Having worked at home for much of 2020, I’ve been lucky enough to listen to the radio whilst working, which I do most mornings. I have to pit my pop knowledge each morning with Popmaster, although I rarely do very well.
However, in the afternoons I tend to want a change from the radio. So as well as going through my old CD collection, I have started to listen to some podcasts.
Top UK Outdoor and hiking podcasts
Here’s a list of some of the top UK outdoor and hiking podcasts that I have come across, in no particular order:
- Hiking with Howl
- The Outdoors Station
- Walks around Britain
- National Trust podcast
- Footnotes: The Cicerone Podcast
- Wander woman
- Fun Life Walks
- The Outdoors Fix
- Woodland Walks
- Walking the Dog
I’ll keep adding to this list as I come across them, but why not check some of them out and see if they provide you with an inspiration? I give a brief description of each below.
What is a podcast?
For those that haven’t explored the world of podcasts, they are basically little shows created by people talking about whatever is their topic of interest. There’s such a wide variety of topics too – some of my favourites include bowls (Wrong Bias, The Extra End), biographies of historical people (Biographics), website development (Income School) and a comedian I know who discusses mental health with other comedians (Insane in the Men Brain).
As you can see, this is a varied list! In other words, if there’s something that you have an interest in, I’m sure that you can find someone who has created a podcast on the subject.
Interviewing people lends itself to podcasting brilliantly, as it’s easy to learn about different people and get their viewpoints on matters relating to the topic. It’s also a great way of creating lots of episodes without having to think too much about different subjects to discuss.
How do I listen to podcasts?
I listen to podcasts on my phone, using the Spotify app, although Income School is only available on a different platform – Podcast Addict. Obviously iphone owners have their own Apple podcast. However there are many different podcast players – Google podcasts, Podcast Player, Pocket casts, just to name a few.
Details of the top UK outdoor and hiking podcasts
As mentioned above, here’s a brief introduction to the podcasts.
Hiking with Howl
Presenters : Jamie Dakota (JD)
Brought to you by Howl Bushcraft, which is a company that bring you buschcraft courses in Yorkshire, it’s a relatively young podcast following JD on walks around the countryside. Each one tells the story of the walk, which you can also access a map via their website. There’s also a Facebook page for the podcast. It will be interesting to see if this one continues as there are few episodes at the time of writing, but as an introduction to their business, it’s a good marketing tool and so I think that they will continue.
The Outdoors Station
Presenter : Bob Cartwright
From one of the newest podcasts we go to the longest running independent podcast for not only hiking but for anyone who is interested in an outdoor life, having started in 2005. Not only do they provide information on equipment but they talk to many people about their adventures outside, whether it be hiking, paddling, cyclists and more. With over 500 episodes this podcast could keep you entertained for years to come.
As well as their podcasts they have a website where you can also view some videos, and there’s a newsletter that you can sign up to. But the podcast is so good that it won the European Podcast Awards twice!
Walks Around Britain
Presenter : Andrew White
I first came across Walks Around Britain on my television set – on my local station KMTV there’s a 30 minutes show whereby they take 2 walks around different places in Britain. This show is broadcast on various channels and they also have their own subscription website where you can view the shows.
Started in 2010, it’s not a prolific podcast, with several breaks over the years since. However, there’s about 40 podcasts at the time of writing. The early episodes were short informational podcasts of around 5 minutes, but from 2012 they lengthened to about 30 minutes and describe walks you can take or interviews with people in the outdoor sector.
National Trust Podcast
Presenter : Kate Martin and Alan Power
Not surprisingly, the National Trust Podcast covers all sorts of topics related to their properties, but that also includes walking. As such it is loved by many people for different reasons.
First created towards the end of 2016, there’s almost 90 episodes at the time of writing. With each episode being about 20 minutes or so, there’s plenty of information to listen to without eating into your day too much.
Presenter : Andrew Williamson
There’s only 4 episodes so far, and whilst I don’t think there will be more, I’d like to see some (or hear, I should say). However it is of special interest to me because it holds information about someone who has set up a blog. Also, it’s particularly aimed at people interested in the Scottish munros.
Presenter : Clare Balding
From a small independent podcast we now venture to one from Radio 4, with hundreds of episodes since it’s start in 2010. Best known for presenting all sorts of sporting programmes on the BBC, Balding goes for a walk with different people, in different places.
Each episode is 25 minutes, and discusses the guests life and projects. A great one for learning about different people whilst exploring the countryside of Great Britain.
Footnotes : The Cicerone Podcast
The Cicerone Press are publishers of travel guidebooks and all outdoor activities around the world. They are based in Kendal, in the heart of the Lake District, a walkers dream destination.
This is a very new podcast, with just a handful of half hour podcasts, but they sound very interesting and will inspire you, as you would expect from professional publishers. Interested to see how this one grows.
Presenter : Phoebe Smith
Join award winning broadcaster, travel-writer, author and photographer Phoebe Smith as she presents her podcast. Unusually, this is more of a magazine style rather than an interview, although it does include interviews within the episodes.
Each episode looks at a different place in the world, so whilst not so much of a British aspect, but having grown up on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, I feel it should be included. Not a huge number of episodes yet but pretty sure that number will increase over time.
Fun Life Walks
Presenter : Tishy and Smiles
Started in February 2019, Tishy and Smiles, who both work in TV, wanted to share their experiences of walking through Kent and London. They tend to tackle a different subject each episode whilst walking.
I like this one because these walks are close to me, living in Kent. But being in the bottom South East corner of the country, it may appeal to those further away who would like to visit the area as they haven’t been before. Listen out for their foreign phrase and their tip of the week.
The Outdoors Fix
Presenter : Liv Bolton
The Outdoors Fix is designed by Liv to help inspire you to live a more active outdoor lifestyle, whether that be hiking, wild camping, rock climbing, wild swimming or paddle boarding.
She interviews men and women who have changed their lives to get outside more and improve their life. Each episode is recorded on a walk with the interviewee, apart from recent episodes due to Coronavirus – these are interviews where they are both at home. Listen out for tips and advice from people that have changed their lives so you can follow suit.
Presenter : Adam Shaw
Woodland Walks is the podcast of The Woodland Trust. Adam Shaw is your host as he explores some of the greatest woods and forests within the Woodland Trust.
Started in May 2019, podcast production has been hit by the recent lockdown, so at the time of writing there’s 12 episodes, most of them pre-lockdown. But listen in to learn more about woods and their environment.
Walking The Dog
Presenter : Emily Dean
The Times journalist Emily Dean joins famous faces each week for a walk with their dogs. Many of these are with everyday faces such as Martin and Shirlie Kemp, Sally Phillips, Judy Murray and Richard Madeley.
Topics of conversation are vast and varied, but always with an amount of talk about dogs. Certainly a podcast to listen to your if you are a dog owner and curious about everyday lives of celebrities.
The more I read up and learn about walking in different seasons, the more often I hear people say that gaiters are essential equipment for people walking or hiking. And having got very muddy the...
First shown in 2018, I watched Britain's Favourite Walks Top 100 today, presented by Julia Bradbury and Ore Oduba. This made great viewing for New Year's Day 2021 - a nice way to plan some walks for...