Top 10 Outdoor Documentaries on UK Netflix

Our pick of the best outdoor docs currently on Netflix UK 

I know, I know it seems strange that we would recommend that you stay indoors, it even goes against our name, but some nights or weekends you simply want to sit back and relax with some TV. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite outdoor documentaries that are currently (time of writing) on the popular on-demand service, Netflix.

The thing I personally like about websites like Netflix, is that it gives me a chance to watch something that I might have never had chance to see, or that I may not have given a chance. There is a wealth of great outdoor related documentaries, so I decided to check them out to see if they were worth a look, this list is compiled of a few that I thought were particularly good.


1) Where the Trail Ends

Synopsis: “In this eye-popping sports documentary, high-speed cameras follow a team of top mountain bikers as they go in search of the Earth’s toughest terrain.”

My view: “Even if you’re not a mountain biker yourself, it’s easy to like Where the Trail Ends, watching the team tackle some seriously tough terrain. The views are stunning and the soundtrack is great. At a snip over an hour long, it’s just right for an evenings viewing.”


2) Beyond the Edge

Synopsis: “Edmund Hillary’s 1953 ascent of Mt. Everest was an event that amazed the world and led to a new age of mountaineering and ambitious exploration.”

My view: “The story of Edmund Hilary and Everest has probably been told countless times, there are plenty of films that offer insight into the first ascent. Beyond the Edge is accessible, exciting and features genuine footage, photographs and some recreated scenes to help tell this amazing story. This is a must watch for mountaineers/climbers out there, or anybody interested in what we as humans can achieve when we set our mind to it. ”


3) 180 Degrees South

Synopsis: “A band of bliss-seeking surfer-mountaineers sets out — in 2007, by boat — on a journey to Patagonia, South America, in this adventure documentary.”

My view: “When I first found 180 degrees south, I read the synopsis and found it combined two things I love to see on film – mountaineering and surfing. Having watched the film, it’s a really heart warming story of travel, adventure and conservation. The stuff upper lips among viewers might be a little turned off by ‘hippy’ like attitude. The views make it all worth while.”


4) Steep

Synopsis: “From its wild early days in the French Alps to its wild present the world over, extreme skiing is chronicled in detail.”

My view: “One for the skiers or fans of extreme sport. Steep takes an unflinching look at the history of extreme skiing (we’re talking about steep steep drops and flying off of cliffs here). It’s a slightly older film, but it’s worth watching for the fantastic shots featured.”


5) Patani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist

Synopsis: “Follow the tragic life and death of renowned cyclist Marco Pantani, who, after winning the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, fell victim to addiction.”

My view: “Fans of cycling will know all about Marco Patani, this film shows him at his best and how he ascended in the sport, before the pressures of being at the top took hold. Doping is a huge story in the world of cycling, and it’s easy to focus on Lance Armstrong when we think of it, but the Patani story shows another side to the dark side of life on two wheels. While Armstrong is universally condemned for his use of PED’s, Patani is still held with regard and this film shows you why.”


6) Kiss the Water

Synopsis: “This lyrical documentary tells the story of fishing fly-maker Megan Boyd, whose flies have been used by Prince Charles and collected as folk art.”

My view: “A documentary about somebody who creates flys is a hard sell, but don’t keep scrolling just yet. Megan Boyd is a famous name in the fly fishing world, because of the beautifully crafted flys that she creates, she lives in solitude in Scotland and actually hated fishing. The documentary is less about fishing and more about the craftswomans herself, told over photography and animation. The interviews can be a little slow, but the story of this woman is one I certainly found interesting. Give it a try.”


7) McConkey

Synopsis: “This exhilarating documentary tells the story of pioneering extreme skier Shane McConkey, a trailblazer for freeskiing and ski-BASE jumping.”

My view: “If you enjoy ‘Steep’ mentioned above, this documentary takes a closer look at the life of Shane McConkey, one of the big names in extreme skiing, and base jumping and skibasing. The film looks great, will touch a few nerves and takes you through McConkeys life all the way through to his untimely and yet maybe inevitable death.”


8) Long Way Round (9 episodes)

Synopsis: “Join actor friends Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman for a 20,000-mile, 115-day motorcycle journey across the world from London to New York.”

My view: “You may have seen this series when it first aired on TV, if not, it’s worth a look. Very enjoyable series following two likeable guys as they travel the ‘long way round’ from London to New York on their motorbikes. The things they encounter along the way are what really make the series. It’s easy to approach this type of series with a degree of cynicism, because you’re wondering how much of it is real, but it’s enjoyable enough to overlook all that”


9) Yellowstone

Synopsis: “Filmed over the course of three seasons, this documentary captures the daily struggle for survival waged by the wildlife of Yellowstone National Park.”

My view: “Yellowstone is an amazing place, so much wildlife and such different variations of landscape. This 3 part series focusses on the animals of the park and how they survive through each season. Great for animal lovers, but to be honest it’s also worth watching just to get a look at one of America’s finest National Parks.”


10) Planet Earth

Synopsis: “This landmark series transports nature lovers from the Himalayan Mountains to the depths of the ocean and everywhere in between.”

My view: “Is it possible to mention some top docs without mentioning David Attenborough? No! Planet Earth is arguably one of my favourite documentary series that the BBC and Attenborough have put together. The BBC’s film making had come a long way since filming Yellowstone above. A truly epic look at the world we live in, in all of its natural beauty. The series is split into 11 parts and will take you on a different trip every time. When this series was on TV, it was what HD TV was made for in my opinion. I’m particularly partial to episode 2.”



Well there are 10 documentaries i’d recommend on the Netflix UK site. What are your favourite oudoor documentaries in general? Let us know in the comments below.