The Best Travel Podcasts To Plug Into

Wish you weren’t here? Despite travel plans being on hold right now, you can still escape to far-flung and exotic destinations via a podcast. From holiday recommendations to interviews with some of the biggest industry names – and everything in between – we’ve rounded up the best to listen to for a touch of wanderlust to inspire your future plans…
The Best Travel Podcasts To Plug Into

The Big Travel Podcast

Hosted by travel journalist and film maker Lisa Francesca Nand, The Big Travel Podcast explores the stories of well-known and interesting people through their life in travel, from tales of hometowns to where life’s twists and turns have taken them since. Expect to hear from famous faces in TV, film and sport, as well as some lesser-known faces who have had an interesting life in some of the world’s most remote places. The podcast has been going for four years so there are hundreds of episodes to explore.

Episode Highlight: India Hicks
British designer and entrepreneur India Hicks talks to Lisa about life on a remote Caribbean island, her famous family and backpacking in rat-infested hostels. India has had a fascinating life (she’s Mountbatten’s granddaughter and distantly related to the Royal family), and has travelled extensively, picking up some interesting stories along the way – most notably what if feels like to be on an island when a hurricane hits.

 
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National Trust Podcast

Head on an audio adventure through some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes, walks, gardens, stately homes and collections with the National Trust Podcast. You’ll learn about the rich history behind some of the National Trust’s oldest and most popular sites, like Stowe and Box Hill, and hear from prestigious gardeners on what it takes to look after the gardens and some the country’s rarest plants. The podcast covers a wide range of topics and are presented by several National Trust members.
 
Episode Highlight: A Tropical Garden At Glendurgan
In this episode, Alan Par, head gardener at the National Trust guides listeners through the beautiful Glendurgan Garden to discover its unusual microclimate, centuries-old history and famous maze. Located in south Cornwall, lush rolling valleys meet the sea and exotic plants grow alongside native flowers in the garden. You’ll hear about the Fox family who have lived in the house on the estate since 1820. If you’re interested in gardening, this episode is a must-listen.
 
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The Travel Diaries With Holly Rubinstein

In this weekly interview series, entertainment and travel journalist Holly Rubenstein chats to a special guest about the travel experiences that have shaped their lives and their adventures around the world. Expect to be transported through the eight key chapters of their travel diaries, from their earliest childhood travel memory and the first place they fell in love with, to their all-time favourite destination, their hidden gem recommendation and what’s at the top of their bucket list.

Episode Highlight: Anya Hindmarch
British designer and businesswoman Anya Hindmarch has been to some of the most sought-after destination in the world, from Mustique to Patagonia. In this episode, she tells Holly where her career started in Florence, and shares how her travels have inspired her designs over the years. Anya also delves into her little black book to reveal some of her favourite hotels off the beaten track.
 
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Armchair Explorer

In this podcast, travel writer Aaron Miller is joined by a new guest each week to share stories about worldwide adventures. With cinematic effects throughout to transport you to locations across the world, this podcast is pure escapism. Guests include BBC presenter Mike Corey, explorer George Bullard and journalist Emma Thomson. Ideal for inspiring your next bucket-list trip, this series is ideal for budding explorers.
 
Episode Highlight: Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda With Praveen Moman
Praveen Moman grew up in Uganda and moved to the UK as a refugee. After a successful political career, he decided to relocate to Rwanda to help the country’s gorilla conservation projects. Twenty years later, he’s now at the forefront of Rwanda’s conservation efforts, welcoming tourists to stay in luxury eco lodges for a once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trekking trip. This episode is a fascinating insight into the natural habitat of gorillas and the beautiful Rwandan national parks.
 
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Alice In Wanderland

Join explorer Alice Morrison on her epic journey across the Sahara and the Atlas Mountains with six trusty camels and three Amazigh guides. The trip, which spans 3,000km, is documented at every stage, including when Alice has a near-death experience in quicksand, walks over landmines, and even stumbles across dinosaur prints and stone-age tools. You’ll feel like you’re on the journey with Alice as she takes you from a family home in Morocco to the end of the expedition in Ouarzazate.
 
Episode Highlight: Series 1, Episode 8
In episode eight, Alice finds herself in a desperate situation when she accidentally stumbles across some quicksand in the desert. Having to also contend with bitter winds and extreme heat, the conditions are pretty rough. Here, Alice recounts her terrifying experiences in detail – if you’re after an exciting podcast, this episode is not to be missed.
 
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Where To Go DK Eyewitness 

Produced by the team behind the award-winning DK Eyewitness travel guides, this podcast will give you the best recommendations on where to stay, what to do and where to find the best food around the world. Each fortnightly episode focuses on a specific destination, with hosts James Atkinson and Lucy Richards joined by local experts who have all chosen to call that place home. With deep dives into travel stories, hidden gems and unmissable sights, they also take a look at how destinations have been impacted by recent events, how travel may start to return post-lockdown and what holidays might look like over the next few years.
 
Episode Highlight: Paris
Paris is a treasure trove of things to see and do, but it’s not just the famous sites that make the city so appealing to tourists – it’s the vibrant local scene around the neighbourhoods, the cool cafés, brilliant book shops and, of course, world-renowned food. The hosts take listeners around the city as they recommend the must-do experiences (think champagne and oysters) and hidden hotspots. Ideal inspiration for your next city break.
 
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The Wild Eye Podcast 

Hosted by South African photographer Gerry van der Walt, The Wild Eye Podcast is all about wildlife photography. A specialist of safari photography, Gerry has a wealth of knowledge to impart, as well as some thrilling stories during his time spent in the wilderness. Each week, he’s joined by a different guest to discuss everything from conservation projects to how to capture the best image of a lioness in her natural habitat. The episodes are between 15 and 30 minutes long – ideal for a short listen.
 
Episode Highlight: An Elephant Giving Birth
Gerry is joined by professional safari guide Trevor McCall-Peat who shares the amazing story of witnessing an elephant giving birth in the wild. After heading on a lion trek as part of a private tour, he stumbled upon a herd of elephants, one of which suddenly gave birth to a baby elephant – an incredibly rare occurrence, seeing as elephants are pregnant for 22 months. A fascinating listen.
 
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Overheard At National Geographic

Smuggled dinosaur bones. Man-made glaciers. An audacious quest to find the world's southernmost tree. Each week, Peter Gwin and Amy Briggs dissect one of the curious conversations they've overheard at National Geographic's headquarters. You'll be introduced to a world of explorers, photographers and scientists researching some of the most interesting topics in the world of travel. Each episode is less than 30 minutes long but packed with intriguing facts and digestible information that makes for easy listening.
 
Episode Highlight: The Trouble with America’s Captive Tigers
If you’ve watched Netflix’s bizarre documentary Tiger King, you’ll know that there are over 10,000 captive tigers in the US, compared to 4,000 in the wild worldwide. Ownership of big cats is largely unregulated and has gained international media attention over the last few years. In this episode, Peter Gwin talks with National Geographic Channel's Mariana van Zeller about her investigation into tiger trafficking and how wildlife tourism encourages a cycle of breeding and mistreatment. An incredibly interesting listen.
 
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You Should Have Been There

Simon Calder, travel editor of The Independent, and former BBC producer Mick Webb discuss the world of travel in this podcast series. Each episode has contributions from fellow-travellers, quotes from travel books and audio extracts from trips they’ve both made separately and together. The episodes are about the fun and fascinating experience of travel, more than the practicalities, and about sharing the stories afterwards. With detailed information about current travel restrictions too, topics are informative and well researched.
 
Episode Highlight: Confessions Of A Tour Guide
Ever wondered what it’s really like to be a tour guide? In this episode, Simon and Mick are joined by cultural tour guide James Hill. Talking about the highs, the lows and what goes on behind the scenes, plus some terms you might not have come across before, James reveals the funniest and strangest things that have happened during his career.

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Ramblings

Presenter Claire Balding is joined by a new guest each week to go for a stroll through the countryside. You’ll learn about some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK and find out what they mean to the people who live there and visit the area. Whether you’re looking for new walking routes in the countryside, or simply want to listen to the ramblings of Claire and her guests on the joys of wild swimming or crisp winter walks, each episode is a lovely listen.
 
Episode Highlight: Barry Farrimond
Barry Farrimond, who plays Ed Grundy in The Archers, joins Claire for a walk across Dartmoor National Park. The two talk about everything from recording a radio show in the midst of the pandemic to the famous Dartmoor wildlife. In true Ramblings style, you’ll feel as though you’re eavesdropping on an interesting conversation with Claire and her friends.
 
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Women Who Travel By Conde Nast Traveller

It’s no secret that Conde Nast Traveller are the experts when it comes to luxury destinations and the best off-the-beaten-track places, and this podcast is no exception. Each week, US editors Lale Arikoglu and Meredith Carey dissect the realities of travelling as a woman today, high-fiving those shaking up things in food, hospitality, adventure and journalism. Alongside their excellent recommendations on where to go and what to do in myriad destinations, they’re also joined by a different guest each week to discuss everything from tips on solo travelling to the importance of self-care while abroad.
 
Episode Highlight: How To Plan The Ultimate Road Trip
Lale and Meredith are joined by Conde Nast contributor Mara Balagtas and editor Megan Spurrell to discuss the joys of road trips. Talking about the best routes in the US, their favourite drives around the world and what they listen to en route, it’s a great listen if you’re planning to hit the road this summer (even if it has to be in the UK). With plenty of tips on how to create a good driving playlist to a 101 on car maintenance, the episode is both entertaining and informative.
 
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