TV Review: Britain's Favourite Walks: Top 100, ITV

Reporter:

Jamie Bowman

ITV has suddenly become obsessed with that old schedule-filler known as ‘List TV’. Last week we got their countdown of Britain’s top dogs with this week seeing the turn of Britian’s favourite walks.

At first this seemed like perfect winter viewing: the ever likeable queen of rambling, Julia Bradbury, and the ever slightly annoying king of the dancefloor, Ore Oduba, made enthusiastic guides as we began a marathon rundown, which
at two-and-a-half hours was longer than many of the walks included.

A far better idea would have been to split the show into two or even three segments, meaning we could have had more detail about each walk and more of the undoubted highlight of the programme, which were the bits where various celebrities took us
on their favourite walks.

I was particularly taken
with Cold Feet star Robert Bathurst’s jaunt across a freezing but beautifully bleak looking Rye and Camber Sands, where the actor told us he liked to finish up on his small motor launch listening to Test Match Special with a glass of wine.

Corrie actress Catherine Tyldelsey took us on the fascinating Pendle Witch Trail, where we found out about the most famous witch trials in English history, which ended up with 10 women executed by hanging. “They were treated quite harshly then?” enquired Tyldelsey with amusing understatement.

It was hard to find much more to complain about this charmingly inoffensive programme, although whoever wrote the script should have tried a lot harder to avoid the endless cliches: views were always “breathtaking”, coastlines were “rugged” and we were urged to put “our best foot forward”.

But there was a lot of fun to be had in totting up the various walks you’d been on and of course the ones you hoped to complete once this endless list eventually finished.

Personal favourites included the Nine Ladies in Derbyshire, Another Place in Crosby and the Sandstone Trail in Cheshire. Local interest was piqued by Llangollen Canal (60), Offa’s Dyke (41) and Snowdon (2).

Roll on February.

Email:

jamie.bowman@nwn.co.uk

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