Image for 02/01/2011Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Adam Henson heads for the White Cliffs of Dover for a special programme celebrating the beauty of the British coastline. It is the perfect place to look back at some of the team's favourite moments from the last 12 months, including what happened when Matt Baker braved the Severn Bore on a surf board.

Elsewhere, Julia Bradbury comes a cropper while kayaking in Pembrokeshire, Ellie Harrison tackles the treacherous sands of Morecambe Bay with a little help from the Queen's Guide, and Jules Hudson trains with the all-female team preparing to row the full length of the British coastline.


    The White Cliffs of Dover are the perfect backdrop for a Countryfile coastal special, revisiting some of our highlights from the past 12 months. Adam Henson explores this iconic stretch of coastline - from the marine wildlife at St Margaret's Bay to the historic South Foreland Lighthouse and the busiest shipping lane in Europe, Dover.

    White Cliffs of Dover
  • Adam in Dover

    Adam in Dover

    Adam with Dover harbourmaster Kevin Richardson (far left) and his crew.

  • Port of Dover

    The White Cliffs are at one end of the busiest shipping lane in Europe. The Port of Dover has approximately 23,500 ferry movements every year – with an average of 55 crossings every day, 24 hours a day. The port is of huge economic value to Kent and the UK as a whole. Adam takes a tug boat ride with Harbour Master Kevin Richardson to find out more about what it takes to run such a busy and important port.

    Dover Harbour
  • South Foreland Lighthouse

    South Foreland Lighthouse

    This stunning lighthouse stands tall above the White Cliffs of Dover. It is the first place in the UK to see the sunrise each morning and it once guided ships to safe passage away from dangerous sandbanks. It still has one of the best viewpoints across the English Channel towards France and Adam finds out how it's played an important role in two scientific advances - electrical light and wireless communications.

    National Trust: South Foreland Lighthouse
  • Marconi at South Foreland Lighthouse

    Marconi at South Foreland Lighthouse

    Adam meets Marconi expert Bob Smallbone at South Foreland Lighthouse.

    Guglielmo Marconi
  • Adam Takes a Nap

    Adam Takes a Nap

    Adam and the Countryfile Crew take a nap in between filming at the Sail for Gold Regatta.


    It’s less than two years until the Olympic Games opens in London. Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour on the Dorset coast will host all the sailing events. Adam attends the Sail for Gold Regatta where almost 1,000 athletes from 57 different nations have gathered for one of the few remaining chances to compete on the Olympic waters before the games begin.

    London 2012: Venues: Weymouth and Portland
  • Ellie to the rescue

    Ellie to the rescue

    Ellie gets a taste of life on board a Royal Navy rescue helicopter with 771 Squadron at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall.


    Deep sea fishing is big business in South Cornwall. It’s also extremely dangerous. Ellie Harrison meets the skipper of a boat who, along with his crew, had a lucky escape following an electrical fire on board their fishing boat on New Years Eve in 2009. The Trevessa 4 was stranded 50 miles off Land’s End and had completely lost power. However, despite waves of up to 20 feet, all four crew members were rescued safely by the team from RNAS Culdrose. Ellie travels to RNAS Culdrose to meet 771 squadron, and some of the crew that carried out the rescue. They carry out hundreds of operations every year, from stranded walkers on Cornwall’s cliffs to surfers who get into trouble.

    BBC News – Winchman describes rescue
  • Julia all at sea

    Julia all at sea

    Julia prepares to ride The Bitches in a kayak.

    The Bitches

    Matt comes face-to-face with the awesome power of the Severn Bore – a tidal wave which makes its way up the river several times a year. It‘s a natural phenomenon that mystified ancient people and is still a draw for hundreds of spectators and thrill seekers today. Not content with seeing it from the shore, Matt joins a surfing record-holder to experience the waves for himself.

    Severn Bore and Trent Aegir safety

    Just behind the shingle beach at Slapton Sands is Slapton Ley. The Ley has 170 acres of freshwater and includes the Lower Ley, the largest natural lake in south-west England. This area is home to some of the UK’s rarest flora and fauna. But sadly Slapton Ley is under threat from erosion. Back in 2001 part of the road separating Slapton Ley from the sea was washed away in a storm. The road has been re-built, but the threat remains. With the help of local scientists, Julia Bradbury finds out whether nature should be left to its own devices or we should intervene to save this fragile environment from the sea.

    Slapton National Nature Reserve

    Adams gets his hands dirty in freezing temperatures with Melanie Wrigley from the White Cliffs Countryside Project -- and her ‘Green Gang’ -- with some Rockpooling at St Margaret's Bay. At low tide, Mel and her gang explore the coastline and find some fascinating marine wildlife from sponges to starfish and baby Prawns.

    Kent’s Coastal Week

    For many visitors to Morecambe Bay in Lancashire the wide flat sands are an inviting prospect at low tide. But without a guide to the swiftly-changing channels, gullies and quicksand, the landscape can be disorientating and dangerous. Cedric Robinson has been guiding visitors safely across the sands for the last 47 years. He is the latest in a long line of guides, made by Royal Appointment, stretching back to the seventeenth century. He knows the sand like no-one else and over the years has guided over four hundred thousand visitors across the bay – including, on one notable occasion, Prince Phillip and his horses. Cedric recreates this journey for Ellie with some help from local riders.

    Cedric Robinson

    Brighton’s swimming club has a rich and colourful history and this year it celebrates its 150th anniversary. Matt joins the brave bunch who venture into the sea every day, whatever the weather. He experiences the unique thrill of swimming in near freezing conditions then helps to recreate the tradition of holding tea parties at sea.

    Brighton Swimming Club: Club history

    Challenges don’t get much more extreme than rowing around the entire coast of Britain. Countryfile follows four very determined women hoping to make history by doing exactly that. Jules Hudson does his best to keep up with this intrepid team when he meets them for one of their final training sessions before they embark on their epic row.



Series Producer
Teresa Bogan
Adam Henson
Julia Bradbury
Ellie Harrison
Executive Producer
Andrew Thorman


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