Out and About
In north Devon, John Craven looks back at highlights from the series in search of the perfect bank holiday day out, including a search for deer and an Edwardian hike.
John Craven visits north Devon in search of the perfect bank holiday day out. But for him it is a working day out too. He visits Lynton where he lends a hand on the water-powered cliff railway, serves up cream teas at Watersmeet and puts on his pads and whites to go in to bat for Lynmouth and Lynton Cricket Club.
During his day out, John looks back at some of the best days out that Countryfile has featured. There was the time Julia took to the hills as an Edwardian lady to hike in an old fashioned way, when Matt went looking for deer in the Scottish Highlands and found himself witnessing one of the rarest spectacles in nature, and the time Ellie braved the waves surfing for some winter sun.
All aboard the cliff railway
John Craven has his oil can at the ready as he takes on the daily maintenance of the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway. And make no mistake, this is an important job as the twin villages are linked by a 30 degree slope. It’s the role of the engineers to make sure everything is safe for the hundreds of passengers who travel the line every week. But John is rewarded for his hard work with some spectacular views as he heads up the steep hillside in the company of the tourists he’s sold tickets to.
Julia visits Cliveden
The Thames Valley has traditionally been where the great and the good let their hair down away from the prying eyes of the British press. Julia Bradbury visits Cliveden, arguably the most scandalous house in Britain. It has been home to duelling dukes, social climbers and the infamous Profumo Affair. Fifty years on from the scandal that toppled a government, Julia goes straight to source and takes a tour of the house with butler Michael Chaloner.
Ellie braves the winter waves
A winter dip in the English Channel might not be everyone’s cup of tea but on the Isle of Wight the seasonal weather does bring big waves – and those attract some champion surfers. Ellie Harrison discovers more about the legacy of surfing on the island with a little help from the local surf club, a British champion and a vintage hand-made board. Then, despite the cold, she takes to the waves herself.
John’s cream teas
John swaps his oil can for an apron as he helps to make an English institution – the cream tea. He bakes the afternoon scones at the century-old tearoom, Watersmeet, and finds out about their special ingredient – jam from local whortleberries. But will John be able to settle the age old question of whether the cream or the jam goes on first? Seeing as he’s in Devon he might get a rather biased answer!
Adam and the grey seals
Grey seals are thriving on the UK’s shores and the Farne Islands are home to a healthy population. In the summer they spend most of their lives in the sea but in the winter they haul out onto the rocky shores of the islands. Adam Henson takes to a sea kayak to see some of these graceful mammals at play and discovers how vital research into what they are eating will help create a better understanding of the island ecosystem.
Rescued by Helicopter Heroes
Matt Baker meets Chris Akrigg, a national champion stunt bike racer who loves nothing more than jumping and bunny-hopping around some of the country’s most challenging tracks. But all that went badly wrong one day when he fell 40 feet down a steep crag while tackling some of Yorkshire’s toughest terrain. Thankfully, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance - featured on BBC’s Helicopter Heroes - came to his rescue and Chris is now back on his bike, showing Matt some of his tricks.
See more of the Helicopter Heroes’ life saving work
Anyone for cricket?
The cricket pitch in the Valley of Rocks is said to be one of the most picturesque in England, surrounded by steep hillsides and jagged outcrops. Unfortunately the skill of the local team doesn’t match the beauty of the scenery - they’re currently languishing towards the bottom of their league. John hasn’t played for 50 years - so can he bat Lynton and Lynmouth to victory as they take on neighbours Porlock?
Julia is in Glencoe discovering the challenges faced by women climbers a century ago. She meets two members of the oldest women’s climbing club in Scotland – the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club. Then, led by climbing archivist Alison Higham, Julia takes on the challenge of scrambling in a skirt and hat, as ladies would have done in the early 1900s. But she quickly discovers that skirts and climbing are not an ideal partnership.
Find out about Ladies’ Scottish climbing
|Series Producer||Teresa Bogan|