Wild Horizons – the new hillwalking podcast from the BMC

Posted by Niall Grimes on 25/07/2021

Introducing our new hillwalking podcast, hosted by Niall Grimes. Have a listen to all the episodes, available on most podcast services!

Hillwalking? Or is it hiking? Or is it mountain walking or fell rambling or trail bashing?

Who knows. Or rather, we all know. It’s all about that magic of a big day out in the hills coming exhausted down the final slopes towards the village as the winter’s day turns dark; feeling the salt air blowing in on a wild coastal path; the bleak comfort of a yawning moorland as a black storm blows its tendrils in your direction; snatching an hour is some wild woodland along peaty streams to clear a day of work from the head; tramping fast along a limestone upland with a backpack full of gear and a wild bivi spot in mind; racing downhill off a purple August fellside hoping the pub is still doing food.

This is what we are hoping to celebrate in the BMC’s new podcast, Wild Horizons. It sets its sights on our experiences of moving through the uplands and wild places of Britain. In each episode we will choose a mountain, a range, a ridge, a path or a feature and talk to someone who both knows and loves that place.

Then we dig in. Dig in to find the vibe of the place, dig into its history, its weather, its nature, its place names. Talk about the guest’s favourite walks and favourite places - the honey pots, the secret spots and lots more beside. 

Guest episodes

With a few shows in the bag already show host Niall Grimes is really excited about how it is going. Chris Dean, who works with the conservation body, Moors for the Future, talks about the peat and heather of the Calderdale Valley in the south Pennines and how the place represents the leading edge of climate change; Rachael Crewesmith heads into the cauldron of Cwm Idwal and discovers Snowdon Lilies and steam from the Devil’s cooking pot; Fabrizio Scaglione, the BMC’s hillwalking rep for London and South-East takes us on a walk across the fields and back in time via the South Downs Way. And more besides.

In these strange times, Wild Horizons seeks to connect with the mountains in our past and in our futures. It seeks to conjure up the feeling we all remember when being in these special places and also to inspire our days out when freedom returns. Hopefully Wild Horizons will be like meeting an old friend, as well as putting new ones on the map.

So have a look for it on your favourite podcast app. Tune in and join the vibe.

Have your say

It would be great if listeners could get in touch and help shape the journey of the show. What would you like to know, where would you like to hear about, who would you like to listen to? Tag us with any feedback on #BMCWildHorizons or email summit@thebmc.co.uk.

Listen and subscribe on your favourite podcast apps 🎧

    

Episode 1: Cwm Idwal - Where the Devil cooks up

The black cauldron of Cwm Idwal hangs high above the Ogwen Valley. A wild place of Snowdon lilies and, some say, steam rising from the Devil’s kitchen. At its base sits a lake where, others say, no bird dare fly over. What is this place of heavy magic? Rachael Crewesmith takes Niall Grimes on a journey to Cwm Idwal in the first episode of Wild Horizons podcast.

Episode 2: The South Downs Way - a friendly walk through time

The hundred miles of National Trail, from Winchester to Eastbourne, crosses many thousands of years of history, sometimes just a few inches below your feet. BMC hillwalking rep, Faber Scaglione, looks down, looks sideways and looks far ahead as he takes us along on some of its most special sections.

Episode 3: Helvellyn - Hail, Rain or Shine

It’s the third highest peak in the Lake District, but it has a special appeal that makes it England’s most-loved mountain. But it is a place of big weather. Every day in the winter months, the Lake District National Park sends its fell top assessment team to the summit to compile weather data to improve the safety and enjoyment of park visitors. Niall Grimes sits down with one of this team, Zac Poulton, and asks him, What’s it like today?

Episode 4: Snowdon - For the First Time

For many mountaineers and non-mountaineers alike, the lofty pyramid of Snowdon exerts a strong romantic attraction. The highest peak in Wales and England. Every year many thousands of visitors make their way to the summit. For some it could be their first 3,000 foot mountain.

Snowdonia based guide Kate Worthington gives us the benefit of her great experience and talks to host, Niall Grimes, about the many ways up the mountain, what to look out for and much more knowledge along the way. If you are thinking about a visit, this podcast is essential listening.

Episode 5: Calderdale - Moors, the past and the future

Moorland magic. Bog lover Chris Dean shares his love of the wild wide open above the Calderdale Valley. He turns his gaze upwards to the skies and down to under your feet. He looks back to prehistory and forward to our planetary future. 

Episode 6: Kinder - Crags, hags, groughs and bogs

The Kinder Plateau may sit on the doorstep of Manchester and Sheffield, but step onto it and you can find yourself experiencing a true wilderness in winter, a desert in summer and a soul-lifting day out at any time of the year. Peter Judd takes us there.

Episode 7: Coniston - The old man and a dog

Come for a hike and an adventure around the Coniston Fells in the Lake District in the company of local guide, Vicki McCreadie. Vicki opens our eyes to the joy and majesty of these hills and takes us on a few of her favourite walks. 

Episode 8: The Cuillin - The place of dreams

Skye's Cuillin mountains are a place of pilgrimage for any mountain lover and its famous ridge is a lifetime dream for many. Local guide Mike Lates (www.skyeguides.co.uk) takes us to these mountains and breathes in their majesty.

Episode 9: The Carneddau - The high wilderness

Nature photographer and explorer John Beatty talks about the Carneddau mountains in Snowdonia, and why he goes there in search of connection and space.


We want to say a big thanks to every BMC member who continues to support us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t do it without you.

Did you know that we've launched a U27 membership offer for just £1.50 / month? And with full membership from £2.50 / month, it's never been easier to join and support our work: 

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/join-the-bmc-for-1-month-U27-membership


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Anonymous User
28/03/2021
The podcast is decent, only listened to first ep, but it's really frustrating listening to them not making any effort to pronounce the Welsh place names.
16/09/2021
This podcast has so much promise…but, the presenter gives the impression he’s done about five minutes preparation - just sat down for the interview and thought, “now, what shall I talk about?” He appears to have done no research. It becomes an incoherent ramble - the presenter needs to understand that it takes a bit more than a soft, lilting Irish accent. Secondly, where do the interviewees come from? The lady talking about Coniston was, by her own description, ‘an outdoor instructor by trade’ yet she really had no real idea on the ‘rules’ as far as wild camping are concerned. It’s not ‘difficult’. Nor are you “allowed to be there [because “it’s open access land”]”. Wild camping is ‘tolerated’ by the National Trust, but that’s it. “In the valleys fairly high up” does not really explain that you need to be above the high fell wall, either. And for your interviewer, taking a pink suitcase and leaving it on Helvellyn is neither funny, nor “pretty classy” - it’s a serious problem.
I’d like to carry on listening, but three episodes is all I can stand, sadly.

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