Julia answers YOUR questions!

A great thanks to Julia Bradbury here. She has taken time out of her busy schedule to answer LFTOers' questions.

Julia's Coast To Coast series comes out on June 12th - pre-order your signed copy here!

See if she answered your question below...



Will John Craven still be on Countryfile?

As people will have seen, yes John is still on Countryfile undertaking the 'Countryfile Investigation' every week. He told me last week he's really enjoying the investigative journalism and a slightly less frantic schedule too! 



Hi Julia, How did you find the route-finding for Coast to Coast , was it easy or hard to follow? Unlike the Pennine Way, which is a harder walk, but well-signed. Do you think the Coast to Coast should be better signed or do you think the Coast to Coast walk should be a route where the person can plot their own route on each day?

I think it is a different experience filming the Coast to Coast walk. Yes we walk it all, get wet and do everything hikers do, but the route is very carefully planned and researched to make sure we cover all the right points and places.  That meant no issues with signs.  I think it is definitely a walk that offers a different adventure every day, so yes, worth plotting as you go along to see what you fancy each leg.



Hey Julia... just a couple of questions from my family. Also, I would just like you to know that as a result of your Wainwright Walks series my family have all become keen hill walkers. We ended up watching your first series and now cant get enough of it. We've even followed in your footsteps and climbed fells like Catbells and the Old Man of Coniston. We love it so much that we travelled to Fort William to climb Ben Nevis! My mum and dad have just booked another holiday in the Lakes where we are aiming to climb Skiddaw! Our new hobbie is all due to your series, so thank you so much :) Laura Bennett age 16

Thank you Laura!  I'm thrilled that you as a family are getting out there together - that makes me very happy. Keep up the good walking.

My mum's question is : 'What type of trousers do you wear when hill-walking, do you use waterproof over trousers? 

I wear Maharishi trousers (the ones with the signature squiggles on) and Berghaus waterproofs.

My sister's question is: 'What's your favourite food to take up a mountain?'

I take loads of chocolate with me..I have have a very sweet tooth.  Fruit and Nut is my favourite.  And bananas in a bag so they don't get squashed - good for energy.

Dad's question is: 'Do you use an OS map as well as the wainwright books?'

Yes we use OS maps as well as the AW books.  As everyone knows the fells have changed over the years so best to keep up to date maps with you as well.

My question: 'What would be your recommendation for a family day walk with good walking capability?'

I recommend you find your way to the Blacksail Youth Hostel at the base of Pillar in the Lakes and give that one a go.  It IS long and tough so take your time and plenty of food and water.


White Horse Walker

Hi Julia, What sort of TV work do you prefer? Your walk programmes, travel programmes - or Come Dine With Me?

I love the variety of the work.  I have a short attention span so a peripatetic lifestyle suits me!  I also relish the challenge of getting to grips with new subject matters and meeting different people. 



Hi Julia, Have you any ambition to tackle and report on any major treks abroad, or is it just the love of these great shores? Thanks, Janson

There are very few 'undiscovered' world treks left but I'd like to do some of the biggies eventually. I've trekked a bit in Utah, Costa Rica and Greece and in my next series we're heading to South Africa to tackle some of its great walks.  South Africa is my favourite place on earth and I can't wait! These shores are tough to beat though.



Hi Julia, I know you are a very busy Lady but Now you have started the Wainwrights, would you like to complete them one day?

I try not to think of it as a numbers game because I think that takes some of the romance out of the walks.  I hope one day to have passed the one hundred mark but I'm not going to break my neck (or legs hopefully).



Hi Julia, Did you get into walking because of your TV work or recreationally?

I've been walking since I was a nipper. My Dad is a Derbyshire lad and started me off at 6! The fact that the walking and the working have dovetailed is happy coincidence! 



Julia..... Shewee or not shewee? Goopsdad xxx

Shewees are great of you ve got one to hand.. Otherwise its a "however you can". And stay downwind! 



How do you think that the walking, hiking, climbing etc have changed your life? All the very best and I look forward to watching your future work. Cheers, Terry Bradley

Thanks Terry - as with all things I am a work in progress!  I ve been walking since I was a nipper with my Dad in the Peak District but now that it has become such a relevant part of my career as well I take it very seriously. It's gone from an enjoyable past time to something that people are watching!  There is a responsibility that goes with that. Bottom line, I'm passionate about what I do (in all areas) and AW has changed my life immeasurably.    



1) Which is your favourite fell? 2) What's your favourite piece of kit?

My favourite bit of kit is a camming device that Tim Emmett gave me after we completed our rock climbing documentary.  I haven't used it since but it's a reminder that i made it up the Old Man of Stoer. Favourite fell...see below; Castle Cragg 



Hi Julia, a girlie question for you - where do you get your walking clothes?  I get fed up with the boring black and insipid blues which dominate in the gear shops. 

From all over the place. I look hard..my trousers are from Maharishi, Timberland do great stuff as do Rad and Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear.



Hi, I enjoyed watching Wainwright Walks & Railway Walks a lot. My question is: what luxuary item could you not go walking without? Thanks

Vicky I was asked recently how I manage to look OK after hours of walking and the answer is; make-up!  I may be a hiker but I'm a female and its for the telly. There's your answer. (lippy!)



I know you've recently been busy fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support.  I've done a couple of treks in Peru and Nepal on behalf of Macmillan and I'm thinking of signing up for their Kili trip going in Oct 2010.  Fancy tagging along?

There were talks of a Kili trip but they have been put on the back burner sadly.  We're covering South Africa next though.  Well done on your Macmillan work and enjoy the 2010 trip - who knows where I'll be by then?!



Hi Julia, I loved your Wainwright Walks series. Are there any plans to do a series in the Scottish Highlands (e.g the Munros)? Thanks, Mike

I would love that...so fingers crossed.


Peter C

Hi Julia, love all your series on the TV.  You must have inspired a lot of folk to get into the outdoors.  Top marks to the crew who make the programmes with you, the music that accompanies the scenes too is just right. Have you any plans to do anything in the Peak District? Thanks once again.

Hi Peter...we covered the Peak District (where i grew up walking) in the recent Railway Walks series.  I hope we do more in the future.  



As a result of your Wainwright Walks more and more people are heading to the Lakes to follow in Wainwrights footsteps. I recently walked Catbells and it was over run with people which detracted from its remoteness and splendor. 1) Do you think your programme has ruined the experience of The Lakes for those who travel to get away from at all and dont want to see crowds of people? 2) Also, what does your programme do to highlight the serious issue of erosion of the footpaths of those most popular walks in The Lake District?

Catbells because of it's proximity to Windermere has always been a popular walk and not that 'remote' nonetheless it is the Catch 22 of the success of a programme like ours.  We did cover footpath erosion and the gents that help prevent it in series one and it's something we've covered twice already on the new series of Countryfile too.  There are 14/15 National Parks to choose from and so many areas of ONB that I hope people will be inspired to try new pastures as well as the Lakes.  Our next series will be in Africa so that should take the spotlight off the UK for a while!    



Hi Julia, What do you think of the Chris Jesty revised editions of the Wainwright books?

I interviewed Mr Jesty in the first series and he showed me his graphs!  I have yet to study them.  


paul fuller

Hi Julia, thanks to the two series of Wainwright Walks I am now hooked on the Lake District and I am going for my 4th week in three years this August and will try to get another week in before if possible. In the last two years I have climbed Catbells 3 times, Helm Crag twice (once in Fog which was interesting) Helvellyn(Via Striding Edge), Skiddaw, and Wetherlam and several others. Are there any plans to revisit the lakes for a third series and perhaps tackle Skiddaw, Coniston Old Man, Grassmore along with a few more?

Hi Paul.  Well done you!  Its great that the series has inspired people to literally 'get out there'.  As you may know the Coast to Coast is running at the moment so that's out Lakes taste for this year.  We're planning an Africa Walks series next and the I hope we will get back to the Lakes.  Good suggestions!  



Julia, it was great to learn about your series on the C2C.  I hope you enjoyed reading my book about it.  Did it contribute to inspiring the new series at all? Mike

Mike I read tens of books about the C2C - I'm sure yours was valuable - thank you!  (which one was it!?. the support and letters from everyone are invaluable and appreciated.  


Sue W

Hi Julia,  My favourite place is the Lake district and I really enjoyed watching your tv walks.   Recently  I walked a few of your routes which were great,  One question I would like to ask is what make are your red walking boots and where did you get them?  They look brilliant.

Hi Sue - they are Soloman soft walking shoes not really boots and they don't have ankle support so they're not for serious walking I'm afraid. Bit of rock lands on your toe and you'll be in trouble!  (I only used them on the easy routes).   


Mark G

Hiya Julia, when you were doing the Wainwright walks, did you get frustrated that you have to keep stopping/starting, waiting for the film crew? ... I can imagine that you wanted to carry on ahead and get to your destination. Mark

Actually what I love about filming the series is the detail we go into.  You get to learn so much about the walks, the views and the social history. I'm used to the sporadic nature of filming so it doesn't frustrate me and when I'm in 'film mode' my energy levels are at full pelt because I have to be alert and receptive to the information (visual and academic). 



Dear Julia, quite a simple question really,  who inspires you the most? and when your feeling down or at the point of no return what do you draw inspiration from ( like when you climbed the pillar in scotland)  did you ever feel like giving up, and then what made you carry on?

I'm incredibly lucky and I appreciate that.  I have a great family and we inspire each other.  On my down days you want to stay away!  But they are few and far between.  The Old man of Stoer was an incredible experience.  The crew held bets that I wouldn't make it - which I shouldn't have statistically.  I really really did NOT want to fail and get pulled up or helped.  It was a psychological win.  They couldn't show the entire process obviously but it took me too 40 minute sessions to get out of tricky situations - where I just stood (or crouched) shaking, talking to myself.  I don't know how I did it but it was electrifying.  



Julia, during the last season of  Wainwrights Walks you only rarely seemed to encounter poor weather. Is this because you had the opportunity to pick and choose the days you went out and filmed or were you just lucky or is there an ideal time to visit the lakes to guarantee fairly good weather (all things being equal)? Kind regards. Paul

We sadly don't have the luxury of picking and choosing so like all other hikers we're in the hands of the Lakeland Gods!   We've been incredibly lucky with the weather but there have been notable exceptions; Helvellyn, High Street and on the Coast to Coast our opening week in the Lakes was dreadful.  And that was in August! 



Julia, How do you feel about the fact that you are getting blamed for the influx of poorly equipped, unfit people now regularly being found wandering in circles in the fog on the Lake District fells without map, compass or warm clothing? Of course I'm not blaming you but I've heard one or two ruffty tufty fell types complaining about your Wainrights Walks series as I've been slurping from my thermos flask on a frosty summit!

Yes this is consistent topic.  I am thrilled that the series has inspired people to get out there and the diversity of the people I hear from is encouraging.  We do our best to offer a nod and wink to the safety aspects of walking.  you'll notice I always have a water bottle, we check the OS maps off against the AW books sometimes and I'll stop for a snack. Ultimately these programmes are meant to inspire and they are there for people to enjoy (many viewers can't walk anymore so they really are just taking in the views.) They're not a 'hiker's handbook' and of course people should prepare properly before each outing.  I present a travel series too (Rough Guide for Channel 5) and we don't demonstrate the safety procedures on board the planes! 



Hello Julia, simple question regarding walking treats. Jelly Babies or Chocolate ?




Hi Julia, I have enjoyed watching your Wainwright Walks and I am looking forward to your new series.  The questions I would like to ask are: 1)  How do you descend from the summits when the cameras have stopped rolling? 2) When you climbed Helm Crag did you find it difficult to climb the summit? I found it very difficult when i recently did that walk.

1)  We descend via the quickest route as quickly as possible!  The evening shade is often chasing us down the fells and if we 're in the Lakes our guide David (who has walked and lived in the Lakes for 20 years) who we nickname the 'mountain goat' takes us all down the safest way.  He helped me get over Sharp Edge the first time.

2) The Howitzer of the Lion and The Lamb (Helm Crag) is quite something and AW didn't even make it to the top.  I had just finished a rock climbing series so I'd had an opportunity to practice some moves and that helped me.  Coming down wasn't pleasant I remember! 



Hi Julia, is there anywhere in Britain that you wouldn't walk? And Why?

I haven't come across or been introduced to that place yet Calum so, no.  I love walking in London itself too - urban walks offer a different kind of satistaction.   


Russ Mills

Hi Julia, climbing, walking or scrambling ?.. and why?

Walking. Longevity.  



Have you always had a passion for hiking/hillwalking, or was it something you discovered from doing the Wainwright Walks show? What are your plans after the C2C? Any more long distance walks in the pipeline, or how about walks abroad?

If you read other answers you'll see that I started walking with my Dad in the Peak District when I was a nipper so my love of the outdoors started young.  We're planning Africa Walks at the moment...it's my favourite continent so I can't wait!



Hi Julia, which National Park in the UK is your favourite and why?

The closest to me in London is the South Downs - the most recent National Park.  It's a beautiful corner of the country but there is no No.1.  The Peak District is where I walked with my Dad as a kid and obviously the Lakes have been very kind to me...so the cheat answer is 'whichever is closest to me at the time'.