Coast

This series takes a journey around the coast of the United Kingdom, exploring the fascinating natural history, history, wildlife, and biology and uncovering unique personal stories.

Browse This Program

  • Offshore!
    icon-dv  CC 

    January 24, 2015

    Coast embarks on its first adventure to North America, exploring British connections far offshore and surprising stories in the waters just off Britain's shoreline. Nick Crane journeys over the Atlantic to New Scotland, that is Nova Scotia, in Canada. Attending a gathering of descendants from the MacNeil clan, Nick discovers how centuries-old traditions, now forgotten even in Scotland, have been kept alive in Nova Scotia. Why did Scottish settlers flood offshore to Canada 200 years ago and how well did they succeed? An archaeological dig also reveals the 400-year-old secrets of the first English colony in Canada, near the site where Canadians now fly the largest Union Flag in the world. Nick also discovers the rusting remains of the remarkable transatlantic telegraph cable which first hardwired Britain to America 150 years ago and which continued to carry telegrams until late into the 20th century. At the Canadian cable station Nick learns about the secret messages which Marilyn Monroe sent over the wires to her lover across the Atlantic.

  • The Explorers' Coast
    icon-dv  CC 

    January 17, 2015

    The team discover untold tales of explorers around our shores and far beyond, including a stop-off down under in Australia.

  • Secret Paths to Hidden Treasure
    icon-dv  CC 

    January 10, 2015

    The team explores the treasures to be found on surprising, secret paths around British shores. Britain's last great wilderness, the stunning Cape Wrath, is the stomping ground for Nick Crane. He discovers where wolves once trod and where a notorious hermit made his home. Nick also learns how Cape Wrath was once home to Britain's smallest school and why this wild landscape had to be abandoned.

  • The Channel
    icon-dv  CC 

    January 3, 2015

    The team explores surprising stories on both sides of our shallowest, narrowest and busiest seaway - the English Channel.

  • All at Sea
    icon-dv  CC  Watch Video

    February 8, 2014

    The Coast team are all at sea, as they head offshore to explore surprising stories of love and death, cannibalism and communist submarines, seasickness and a seafaring prince. Nick Crane attempts one of the world's most fearsome yachting challenges, the Isle of Wight 'Round the Island Race'. Mark Horton relives a gruesome tale of cannibalism and murder that scandalised Victorian Britain and still affects the law today. In Milford Haven, Ruth Goodman celebrates unsung heroes who arrived from distant shores. Naval historian Nick Hewitt searches out the remarkable remains of the submarines that threatened to sink Britain by strangling its sea trade. And one hardy bunch of sea-anglers, who all hail from Zimbabwe, find that a life on the ocean wave isn't all it's cracked up to be when they chance their hand with rod and line in the rolling seas off the coast of Yorkshire

  • Rivers and Seas Collide
    icon-dv  CC  Watch Video

    February 1, 2014

    Nick Crane explores the wealth of wildlife and industry that are attracted to the Firth of Forth, the estuary that feeds Edinburgh. Nick also investigates a remarkable natural phenomenon discovered accidentally on this coast in 1834. First seen in the water of a canal near Edinburgh and dubbed the 'Soliton', it's a rare type of wave that appears to travel endlessly, without losing energy and without breaking up, even when it collides with another Soliton wave. Miranda Krestovnikoff witnesses the extraordinary transformation that salmon must make to their bodies to avoid death by dehydration as they migrate from freshwater to saltwater.Mark Horton discovers the astonishing struggle to build a rail tunnel deep under the Severn estuary between England and Wales. And multi-award winning folk-singer, June Tabor, returns to Coast.

  • The Secret Life of Sea Cliffs
    icon-dv  CC 

    January 25, 2014

    Nick Crane explores some of the most spectacular Yorkshire sea cliffs in Britain. He joins secretive sea fishermen who have constructed a remarkable ropeway to make the perilous descent to fishing grounds at the foot of sheer sea cliffs. Nick also explores the ingenious water-powered mechanism that operates the Victorian cliff lift at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. Tessa Dunlop meets a woman who witnessed a top-secret American 'invasion' of the English south coast during the Second World War. On the sea cliffs that surround Ramsey Island, biologist Sarah Beynon hunts for the superheroes of the insect world who do the island's dirty work, the dung beetles.

  • Joy of the Coast
    icon-dv  CC 

    January 18, 2014

    Nick Crane heads to the Western Isles in Scotland to attempt a daunting, long-coveted, mountaineering challenge on the Isle of Skye: climbing the fearsome Cioch. Nick also reveals how, in the mid 19th century, Thomas Cook was inspired by the new steamships criss-crossing Scottish seas to create his famous package tours, a novel concept that Cook went on to promote worldwide. Ruth Goodman learns how 150 years ago in this picturesque Cornish harbour women and men's livelihoods depended on their skills at 'contract knitting', making workwear to order. Poet and storyteller Ian McMillan seeks creative inspiration in the painter's paradise of St Ives. Tessa Dunlop takes the plunge into the glamorous history of British lidos, those temples of sun-worshipping pleasure which sprang up around our shores in the 1930s.

  • The Workers' Coast
    icon-dv  CC 

    January 11, 2014

    Nick Crane tells the chilling tale of an abandoned refrigeration plant whose workers kept Britain's biggest fishing fleet afloat. Nick joins a crack team of drivers on a race against time to precision park hundreds of new British-built cars aboard a huge purpose-built car-transporter. Neil Oliver relives a remarkable tale: when thousands of shipyard workers on the river Clyde fought job losses, not by walking out on strike, but by 'working-in'. Tessa Dunlop reveals the astonishing, untold story of the secret of the Royal Navy's sea power, some 200 years ago. And Ken Dodd joins Coast's resident story-teller Ian McMillan to celebrate the entertainers who worked so hard to get laughs from the holidaymakers of Blackpool in its heyday.

  • Invaders of the Isles
    icon-dv  CC 

    January 4, 2014

    Nick Crane explores how the remarkable history of Guernsey reveals both the risks and rewards of invasion. Tessa Dunlop visits Norfolk to relive the forgotten Zeppelin blitz on Britain during the First World War, which began at Great Yarmouth in January 1915 when the first Britons were killed in an air raid. Ruth Goodman joins the friendly invasion of the Isle of Man by thousands of bikers for the annual Isle of Man TT races. On a tiny rocky outcrop in seas off western Scotland, Andy Torbet encounters remarkable animal invaders - water voles who are usually confined to mainland Britain. The Coast team also visits the remote isle of Stroma, Scotland, which was abandoned following the invasion of the modern world