Coast: The presenters’ favourite sea views

From the Shetlands to the Severn Estuary and south-west Ireland, the team pick their favourites

Neil Oliver (above, centre)


Eddystone Lighthouse, near Plymouth

“It’s such an iconic structure. The current lighthouse is the fourth incarnation; the first was built at the end of the 17th century. Then, it seemed as impossible as building a tower on the Moon by our standards. I remember as a boy watching stories about the lighthouse on Blue Peter. They used to take out a Christmas tree and presents to the crew every year. Because of the rocks, we had to swim up to it from our boat and then scramble up. That was a great thrill.”

Nicholas Crane (above, right)

Eshaness, Shetlands

“The most exciting moment was when we went up to Eshaness, which is one of the best places in the world for examining how extreme weather affects a coastline. It’s an extraordinary site where rocks the size of small cars have been lifted onto the cliff top by the force of the waves. Also in the Shetlands, we went to Sullum Voe where there’s a geological record of a tsunami about 7,000 years ago. It was amazing to see the evidence. They reckon it was riding 20m (60ft) high. Even now in the western Shetlands, there are North Atlantic storms throwing enormous boulders up onto the cliffs.”

Mark Horton (above, left)

The Severn Estuary

“The Severn Estuary has the most extraordinary landscape, but nobody knows about it. The wildlife is outstanding, too – at Slimbridge, beautiful swans come in from Siberia every year. The biodiversity of the landscape is extraordinary. It’s a continually changing landscape of mud flats and sand bars, and then all of a sudden – whoosh! – there’s a huge expanse of water. It’s like a kaleidoscope of light and images that are constantly shifting as the tide comes in and out.”

Miranda Krestovnikoff (above, second from left)

Gouliot Caves, Sark

“Normally, you’d only be able to visit these caves in the Channel Islands as a diver, but on a few days in the year when the tide is really low [there are eight remaining dates in August, September and October] you can get there on foot, though we had to get four local firemen to lay ropes for us to get down. You enter in complete darkness then, when you turn your torch on, it’s like a sweet shop as the walls are covered with thousands of brightly coloured anemones. It’s just the most spectacular place.”

Alice Roberts (above, second from right)

Skellig Michael, off the coast of south-west Ireland


“I’d never been to Ireland before Coast, so going there for this new series was a real treat. We got a little boat across to the tiny island of Skellig Michael, which has an ancient monastery dating back to the sixth century. Happily, I survived my seasickness. It’s so precarious that when you get to the island, there isn’t even anywhere to tie up a boat. You go up hundreds and hundreds of stone steps and eventually you get to the top where you find these little beehive stone huts. That’s the monastery – it’s absolutely wonderful.”