Dublin to Derry
This captivating and ancient coastline is a magical place. Besides its
charm and warm hospitality, it has much more to offer. This remarkable
stretch of coast has three great Cities that have been shaped over the
centuries by the sea. This idyllic setting of rugged coast and secluded
beaches has drawn, influenced and inspired many people and still does
history is one of invaders from the Vikings in the 9th Century to the
Normans and British after that, they have all left their mark.
Centred around the Liffey, the river and the Irish Sea beyond, have brought
prosperity to the City. Dublin's Bull wall and Great South wall, begun
300 years ago, are vital in keeping the shipping channel open at all tides,
allowing two thirds of Ireland's sea trade to come through.
has now been transformed to a modern vibrant capital city that is home
to a quarter of the Republic's population. One of its best kept secrets
are the beaches.
Neil Oliver meets up with Fionn Davenport to find out about Dublin's
past and discovers that its name translates to Black Pool! 'Dublin' comes
from the Irish for Black "Dubh" and Pool "Linn" -
not quite the romantic, mystical Gaelic meaning Neil had hoped for.
something quite spectacular about seeing horses racing on the beach.
Racing horses is an old tradition and in Laytown there has been a race
since 1867. Once a year people flock here for the last remaining beach
race under Jockey Club rules.
Krestovnikoff meets local trainer and racer Marcus Callaghan and has a
bit of a flutter on last year's winner Paris Sue. But the odds are hard
to calculate as the horses are used to performing on turf and not sand.
So outsiders are in with a chance.
But horses aren't the only thing being gambled on. Each year the course
is built from scratch on Laytown's huge beach, will the organisers win
their race against the tide?
Dundrum Bay - Salvaging the SS Great Britain
SS Great Britain was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It was the world's
first propeller driven steam passenger ship and now rests in Bristol Harbour.
But one hundred and sixty years ago the story could have been very different,
its resting place could have been Dundrum Bay of the Northern Irish Coast.
1846 the ship left Liverpool destined for New York. Rather than turning
right at the Chicken Rock lighthouse on the Isle of Man, it went straight
on to St Johns Point in Northern Ireland and ran aground on Dundrum Bay.
Captain James Hosken claimed that his chart was out of date and mistook
the light house at St Johns Point for the one on the Isle of Man. St Johns
Point lighthouse was built 2 years earlier in 1844.
sands are very dangerous in these parts and with the ship weighing more
than 3,000 tonnes, it seemed there was no chance of refloating her. Determined
to convince the public that iron ships were reliable, Isambard Kingdom
Brunel went to Dundrum Bay to work out a solution and salvage the ship,
but his first concern was to protect her.
With the help of Marine Archaeologist Shane Casey, Mark Horton Investigates
how Isambard Kingdom Brunel managed to salvaged the Great Britain from
Lough is the largest sea lough in the British Isles protected as one the
most important marine environments in Europe. Every year Harbour Seals
(also known as Common Seals) return to the area to give birth on the rocks.
But with Belfast being only thirty miles away there are many visitors
to this tranquil coast.
the slightest sign of threat during pupping time the seals can panic.
Mothers and pups are easily separated and each season abandoned pups are
left on the rocks, vulnerable and unable to fend for themselves.
Miranda Krestovnikoff meets with seal expert Sue Wilson. Sue is helping
pups abandoned by their mothers to survive by nurturing them for a few
weeks until they can feed themselves.
Belfast - The Floating City
has developed around the tidal river The Lagan. Scottish and English entrepreneurs
were determined on developing the place and helped make it what it is
today, Ireland's most industrial city.
Neil Oliver is on a mission to find out about Belfast's history and discovers
that this City defies nature. He joins engineer Kerry Greeves who is drilling
for foundations and learns that most of the city is built on mud and salt
water. The bedrock is sandstone which is 50 metres down - a problem builders
past and present have had to contend with. Much of the land that the city
is built on is man made, reclaimed from the sea by those who saw the potential
of a seemingly unpromising place.
what about the entrepreneurs who came here. What attracted them to Belfast?
To find out more, Neil meets up with local author Glenn Patterson who
Belfast is a triumph over mud and water, the dream of successive generations
of merchants, engineers and entrepreneurs. Their names driven like screw-piles
into the city's sense of itself. Dargan, Dunbar, Workman, Harland. The
thing is they're all Scottish or English names. Protestant merchants attracted
here from the beginning of the 17th century by the promise of land at
the water's edge.
beautiful landscape just outside Carrickfergus hides a strange and eerie
sight. It is the site of an industry that is crucial to all of us especially
during the winter months.
Half a million tonnes of salt are shipped from the Irish Salt Mining
& Exploration Company in Kilroot every year, some going to England,
Scotland and as far as the USA. It's used for gritting icy roads in winter.
how was it formed and why is it here? It is basically old land locked
sea that has evaporated. This area sits on huge deposits of subterranean
salt and has several evaporated sea beds layered down on top of each other.
Alice Roberts meets Mine Surveyor Jason Hopps and descends over 1,000
feet underground to discover a labyrinth of tunnels over 30 miles long.
For five hundred years local fishermen have used a rope bridge to get
from the mainland to the island of Carrick-a-Rede.
But at 96 feet above the water, will vertigo set in as Neil stumbles
across to the other side?
Perched on top of a cliff at Ballintoy is Bendhu House, a listed building
designed by Newton Penprase in 1936.
unconventional design by this eccentric Cornish man was built from materials
around him on the coast. Bendhu House is on a perfect site to view this
beautiful coastline and has no fewer than fifty windows so the view can
be appreciated at all times. Unfortunately Newton Penprase didn't finish
building his dream home before he died in 1978.
Alice Roberts meets up with Lorna and Michael Ferguson who took over
from where Newton left off and put the finishing touches to Bendhu House.
Derry - Surrender of German U-Boats
Dublin and Belfast, Derry sits where the river meets the sea. For all
three cities their proximity to the coast has defined their development
Until recently Derry was a key naval base and during the Second World
War the port played a vital role for Allied convoys.
Neil travels to Derry to find out more about events that unfolded at
the end of the Second World War when a North Atlantic fleet of German
submarines surrendered here.
joins Maeve Kelly who, on an afternoon off from work, witnessed Sir Max
Horton of the British Navy taking surrender from the Nazi submariners.
At the time Maeve didn't realise that she was witnessing history being
In one of the final acts of the Second World War the U-boats were taken
back out to sea and sunk just off the coast of Derry - and they still
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Dublin to Derry: Thursday 23 Nov, 8pm on BBC TWO