United Kingdom

Put your boots on for boobs! Julia Bradbury urges walkers to help after revealing her breast cancer

Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury says she has been ‘deeply comforted’ by the overwhelming support she received after revealing her breast cancer diagnosis in The Mail on Sunday last week.

After receiving thousands of messages from well-wishers, she is now asking fans to ‘put your boots on for boobs’ and join a series of walks being organised to raise money to combat the disease.

The 51-year-old has hosted a string of primetime TV shows about walking in Britain but she will not be able to take part in any of the events occurring in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, starting on Friday, as she is preparing for an emergency mastectomy. Instead, she has pledged to get back on the trail as soon as she is allowed.

Pictured here wearing a pink ribbon, the universal symbol of breast cancer awareness, the mother of three says: ‘I hope my honesty about what’s happened to me will help. 

TAKING COMFORT: Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury says she has been ‘deeply comforted’ by the overwhelming support she received after revealing her breast cancer diagnosis. Pictured in the pink ribbon of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I know already from the thousands of messages I’ve received, and from my friends and colleagues in the medical profession, that many women have this week already checked their breasts, called their GPs and made appointments to explore anything worrying.

‘The reality of having cancer and needing a mastectomy is difficult to process and emotionally traumatic but it’s a relief that it’s no longer a secret. It’s strange to have such a personal experience in the public arena but my diagnosis has helped spread awareness and I hope we can carry on doing that. I have been touched and deeply comforted by people’s kindness and concern. I feel they’re with me every step of the way.’

Julia adds: ‘I’m a big walker and an advocate for the healing and restorative power of nature, so what better campaign for me than “boots for boobs”?

‘Walking is a brilliant way to engage with nature and green spaces, and also improve your mental and physical health. I’ll be walking every day right up until my operation, and I hope I’ll be back on my feet speedily after my surgery, to help with my recovery.

‘Walking has seen me through all the tricky times in my life so far, and I’ve never needed it more than I do now.’

She also wants to learn as much as she can about breast cancer prevention. ‘It’s a rapidly developing area of medicine and I want to do what I can to prevent a recurrence in myself, and also learn more about why one in eight women gets breast cancer.

‘The focus is very much on early detection but the science shows that things like diet, exercise and stress reduction can play an important role.

‘If I can access this information and share it with as many women as possible, that would be a positive outcome from this sad experience.’

Julia has only known for a month that she has a two-and-a-half inch tumour in her left breast. It was picked up during an ultrasound scan after a mammogram and a physical examination apparently gave her the all-clear this summer.

Last year she discovered a lump in her breast, but was diagnosed with benign micro cysts linked to the menopause. A check-up 12 months later made the devastating discovery of cancer in her milk ducts.

She told the MoS last week: ‘It changes your world forever in an instant. There is no preparing you for those words. You hear “cancer” and your brain starts to explode.

‘I have to hope that I have caught mine early enough. A mastectomy is a shattering thing to go through but it means that I am going to live and be here for my children.’

The walks she is backing range from the ‘100-miles in a month’ to one-off treks.

Full details can be found on The Outdoor Guide, the website Julia co-founded with her sister Gina. Visit theoutdoorguide.co.uk/blogs/how-to-plan-a-fun-and-safe-walk/ for her tips.

For more information visit breastcancernow.org; pink ribbonfoundation.org.uk; and preventbreastcancer.org.uk

Julia’s favourite routes, from Loch Lomond to Lizard Point

IN HER STRIDE: Now, the 51-year-old is asking fans to ‘put your boots on for boobs’ and join a series of walks being organised to raise money to combat the disease

In addition to the officially organised events, here Julia has compiled a list of her own favourite routes for those trying to complete the 100-miles-in-a-month challenge or who want to walk independently.

Loch Lomond 

This beautiful walk along the shore of the largest loch in Scotland by surface area has all the views of a mountain walk without as much climbing. It’s a great day trip, with a boat ride out to the island of Inchcailloch. Any why not treat yourself to an ice cream on your return?


Lizard Point

The wild coastline of the most southerly point in Britain is the perfect place for a brisk, breezy walk. Battered by the Atlantic Ocean and often fierce winds, this rocky outcrop looks like something from an alien planet – but it’s still an amazing adventure.


Rutland Water

A wander or wheel along the south shore of the largest man-made lake in Europe is the recipe for a great day out. There are plenty of picnic spots, flat ground suitable for buggies and bicycles as well as manual and powered wheelchairs, and amazing views. This is one the whole family can enjoy.


Seven Sisters

A long but rewarding walk which shows off some of the best parts of the South Downs’s unspoilt coastline, including the beautiful Seven Sisters cliffs and the striking Belle Tout lighthouse. There are plenty of places to pause along the way to take in the views – on a clear day you can see up to six counties and the Isle of Wight.


Pictured: The amazing Loch Lomond. This beautiful walk along the shore of the largest loch in Scotland by surface area has all the views of a mountain walk without as much climbing

Porter Brook

Starting just outside Sheffield, this wander along the Porter Brook is a brilliant way to make the most of Sheffield itself and the beautiful Peak District. This is particularly important for Julia, who, having grown up in the city, first found her love of walking on routes such as this.

theoutdoorguide.co.uk/walks/ porter-brook-valley-city-centre-walk-sheffield/ 

Castle Crag

They say that the best things come in the smallest packages, which is true for the small but stunning Castle Crag in the Lake District. Perfect for families wanting to get their kids into hill-walking, or for fell-climbing newbies, without compromising on views.

theoutdoorguide.co.uk/walks/julia-bradbury-walks/castle-crags- wainwright-walk-julia-bradbury/


The mysterious landscape of Dartmoor has been inspiring writers and artists for centuries, which Julia learned while filming her most recent series, Cornwall And Devon Walks. This route highlights some of the most famous, and most underrated, parts of the unusual National Park, starting and finishing at an easy-to-access car park near Haytor.


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