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Even Coast can’t resist the siren call of the dramatic shorthand of the pop song lyric. Thus as cameras swoop across the Thames we hear the Kinks’ Waterloo Sunset, while the Clash yell London Calling when we hear of the expansion of the capital’s docks.

But that’s Coast for you; a nice, easy, undemanding potter across pretty scenery, where everything is spelt out clearly. We spend most of this first episode in a new series in Belgium, now that we’ve run out of British coastline to explore.

Nicholas Crane with his omnipresent umbrella visits De Haan, where he interrupts a family’s dinner to poke around their house, once home to Albert Einstein.


Nick Crane visits a project to build a new seaport for London, before travelling across the channel to Belgium, where he takes a ride on a tram that runs along the country's coastline. In Kent, Alice Roberts learns how to be a seaside landlady in Margate, and Neil Oliver tells the story of British forces' efforts to stop Hitler's biggest battleships reaching the south-eastern coastline during the Second World War. Back in Belgium, Mark Horton reveals the city of Bruges's role in the history of brick-making, and Miranda Krestovnikoff goes shrimp-fishing on horseback.


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