How to Listen to UK Radio Abroad (Including BBC Radio)

How to Listen to UK Radio Abroad (Including BBC Radio)

Whether you are road tripping around the world, or treating yourself to a European getaway, sometimes it is hard to live without the radio and the UK stations that you have come to know and love.

However, you don’t necessarily have to go without, and this guide teaches you some nifty ways to catch up with your favourite shows quickly and easily.

Of course, not every radio is able to perform this task, and we let you know which ones aren’t so good for the job – as well as how to access the elusive BBC radio while overseas. 

Using the Internet to Listen 

If you have internet access while you are abroad, this is the easiest way to get access to the radio and all of the UK stations. There are several different paths you can take, each of which we will take a look at in this section.

Streaming Service: There are plenty of free streaming services out there that will allow you to listen to just about every UK radio station regardless of where in the world you are.

Usually, you can access them using a web browser or an app on your phone, which makes them safer and easier to use. TuneIn is one of the best and most trusted UK radio streaming services.

An App: There is an abundance of radio apps available for you to download to your PC or phone, and there are plenty that will let you listen to UK radio while you are overseas.

Radio Player is a great choice to make as it is available on both iOS and Android, as well as free. It is based in the UK, but works in partnership with commercial stations to offer a quality service worldwide.

Internet radio: These are great and come in a number of sizes, and also tend to have access to AM, FM, DAB, and DAB+ so that you get a good variety.

However, they are also able to access thousands of internet channels, which means national and local UK stations are easy listening. As long as you have internet access, these things work a treat for getting back in touch with life in the UK.

Also Read: Best Internet Radio Reviews

Using a Shortwave Radio to Listen 

The thing with shortwave radios is that they are able to cover large distances and are also very difficult to censor, hence the BBC tends to transmit the World Service station to them.

In 2008, it stopped being available on European wavelengths, but it is still possible to access it via shortwave radios in parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle-East. The BBC website even has a list of the countries that it still broadcasts to on shortwave radios. 

Using an AM/FM Radio to Listen 

If you are in a country like France or the Netherlands that is still in close proximity to the UK, you should be able to pick up UK stations on an AM or FM radio. The only issue is that the connection may be quite poor, and you might find that it drops out frequently.

It is the only reliable way to get AM and FM stations from the UK, but if that fails, you can use the radio to access the local stations for the country you are in. 

Using a DAB/DAB+ Radio to Listen 

This is the only type of radio that will not pick up any UK stations at all, and it will only work in the country you are in if they have DAB implemented.

It is a shame, since the quality of DAB and DAB+ stations is quite excellent, but even if you want to listen to local stations for the country you are visiting, you will need to check that they use DAB frequencies. 

Further Reading: Great Portable DAB Radios

Getting BBC Radio Abroad 

We have mentioned a couple of ways to listen to the BBC in the previous sections, but this one will really focus on the topic. So, if you can’t go without the BBC stations, make sure you keep reading for more information.

BBC Radio iPlayer: While it is sometimes possible to download this app outside of the UK, make sure you do so before you leave the country to avoid disappointment.

Once you are abroad, you will have unlimited use of the app and all of the associated radio stations for the duration of your trip. It’s really easy, just make sure you have an internet connection.

Apps: If you cannot get the official BBC app for whatever reason, there are others that you can download that will also give you access to the stations you want.

UK Online Radio is a great choice, as it has all the BBC stations as well as other UK stations for you to listen to. It even has the sleep timers and additional settings that the BBC radio app has implemented.

It is important to remember that there are some things the BBC is only licensed to cover in the UK, such as some live reports and sports. When this happens, you will get a message letting you know that the content is restricted, but there is a sneaky way around this.

If you are feeling savvy, you can download a safe and trusted VPN that essentially tricks the device into thinking you are back in the UK so that you can get coverage on those restricted shows and reports. It works every time. 

To Conclude 

Hopefully, this has helped you to figure out the best way to listen to the stations you enjoy without too much hassle when you are out of the country. There are so many different routes you can take, that you are sure to find at least one of them is more than suitable.

Even when away, no one should have to miss their shows, and so if you found this helpful we would love to know more. Please feel free to take a moment to leave us a message in the comments with your thoughts on our little guide. 

About the author

Tim Rhodes

As well as being Chief editor here at - Dan is a freelance writer and blogger, as well as tech, loves a chilled weekend river fishing with his mates.