Kathi Kamleitner is a Glasgow-based author, podcaster and travel expert. She brings us some of her favourite Scottish-based podcasts to help you visit the country through your headphones. This article was first published in November 2022.
Ever since Mel Gibson as William Wallace riled up his army of blue-faced Highlanders by shouting “freedom!”, the world has been infatuated with Scotland. It’s OK – you can admit that you liked the movie (even if it was mostly filmed in Ireland).
Since then – in what’s known as the ‘Braveheart Effect’ – the film has inspired people around the world to visit Scotland. And many others have joined its ranks – Outlander, The Outlaw King, Harry Potter and even Trainspotting to some extent.
Scotland is rife with stories, so it’s no surprise that there are plenty of podcasts about Scotland too. From shows that focus on Scottish history, to gruesome or legendary tales set in the landscape, and travel tips for planning a visit. Here are some of the best Scottish podcasts – you might even find some episodes about Outlander or Braveheart in there…
Whisky Sisters Podcast
Liquid gold, water of life, single malt whisky – there are many names for the Scottish national drink. In Whisky Sisters Podcast, hosts Inka Larissa and Jennifer Rose share a dram or two and dive into the fascinating world of whisky from Scotland and beyond. In each episode they discover new drams and distilleries, speak with expert guests and uncover the mysteries of distilling. If you’re not a whisky connoisseur already, you may want to ease yourself in with this episode about whisky cocktails. Listen now >>
Stories of Scotland
Learn about Scotland’s mythical creatures and gruesome history – but make it fun! Stories of Scotland is an award-winning podcast that explores the rich tapestry of Scottish culture, nature and heritage. Hosts Annie and Jenny come together to blether about the past, try their tongues at historical accents and tell often forgotten or misrepresented stories. A great one to start is their 3-part series ‘Queer as Folktales’. Listen now >>
Atlantic: A Scottish Story
Atlantic: A Scottish Story is a captivating 8-part drama about life on the edge of the world. We follow the story of Evie and Quinn, two young islanders from St Kilda whose lives are entwined even when an ocean comes between them. The cast includes Kirsty Findlay, Kate Dickie and Richard Rankin (of Outlander fame) and original music by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie. Since this is an audio drama, you better start at the beginning – ‘Episode 1: A New Arrival’. Listen now >>
Wild for Scotland
Close your eyes while you listen and you could think you’re there. Wild for Scotland is an immersive storytelling podcast for anyone who dreams of being in Scotland or is looking for travel inspiration. The first-person narratives are enriched with captivating soundscapes and contextualised by interviews with locals to learn more about life in the landscapes featured. This is, in fact, my podcast! And you might not be surprised if I tell you that ‘The Key – An Outlander Road Trip from Edinburgh’ is a listener favourite. But if you love puffins as much as I do, you’ll love this episode from my trip to the Isle of Canna. Listen now >>
What We Do In The Winter
Have you ever wondered what life is like on Scottish isles during the winter? What We Do In The Winter is a community led show that answers just that question. Produced by Alasdair and Georgia Satchel it features conversations with locals from the isles of Mull, Iona, Ulva and Gometra and gives insights into the lives of locals out of season. Why not start with this episode featuring Catriona MacLeod, a singer, cabaret artist and Mull-native. Listen now >>
Creative Me Podcast
What makes an artist tick? And how do they get their creative juices flowing? These are just some of the questions posed by Ice Headlam on the Creative Me Podcast. Every episode Ica quizzes another creative from the north east of Scotland about their practice and process with the aim to foster creativity among others and amplify BIPOC voices in Scotland’s creative industries. A great episode to start with is this conversation about the Scottish music scene with Matt Hickman aka. Brown Bear. Listen now >>
Love Scotland gives listeners an insight into the conservation work by the National Trust for Scotland. Hosted by former BBC Reporting Scotland anchor Jackie Bird, each episode dives into the history of another NTS location from grand castles and museums to some of Scotland’s most beautiful glens and mountains. Along the way, Jackie interviews researchers and conservation experts who shine a light on what happens behind the scenes. If you’re an Outlander fan, you may enjoy this episode about the beauty of Glencoe with Outlander’s Sam Heughan. Listen now >>
Kathi Kamleitner is a Glasgow-based author, podcaster and travel expert. Originally from Austria, she moved to Scotland for her studies, fell in love with the country and never looked back. She shares immersive travel stories on her podcast Wild for Scotland and practical travel guides and tips on her blog Watch Me See. Kathi’s first book “Glücksorte in Glasgow” was published by Droste Verlag (Germany) in March 2022. Photo by Roxanna Barry.
Did you listen to a podcast on this list? Have we missed your favourite Scottish podcast? Let us know in the comments below!