Drone Filming for ITV

ITV Britain's Favourite 100 Walks

Location: United Kingdom

Working with a super experienced production crew from ITV based in Manchester and assembled at short notice we traveled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. 

Drone filming with our DJI Inspire 2 aircraft for this shoot involved plenty of walking and culminated in an epic hike up Helvellyn for the final episode.

Julia Bradbury and the ITV team were a joy to work for and we look forward to many more future expeditions.

This 2 and a half hour epic TV program is repeated every Boxing Day and is a testiment to all the hard work that went into the making of it.

100 Walks the Extra Bits

Every one of the many filming locations were condensed into three minute short films This left lots of our amazing drone footage unseen so we put together this short film of some of the extra best bits.

Which we knew you’d enjoy.

Being the drone pilot on Britain’s Favourite 100 walks on ITV had some major challenges as we were required to travel around the country drone filming stunning drone GV’s working with presenter Julia Bradbury. Walking in hot temperatures on the beaches of the South Coast flying out to sea to the freezing cold temperatures of Glen Coe in Scotland up and down the mountains. The final and wining ITV walk was up Helvellyn in the Lake District and involved trekking with our drone to the summit, starting at dawn and returning back down the mountain late into the evening.

A fairly moderate walk up some serious inclines but equipped with a big drone like the DJI Inspire 2 made it ten times more difficult.This was a fairly last-minute location as ITV were not sure which walks the public would choose so when the call came in that we were to climb Helvellyn the crew and kit were quickly put together.  

If our booking for drone filming came in this week, we would use the DJI Mavic 3 Cine however this was pre the Mavic series. There was no time to buy a custom-made ruck sack, which we now have, to carry the kit so a regular rucksack, strapped to the DJI Hard case was the only option. See our still images for the evidence

There was no way we could take such an expensive and large drone up the mountain without any protection from the Cumbrian weather.

ITV booked a one-man operation, so the second remote control was removed from the case to reduce weight. We took just one prime 12mm lens and the X5s camera up the mountain. We were asked to drone film in 1080 H264 in rec 709 (Normal) colour space to keep the editing time and costs down for ITV.

As well as the aircraft, camera and one drone pilot remote control we managed to get 7 pairs of batteries into the case, 14 individual batteries. The weight was around 25kg in total so lugging it up to the top of Helvellyn in a make shift rucksack took its toll.

The mountain also took its toll on our poor cameraman Jamie Knights who battled his way to the top with his very large Amira camera, prime lenses and the heaviest tripod on the planet.

Our sound engineer forgot his socks and also ended up in a bit of state with shocking blisters.


Our amazing ITV director Nick Small, who often acts as one of our drone camera operators is also a super fit fell runner. He often took over carrying our ridiculous drone rucksack to help get the kit to the summit and get some of the most amazing drone footage we have ever filmed.

This was a true adventure stopping every few hundred meters filming a piece to camera with Julia and interviews with the public then flying our drone to capture more drone footage. 

Being the drone pilot on this particular shoot was such a privilege as the photos on this page clearly show. Setting off in misty conditions and then reaching the top of Helvellyn just as the sun went down producing the most spectacular sunset not often seen in the Lake District.

An absolute privilege.

Coming back off Helvellyn was a lot faster however we were ill equipped with just head torches and the lights off our mobile phones.

Carrying the drone down the mountain was a lot easier however we did have one more casualty. Fabio, Julia Bradbury’s make-up artist took a tumble and sprained his ankle but did live to tell the tale.

Its amazing how technology has moved forward and at the time of writing this we are preparing to head back to the Lake District and head up Scafell Pike mountain. The highest in Britain.

This is for a BBC walking film and in contrast to the ITV Britain’s Favourite 100 Walks in just the space of a medium size rucksacks we can carry a DJI Mavic mini 3, Mavic pro 2 our Mavic 3 cine, countless batteries and screens all coming in at a weight of around 8kg. A far cry from one drone and our 25kg weight heading up Helvellyn a few years ago.