all ;)!!  Many years ago I listed my favourite sounds so I thought I would share some of them with you.

The sound of surf washing over shingle


This is such a beautiful relaxing sound, especially at the end of a long walk as the evening light settles over the coast and everyone has gone home – the time when in the words of the poet, ‘All is left to darkness and to me’.  Sitting in the solitude on one of Dorset’s shingle beaches with the gently washing surf is special.

The sound of the skylark singing on a warm summer day

To me, this is a quintessentially Dorset sound when walking the chalk uplands and it just typifies summer.  I will never forget the evening at the end of a great day when I was walking along the coast with the skylarks singing on one side of me, the surf washing gently across the shore on the other, and a fantastic sunset straight ahead of me.  Magical!  Just lay on the grass and listen to the skylarks singing.  I love it so much that I wrote a song about it once – perhaps I’ll share it one day.

The sound of children playing

What a cheerful sound this is!  Children have such a sense of wonder and adventure, it is such a shame we lose it as we get older……not that I have ever lost mine as I am still a child at heart and I deliberately try to keep my sense of wonder and passion as you will probably have sensed from my blog.  The innocence of children as they play is one of the wonders of the world.

The sound of a steam train


Maybe it reminds me of my youth.  We don’t see them so much now but fortunately we have enthusiasts who still run preserved steam railways like the Swanage Railway in Dorset or the Toddington Railway in the picture above.  I know they were slow and dirty but I can forgive all that for the wonderful sound they make!

The sound of a finely tuned bicycle wheel

This may seem a strange one but when I was younger I was a racing cyclist and I had lightweight aluminium wheels and tubular tyres on my bike and when you got up a good speed whilst racing, the wheels would just sing with the friction of the road and the air through the spokes.  It was a great sound and a great feeling……but you would probably have to be a cyclist to understand it!

Sounds that travel on a very still summer evening

This is another ‘end of walk’ favourite.  Occasionally we have those very still, balmy summer evenings and it is really great to be walking the hilltops just listening to the sounds that travel across the valley, sounds like dogs barking or cows mooing in the far distance.  Normally you wouldn’t notice it but sounds travel a long way in the still summer air and they have a different quality.

The sound of push/pull lawn mowers


Its strange how whenever you sit down in the garden for a quiet read, there’s always someone who decides to mow their lawn!  These days nearly everyone has either an electric or a motor mower, the former makes this stress inducing whine and the latter just makes a din!  The old push/pull mowers like the one in the picture above have such a lovely relaxing sound……..when the neighbours are using them of course ;)!

The singing of the blackbird

Always the last to sing as darkness falls, and usually from a favourite perch high in the tree.  Such a beautiful sound!

The crackling of a blazing log fire


In the freezing cold depths of winter, there is nothing better than a blazing log fire that crackles and makes all sorts of strange patterns and pictures as you gaze at the flames.  No need for a television or music, a log fire is entertainment all by itself.  If its not in the hearth, a bonfire is equally good, or as in my garden, a chiminea!  Wonderful…….even if everything does smell of smoke after – well, I can’t smell it anyway!  When I was young, I used to take my dog Rex out for long walks and then together we would sit beside a blazing fire with the lights out and the room being lit by just the dancing flames.

The plaintive cry of the curlew

Walking through the mudflats at low tide with a myriad of different waders is fantastic, and there is no better sound than the lonely, plaintive cry of the curlew.  It sends shivers down your spine!

The sound of seagulls


I guess they remind me of holidays long ago spent at the west country seaside or harbours.  The sound to me just takes me back to holiday time when I was young.

My wife’s singing

She has a beautiful voice although she doesn’t think so!

So what are your favourite sounds?  Have you listened to what is around you recently, I mean, really listened?

Thanks for stopping by and reading the ramblings of The Dorset Rambler.

Until next time,
Your friend
The Dorset Rambler.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.


  1. the sound of a push mower is one of my favorite too whirrwhirrwhirr pause whirrwhirrwhirr. And the steam engine–one travels through my town every summer and it’s whistle set the hairs up on my arms–so distinctive. Great post!

      1. To be alive (Hep Yadda)

        It’s the sound they make in heaven
        It’s the sound for here on Earth
        I’ve heard it in the whispering of the wonders that we search
        Weve waited far to long to hear the healing of the stars
        And everybody wants some
        There’s a sound that keeps you trying
        There’s a sound that makes you smile
        A sound in every corner of the world that we survive
        Your temple is the harmony, you feel the sacred ground
        Just wishing for the secret to appear within the sound
        Watching for the morning star, rythm of the sun
        I hear it in my waking dreams, the singing has begun
        The passion that we walk upon, the passion that we bring
        Is written for the mountains they love to hear us sing
        Everybody wants some to feel alive

  2. The sound of a baby bursting into gut-busting laughter. Search for “baby ethan laughing at ripping paper” on YouTube and you’ll get it.

    Church organ music, especially in a cathedral so that the music thunders majestically down the main aisle.

    Rain on a tin roof. So cozy knowing that you’re inside and it’s outside.

    Snow falling. It doesn’t make much noise but is a nice sound to hear when you’re out walking.

  3. John says that many people say it’s the sound of a cork coming out of a wine bottle, but He Thinks it’s the sound of the bricks clinking round in the cement mixer at the end of his working day. 🙂
    He is a carpenter on many jobs and when he hears this sound, he knows it’s nearly time to go home as ‘The Brickeys’ are cleaning the cement mixer….

  4. What a great blog post! Very evocative and it got me thinking. A few of mine are:
    The sound of a woodpecker
    Yellowhammers (reminds me of my childhood)
    The sound of the river
    The engine of a VW Beetle (reminds me of my student days)
    Steam trains ( reminds me of cycling up to the railway bridge with my dad to watch a passing steam train )
    I think some sounds put us firmly in a place and time which has some sort of poignancy for us and they are all the more enjoyable for that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s