Currently available on twenty-one television channels, outdoor show WALKS AROUND BRITAIN is becoming well known.
Presenter and Producer, ANDREW WHITE says it all started because of Julia Bradbury’s Wainwright Walks, “I remember thinking in 2007 that I couldn’t get my four year old out on those (walks) and Lake District hills would put a lot of people off going walking.”
Walks Around Britain was born, and initially all the walks were eight miles or below. “I started a website in 2010 with the idea of having ten minute walking videos, to show people what they could expect. I wanted to make sure people could get out and actually do them.”
White says the show is described by many viewers as real, “I do every walk on the series at least once as part of the research. It’s not a hurried show; it’s not full of over-the-top bits. The premise is we go for a lovely short walk which might have a great view, but it will have an interesting story behind it.”
The series aired for the first time on the Community Channel In January 2016, with the show now aiming for two series a year. “It aims to say walking is not all about hiking at top of mountains, it’s also about short walks along the coast, country parks and through towns.”
Andrew says his most popular episode was walking along a Wolverhampton canal, “We had emails from people saying they had never thought about walking along canals before and they have now been out along their local one. It was really amazing to hear people being inspired because of the show.” He continued, “We want to motivate those people who don’t see themselves as walkers. Inspire somebody to get outside and discover their wonderful country.”
With the show and general life, we asked Andrew how often he walked. “I would say around 2,000 miles a year when you take into account walking my four dogs. I enjoy walking so much, for the health benefits but also because there are brilliant landscapes, historic heritage and fascinating stories everywhere. It is all about knowing where to look.”
Season 4 of Walks Around Britain has already been confirmed, “It will be ready for broadcast in late Autumn. We wanted to fill in gaps and visit a few areas we haven’t been, such as the South of England. We visited North Downs Way with anthropologist Mary-Ann Ocota and to Chilterns with former BBC weatherman Peter Gibbs. There is also two walks in the Wigan area.”
Meanwhile Andrew has been creating twelve walks close to railway stations. “Northern came to us to create and promote the walks from their stations to remind people what great walking there is to do across the North of England. They will be family-friendly and between 2-8 miles. There is a possibility of doing linear walks from one station to another – and we are planning to feature the walks in Series 4 and 5.” He will also be creating four walking guide books, doing BBC Countryfile Live and a book discovering Britain’s best walk.