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Exploring the stories behind some of the great female explorers from the Victorian era and above; from the desserts and rocky mountains through to the skies and out of space, we look at the biggest names in female exploration.

Song from Series 7 Episode 2: Exceptional Explorers

Parody of "Roar" by Katy Perry


Girls were told don’t roam, got to stay at home

‘Til the reign of Queen Victoria.

The establishment said women are

Not meant to adventure and explore ya.


Gertrude Bell said “Poo, I can claim this too”

Spoke Arabic, French and Persian.

Good as any chaps working out new maps

On each Middle East excursion.


Nellie Bly made it round the world – no flights!

Isabella Bird reached the rocky heights.

Lily Bristow kept going ‘till she dropped.

So many mountaineers reached the top.


First lady to climb the Eiger, Lucy Walker, mountaineer

Female pioneer; one of the great explorers.

Who travelled further than before.

Ascend to the Matterhorn. Oh, see me explore!


Having reached their peak, women set to seek

Bigger thrills and more higher highs.

Each aeroplane Jane had revered to gain

They could match their men in the skies.


Let’s take for a start, Amelia Earhart

Wanted to be more romantic.

In a flying burst she will man

The first solo flight across Atlantic.


Amy Johnstone - world star, no avoiding.

Not bad for a flyer who started in Croydon!

They had a lust for adventure, danger

First woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova


And we’re going to explore

Mountains, skies and outer space

There’s simply no place

Off-limits any more. Oh-oh-oh-oh!

See us explore.




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