Prince William opens up about adventurous childhood hobby inspired by his dad King Charles III

The Prince of Wales' love for the outdoors was sparked in his early years

King Charles and Prince William
(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage and Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images/Future)

Prince William has revealed how his current interest in tackling environmental issues was sparked by his adventurous childhood hobbies and his dad's and granddad's shared love for the outdoors. 

Even as the nights draw in quicker and the temperature drops rapidly, getting the kids outdoors and playing in the fresh air is vitally important. Whether you get them outside with the promise of easy outdoor party games, or you're on the hunt for gardening ideas and activities as well as the best outdoor toys and games for kids of all ages, there are plenty of things for kids to sink their teeth into in the fresh, crisp air.

But while some parents may struggle to pry their kids away from their screens, like Prince William is struggling to do with Prince George, it seems that King Charles had the opposite problem with a young Prince William. That's because, while speaking about his love for nature and current desire to combat the myriad problems facing the environment, William revealed that his favourite childhood hobbies were 'climbing trees and digging ditches.'

They were hobbies, the Prince revealed, inherited from both his dad, King Charles III, and his grandad, Prince Philip, who passed away in 2021. My London reports that he shared, "I think my grandfather, my father, both kind of having a deep passion and interest in this area for many years, has sort of piqued my interest and my curiosity. So growing up, I was surrounded by kind of this adventure and this idea of exploring and being out in the garden.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

(Image credit: DAVID ROSE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"I used to spend hours climbing trees, digging ditches and all sorts of things - hiding in dens and all sorts round the garden," he added. "So I used to love being out in the sort of wild and the wet.”

These hours and days spent outdoors in the fresh air did more than tire out the young Prince William, they also planted the seed for his future passions and values. With an appreciation of nature already formed, when he began to learn about the impact of climate change in his later life, the Prince was 'outraged' that the landscapes he loved so much as a child could be ruined by 'inaction.'

Speaking with Outrage + Optimism, about the anger he feels over people in power doing very little to help improve outdoor spaces and reduce the impact of climate change, he revealed, "That's probably a bit of a cliché but that is what I get most troubled about. Especially as I'm in a position of responsibility if you like, or leadership. I feel I can do a lot more if given that ability.

"So therefore, I don't understand why those who have the levers, don't. I think that's what really upsets me and keeps me awake at night."

While William was once inspired by his family to get outdoors and think about the environment he lived in, he's now the one doing the inspiring. And it's not just world leaders he's trying to convince to enact change, but his own children too. 

King Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Speaking with the BBC in 2021, William revealed that his three young children are already aware of the detrimental impact many industrial practices have on the planet. "[George] is acutely aware, more so than the other two at the moment,” he said. “Charlotte is still a little bit young. She’s still not quite sure. And actually, Louis just enjoys playing outside the whole time. He lives outside.

“But I think it is slowly dawning on them that these things matter. But I think when you’re that young, you just want to have fun and enjoy it. And I feel bad. I don’t want to give them the burden of that worry.”

Elsewhere in the interview, he explained that he wants to make a change so that his kids, and everyone else's, can enjoy the same landscapes he did when he was younger. “I want the things that I’ve enjoyed, the outdoor life and nature and the environment, I want that to still be there for not just my children, but everyone else’s children,” he said.

"If we’re not careful we’re robbing from our children’s future. What we do now. And I think that’s not fair. And so I’m trying to use my little bit of influence, my little bit of profile to highlight some incredible people doing amazing things and will genuinely help fix some of these problems.”

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Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.