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On 8pm Wednesday May 16, BBC 2 Scotland, Cameron McNeish presents Take a Hike: an Adventure Show special featuring Outlander star Sam Heughan, Chris Townsend, and more

You might be used to seeing Sam Heughan play Jamie in Outlander, but it might surprise you to learn that Sam is a hillwalking enthusiast with a passion for exploring the wild places of Scotland. In this Adventure Show Special, former TGO Editor Cameron McNeish explores the origins and development of recreational walking in Scotland, inviting a number of special guests to show what hillwalking means to them.

Cameron geared up for the Cobbler – 1930s style

Take a Hike brings the history of mountain walking to life from the first access conflicts in the 19th century through to more modern times. There’s a section about the social benefits of walking clubs in the early 20th century, the working-class hikers and climbers of the 1930s, and how walking developed in more recent years with the popularity of Munro-bagging and long-distance backpacking.

The programme also takes a look at the gear of years gone by. If you’ve ever wanted to see Cameron McNeish climb the Cobbler in nailed boots and cotton jacket, now is your chance.

Amongst the show’s guests are outdoor author and historian Ian R. Mitchell, TGO’s own Chris Townsend, Mick Tighe of the Mountain Heritage Collection, and hillwalker Sam Heughan, best known for his starring role in Outlander.

Cameron McNeish said, “This is a television programme I’ve long wanted to make. I have a fascination with the social development of the outdoors movement in the early part of the twentieth century leading to the mass migration of the working-class hikers and climbers into the Scottish highlands in the thirties.

“It’s only in recent years that we’ve reassessed the social and health benefits of the outdoors and realised once again how important our wild areas are to the mental health and physical well-being of the nation.”

You can watch Take a Hike at 8pm on Wednesday May 16, BBC 2 Scotland. It will be available throughout the UK on Sky Digital and FreeSat, and will also be available to watch online via BBC iPlayer.

Our take? Here at The Great Outdoors we’ve had the opportunity to watch a preview of the show, and it’s essential viewing for TGO readers. Put it in your diary!

Images courtesy of The Adventure Show and © Richard Else