Julia Bradbury on the UK's best canal walks

Julia Bradbury talks to Wanderlust about why the UK is a great destination, her guilty travel pleasures and her favourite canal walks

4 mins

Ahead of Lyn Hughes' interview with Julia Bradbury at the Destinations show, at Earls Court, London, we've republished this original interview with Julia about her favourite canal walks.

If you've got a specific question, you'd like Lyn to ask Julia, leave it in the comments section below.

What is your favourite canal walk in the UK?

There are so many great canal walks, but if I had to pick just one it would be the Kennet and Avon Canal walk starting in Bath. Very buzzy, fantastic atmosphere and pretty pretty.

You work in many programmes, which highlight the UK's beautiful outdoors, do you think of the UK as a holiday destination?

I most certainly do! The UK is a fantastic holiday destination and I would encourage people to take the time to explore some of the fantastic sites the UK has to offer.

What do you think the UK has to offer travelers/holidaymakers that other countries can't?

The UK offers variety and splendor. For such a small country, the UK has some truly diverse and fascinating landscapes; from the historic streets of London, to the Scottish highlands, the Norfolk fens and rugged welsh coastline.

You've been dubbed the 'seasoned stomper' and have made numerous programmes on walking so what's next?

I intend to keep on walking. I feel very privileged that I am able to combine my passion for the outdoors with my career as a TV presenter.

One of the best things about my job is the appreciation I receive from viewers. It is great to think that I am inspiring others to get outdoors.

Mountain/desert/jungle/ocean which are you and why?

I am definitely a mountain: there is no better feeling the reaching the top.

What was your first great travel experience?

I went to stay in Greece for six weeks with my cousin Rachel in a little village near Athens, staying at my Yi's (grandmother) house. We got into all sorts of teenage trouble on the nearby beaches and then travelled to Thessaloniki on the train to find more trouble. I'd like to say we were on an educational tour of historical Greece...but we stumbled across a lot of boys.

What has been your favourite journey?

Last year I hiked to the top of Iceland’s infamous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull (the big E)! This was undoubtedly one of the toughest, but most spectacular walks I have ever done.

What are your top 5 places worldwide?

1. The Peak District, England

2. The Knock, Creiff, Scotland

3. Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg Mountains, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

4. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

5. Morgan's Rock Hacienda & Ecolodge, Nicaragua

Can you name a special place to stay?

Barnsdale Lodge on Rutland Water. I grew up in Rutland and I'm proud of its status as the smallest county in England.

"Multum in Parvo". Much in Little. Barnsdale is five minutes from home so I rarely stay there but you will find the Bradbury's in the bar or restaurant quite often...

What three items do you always pack when you travel?

Walking boots, multi purpose battery charger and a packet of wet wipes.

Which passport stamp are you proudest of?

Sumatra, to get to Padang Port, en route to the Mentawaii islands and the Siberut jungle.

Which passport stamp would you most like to have?

There are a few: Argentina, Vietnam, Cambodia and Uganda... The list goes on.

Where or what is your guilty travel pleasure?

Chocolate & room service, I LOVE them both!

Who is your ideal travelling companion?

My sister Gina because she looks after me on the road.

What has been your best meal on the road? And your worst?

I love Vetkoek or Fet-cook ("Fat cake") which is basically a deep fried doughnut served with a savoury mince filling. Artery-clogging and delicious.

As for the bad, I'm not a fan of the sandwich -  I find them deeply unfulfilling.

What place or destination have you found the most disappointing?

Hat Maya (where 'The Beach' was filmed in 2000) on Phi Phi Leh, Thailand.

All you could smell was boat fumes.

Who/what inspired you to travel?

My Father, he opened my eyes to the adventures that could be had walking when I was just six years old in the Peak District.

What do you like to read on the road?

A bit of everything! I always have more than one book on the go. I have just finished Disgrace by Paul Coetezee and I'm starting the Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson and Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.

What, do you think, is the most impressive / useful phrase you know in a foreign language?

'Ek smaak jou stukkend' - I love you to bits in Afrikaans.

It is such a direct language.

What is your worst habit as a traveler?

Time keeping. I always leave things to the last minute including catching trains and planes... And overpacking.

When and where in your travels have you been happiest?

OoOoOo in the middle of the African bush watching Lions or lying on the beach at the One and Only resort of Reethi Rah in the Maldives with no mobile phone or Internet reception.

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