Our Favourite Outdoor and Adventure Podcasts

We all know  the vital role the outdoors plays in allowing us take stock, breathe and step away from some of life’s other pressures. Truth be told, if we could, we’d spend all of our time outside going on adventures. For most of us though, commitments like work and annoying modern phenomena like ‘life admin’ combine to suck up a sizeable chunk of our precious outdoor time. That’s why we’re absolutely loving outdoor and adventure podcasts right now… Stick a good podcast in your ears and it feels like an antidote to even the most mundane household task or frustrating sense of confinement. Suddenly doing laundry becomes an opportunity to embark on some far-flung audio adventure. Next thing you know you’re getting outdoor inspiration whilst loading the dishwasher or find yourself learning a new life lesson whilst putting away your socks. Trust us, when the outdoors is out of reach podcasts about the outdoors are what you need in your life. Introduce a bit of adventure to your podcast listening and we guarantee in next to no time, you’ll be feeling transported, inspired and excited by the prospect of your own adventures to come.

 

There are loads of great outdoor and adventure themed podcasts out there, but here is a list of some of our favourites to get you started. Enjoy!

Wander Woman – Phoebe Smith

Known for her love of adventure and eagerness to spend a night in a tent in extreme locations, award-winning travel writer and Wanderlust Magazine editor Phoebe Smith’s brilliant podcast really brings out her passion for finding off-the-beaten track places. Expect to hear about quirky and unusual outdoor activities, wild spaces in unlikely destinations, wildlife encounters and unsung heroes behind inspiring conservation efforts. Episodes include her kayaking 300-miles around Britain’s waterways and all of them feature a Wander Woman of the Month – which shines a light on unsung female travellers.

Living Adventurously – Alastair Humphreys

Well known for his round the world travels by bike and his pioneering micro adventures, Alastair Humphrey’s latest project began with him taking to his bike again to travel around his home county of Yorkshire. Along the way via interviews with artists and chefs, students and pensioners, athletes and travellers, we learn what living adventurously means to different people, what universal obstacles stand in their way, and how each of them took the first step to overcome them and begin their own fascinating journeys. Less a podcast about cycling or camping in epic, far-flung locations, more an inspiring deep dive into ordinary people living extraordinary lives - people who’ve put adventure (however you define it) at the heart of it.

National Trust

Whilst you can’t beat an actual visit to the National Trust’s sumptuous array of stately homes, parks and gardens you can also pay them a virtual visit via their wonderful podcast series. Many episodes begin at a trust property, but more often than not they end up taking listeners much further afield. Audio gems in their latest series include a beginners guide to winter walking in which presenter Jo Dyson embarks on a walk to experience the remote and barren beauty of the Lake District; a masterclass from astrophotographer Steven Hanna that shows you how you can use your camera to shed light on the secrets of the night; and author Andy Beer offering top tips on how to stay in tune with nature by growing a deeper understanding of the dawn chorus.

Armchair Explorer

Pretty much guaranteed to inspire wanderlust, Armchair Explorer features many of the world's greatest adventurers telling their best story from the road. What’s more, award-winning author and host Aaron Millar makes every episode feel like an immersive experience, with its documentary-style incorporating production values inspired by cinema to tell its stories. Standout episodes feature world-renowned explorer Ed Stafford’s account of walking the entire length of the Amazon River; best-selling author Adam Weymouth in search of king salmon on a 2,000 mile canoe trip down the Yukon River; and the inspiring Tima Deryan, the first Lebanese woman to summit Everest.

She Explores

This brilliant podcast series about women who are inspired by time spent outdoors includes a tapestry of interviews and stories from over 150 episodes - exploring themes such as solo hiking and camping, entrepreneurship, aging, diversity and inclusion, conservation, motherhood, illness and feminism as they intersect with outdoor experiences. The latest episode is typically both fascinating and inspiring. Featuring artist Amy T. Won, we hear about her relationship to the outdoors and a deck of cards she’s created that’s designed to act as a tool to help us access the wonder of nature in our everyday lives.

Open Country

This wonderful weekly podcast from BBC Radio 4 is a beautiful snapshot of the people and wildlife that shape the landscape of the British Isles. Endlessly insightful, you’re guaranteed to learn something new every week and if you listen to them all you’ll come away with a new appreciation of the British countryside and its endlessly rich history. Recent highlights include actor Julie Walter recounting her memories of her favourite childhood park – Warley Woods in Smethwick; a dawn walk with wildlife filmmaker John Aitchison along the west coast of Scotland ; and a trip to Cleeve Common (the highest point in the Cotswolds) to find out about a centuries old balancing act between recreation, agriculture and conservation.

Folk on Foot

The award-winning Folk on Foot, launched by the broadcaster Matthew Bannister in August 2018, brings together his three passions: folk music, walking and telling stories in sound. Now in its fifth season, each episode sees Matthew walking and chatting with a leading folk musician in a landscape that has inspired their music as well as a live performance on location. Contributors read like a Who’s Who of the contemporary folk music scene and the locations are often spectacular. Favourites include Johnny Fynn on how London’s Hackney Marshes inspired his musical writings; Kitty Macfarlane performing amidst the beauty of the Somerset Levels; and creative folk group The Unthanks on how the Northumberland coastal landscape helped shaped their distinctive sound.   

Aerial Festival

Ok, so strictly speaking this one isn’t a podcast series but when this new festival of contemporary music, literature and performance was forced to move online this year due to covid19, it resulted in the production of a superb array of audio works that you’re definitely going to want to check out. Everything here is inspired in some way by the natural, cultural or social history of Cumbria and the episode produced by the wonderful folk from caughtbytheriver.net is a particular treat. Mixing words, music, and nature sounds inspired by the Lake District, it features BBC 6 Music’s Stuart Maconie sharing his early experiences of climbing in the Lakes whilst paying tribute to mountaineer and journalist A. Harry Griffin. There’s also work from the UK’s foremost field recording artist Chris Watson presenting Lakeland sounds from his archives; and a moving reading from author Helen Mort about her memories spent running in the fells with her whippet, Belle.


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