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Tales from the Coast with
Robson Green


Robson Green

Watch it on ITV1

Throughout my life, I’ve always felt happiest when near the sea. I grew up close to the coast, and I’ve swam or fished off the shores of more than a 100 different countries. Now I want to explore the very edges of Britain. I’ll travel to four very different stretches of coastline, meeting people who share my passion for our shores,” says Robson Green.

The UK has one of the most varied coastal landscapes in the world, from sweeping sands and rugged cliffs, to mudflats and spits. It’s home to colourful seaside towns and historic fishing villages, and in this new series, Tales from the Coast, Robson Green travels along some of its most fascinating stretches of coastline, to discover just what it is about the shoreline that continues to enthral and inspire.

Robson Green

In each of the four episodes, Robson will travel along a different stretch of coast, from the wild and remote Outer Hebrides and the unspoiled beaches of North Devon, to the remote islands of Pembrokeshire and the varied coastal landscape of Essex and Suffolk.

On his travels, Robson takes on exciting new experiences and meets people who share his passion for the British coast. He’ll go wild camping in the Outer Hebrides, climb dramatic sea cliffs in the Bristol Channel, explore the hidden coves of South-West Wales and visit some of Britain’s most wild and remote islands. He even unwittingly finds himself involved in a dramatic cliff top rescue - and makes the evening news.

Robson Green

During his journey, he hopes to find out how our coastline has influenced both the way we work and the way we spend our holidays, and how being an island nation has shaped the Britain we know today.

In the first episode, Robson travels to North Devon, a 90-mile stretch of coast that holds fond childhood memories for him. And it’s here that Robson starts his adventures by visiting the popular seaside resort of Ilfracombe, a town that stills attracts thousands of visitors every summer to experience the classic British day out by the sea.

Robson says, “There are parts of North Devon that make you feel like you’re stepping back in time, so I’m hoping this journey will help me understand just how and why our love affair with the coast began.”

He discovers that the demand of our Victorian ancestors to be beside the seaside was so great that they would often go to extraordinary lengths to access the best places to soak up the sun, including some of the areas privately-owned tidal pools, with the steep cliffs offering the perfect shelter for bathing.

However, back then they could only be accessed by boat, so in the 1820s, hundreds of Welsh miners were given the task of carving a network of tunnels through the cliffs, to open the pools up to the public. There, Robson also discovers something called the ‘bathing machine’, a Victorian invention designed to avoid any embarrassing swimwear mishaps whilst changing.

Robson also sees how the craggy rocks and high tidal ranges make the perfect habitat for marine life. After a night under canvas, Robson’s North Devon adventure continues as he takes a boat ride 10-miles southwest of Bideford, to the port of Clovelly, a village that evokes the character and atmosphere of a bygone age. With its cobbled streets and 13th century harbour, Clovelly has featured in period films like Sense and Sensibility and Treasure Island, but little did Robson know that after his arrival in this quiet seaside village, he was about to be involved in a moment of high drama and a real-life rescue mission…

Robson also visits the island of Lundy, lying 12-miles off the North Devon coast, and one of the UK’s most wild and unspoiled islands, where nature has been left to flourish. Within its one-and-a-half square miles are dramatic cliffs, acres of farmland and a spectacular array of wildlife, and just getting to Lundy is an adventure in itself. The Bristol Channel is notorious for its choppy waters and Robson struggles to find his sea legs.

On Lundy, the locals tell Robson that if he wants to get the ultimate view of its glorious coastline he will need to climb the sea cliff on the west side of the island known as The Devil’s Slide, the largest slab of granite in Europe, at 400-feet in length.

Robson Green goes on a white-knuckle climb

A trussed-up Robson sets off on his white-knuckle climb, made more difficult by the fact that the granite has few nooks or crannies to hold onto, meaning Robson must to rely on his feet to create the necessary friction.

He says, “I know I’m attached to a rope, but when you’re this high up with the waves crashing below your mind really does play tricks on you.”

In episode two, Robson visits one of the most exciting and dramatic stretches of coastline in Britain as he explores the hidden coves and remote islands of Pembrokeshire in South West Wales, home to the UK’s only entirely coastal National Park.

Robson Green

Robson explains, “You can explore hidden lagoons, kayak in the sea caves, and encounter extraordinary wildlife. So I’m hoping the next few days are going to be a real adventure.”

There’s a reunion in store for Robson, as he meets up with his former Soldier Soldier co-star and singing partner Jerome Flynn, who is now living on the Pembrokeshire coast. They go sea kayaking around Ramsey Island before Robson attempts to navigate some of the most powerful and dangerous tidal rapids off British shores - known locally as ‘The Bitches’.

After their kayaking, Jerome said, “It’s actually something I’ve always wanted to do. The energy of the sea and the coastline, it’s very exciting in a way that really makes life worth living for me.”

On Skokholm Island, Robson spends 24-hours living and working with its only human permanent inhabitants, wildlife wardens Giselle Eagle and Richard Brown, a couple who look after an incredible array of seabirds, including the largest concentration of Manx Shearwaters in the world.

On island life, Richard said, “It’s not for everyone, but a life living somewhere so beautiful, 100 mile-per-hour winds and you hear it screaming outside, and just seeing how life survives in those sorts of conditions.”

Robson Green

Robson also dons a wetsuit and goes cliff jumping in a disused slate quarry known as The Blue Lagoon, goes coracle fishing in the Teifi Estuary, and meets a man who creates giant sand art at Mwnt Beach.

With his time in Wales at an end, Robson says, “My journey along the Pembrokeshire coast has been full of new experiences, it’s brought me closer to nature, and at times, scared the living daylights out of me.

“But it’s also made me realise how being by the coast can really get the heart beating.”
 

 Secret Life of Dogs

Robert with his dog, Flora


                 Watch it on ITV1

They’re loyal, fun, loving and brilliant companions, so it’s no wonder they’re man’s best friend. Yet they descend from the wildest of predators. So how did the much-feared wolf become the much-loved dog in the heart of the human’s home?

To find out, this three-part series travels all over the world to bring viewers the most remarkable stories and the latest scientific discoveries that reveal how dogs have become man’s closest companions, unrivalled working partners and trusted family members. This is dogs as you’ve never seen them before.

This first episode reveals just why dogs are a man’s best friend, looking at the latest science explaining how dogs are born with the ability to understand humans, why every dog is unique, and how their undying loyalty means that they are more like people than was ever thought possible.

Eight-week-old labrador puppy Tweed is just learning about the world, but she was born with the instinct to make eye contact, something that all puppies do, and it’s helping her form an instant bond with little boy Loki. Even at just a few weeks old, Tweed instinctively follows Loki’s gaze, to see what he’s looking at. So it’s clear that it’s not just what humans say to dogs that matters, it’s what they do.

In Malta is Carmelo, who lives with his best friend, jack russell Titti, who Carmelo adopted when she was just four-months-old. However, he could never have predicted that little Titti would also learn to love his favourite pastime: cliff jumping into the ocean.

Carmelo says, “We have been jumping for over six years now. As you can see, I never force her to do anything; it’s like because she enjoys to do it. When she jumps, she wags her tail, that for me…it’s a sign that she’s loving it.”

Though what gives Titti the courage to take such a giant leap? It’s by watching Carmelo that she has learnt that it’s safe.

Carmelo added: “She keeps looking in my eyes until I am ready, without talking, she knows what I am doing. Even in the air, she keeps looking at me…she feels very safe when I’m there.”

Scientists believe that like children, dogs use their owners as a security blanket. They trust them to make the right decisions for them, and trust forms the basis of all deep relationships, even if that means jumping off a cliff.

It’s even been found that dogs and their owners can become so in tune with each other that both their heart rates accelerate whenever they’re apart and only return to normal when they’re reunited. Incredibly, they often also beat in sync.

In the closest relationships, a dog’s ability to read the human face can have life-changing consequences, as is the case with Flora, a Japanese akita, who keeps such a close eye on her owner Robert that she’s become an early warning system for his unexplained blackouts.

Robert says, “The first one was when she was very, very young. Fortunately she’d stayed with me throughout and was actually lying over my chest. So I didn’t really think anything more about it at that point.”

Then something extraordinary happened: in the seconds before his next blackout, Robert noticed Flora trying to communicate. He adds, “I was crossing a bridge in London and she suddenly became really agitated and she blocked my path. She got hold of my hand and she was really insistent and was pulling my hand in a downwards motion and seconds later I actually blacked out.”

Flora picked up the warning signs that something was wrong, but more importantly she knew she needed to let him know. Behaviour like this suggests that dogs may actually be able to consider the perspectives of others, an ability scientists call ‘Theory of Mind’, and it’s only found in the most intelligent animals, such as primates, elephants and dolphins.

It’s this ability to interpret the world from the human’s perspective that has enabled people to rely on dogs to take on jobs with a huge responsibility.

In America, 11-year-old Bella has Morquio Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that means she’d normally be confined to a wheelchair, but due to her close bond with her best friend George, a great dane, Bella has defied all expectations.

Bella with her dog, George

Bella says, “George pretty much forced me to walk. It is good for me because I can use him like a crutch because he is the perfect height. I was actually really excited to start walking again because I haven’t done it in two years so it was just really exciting. To be here like moving around is just amazing.”

George’s understanding of Bella’s needs is allowing her to make the most of her life, and that’s because of the unique bond that humans are able to form with their dogs.
 

Entertainment & Travel

James Martin's French Adventure

James Martin at the Canal du Midi

Watch it on ITV1

TV chef James Martin is staring in new food travel series on ITV, journeying through France to the locations that inspired his culinary career and paying homage to his culinary hero Keith Floyd.

Holidaying and studying in France as a teenager, the country was influential in establishing James’ love for food. Hitting the open road on a journey of nostalgia, the new series follows James as he retraces the memorable TV trip his food hero Keith Floyd once took 30 years ago, while also visiting the places that carved his culinary beginnings.

Exploring and sampling the very best in French cuisine, James’ journey starts in Provence and continues onto Perigord, Burgundy, Alsace, Pay Basque and Brittany, all the while stopping to produce his own versions of the iconic dishes he finds on location.

James Martin travels in Keith Floyd's in Floyd’s very own Citroen 2CV

Paying homage to his role model, chef Keith Floyd, James travels the length and breadth of the country in Floyd’s very own Citroen 2CV which he owned for 16 years, as he rediscovers the food and the country closest to his and his old friend’s heart.

In the first episode, James arrives in Saint-Emilion where he holidayed with his family as a child and started his love affair with food and wine. James visits the hotel and kitchen in Saint-Emilion where he first worked and trained to be chef and also samples and prepares the foods so prominent to the area, including the perfect steak and original macaroons invented in 1620 - always accompanied by his favourite Saint-Emilion wine!

James Martin at Canal du Midi

In the second episode, James arrives in Canal Du Midi. Starting in historic Carcassonne, James cooks up a delicious fish stew on the banks of the canal and hops aboard a boat for a trip towards the coast.

In exchange for a little work, he is treated to a traditional cuttlefish lunch cooked in the boat’s tiny kitchen before disembarking at L’Étang de Thau. There he treats the crew to a classic French dish, Moules Mariniere.

In episode 3, James visits Languedoc, famous for its wine and the hearty meaty dish, cassoulet. Here James stays at an 18th century coach house where hosts Mike and Val cook the team a feast using local ingredients. James also treats himself to a wander around a museum dedicated to Citroën 2CVs and turns up the heat with a steak cooked on a barbecue in the blazing sunshine.

James Martin cooks at Charente

In the fourth episode James Martin’s French Adventures takes him to picturesque Charente. He starts his journey in the heart of the Cognac region and inspired by a visit to a local distillery, James uses Cognac for his first al fresco cook. He also follows in the footsteps of the Queen Mother to pay a visit to Chateau Venteuil, home of the De La Rochefoucald family.

The fifth episode sees James arrive in the Dordogne, famous for its traditional hearty cuisine, buried treasures and a love of all things duck! Exploring the Dordogne, James tastes three local specialities all cooked for him by the Auberge owner, British ex pat Chris. After lunch Chris hunts for another local icon, the black truffle, which he uses in his next recipe.

James Martin ventures to Lyon

In episode 6, James ventures to the city of Lyon, known as the ‘Gastronomic Capital of France’, to explore the two sides of the culinary scene. A visit to the city’s famous food market provides plenty of inspiration for his first dish, a Lyonnaise bacon salad. James finds himself welcomed into a Bouchon, a rustic Lyon institution, where he’s served a slice of local history in the form of a Machon.

In episode 7, James’s French Adventure leads him to the beautiful lakeside town of Annecy, and its crystal clear lake where he cooks dishes showcasing local tomatoes, red mullet and lobster. James also meets world-famous cheesemonger, Pierre Gay and his amazing selection of cheeses, as well as local chef, Yoann Conte in his Michelin star restaurant on the shores of Lake Annecy and the award-winning pastry chef Philippe Rigollot to sample of his extraordinary creations.

James Martin at Jura

In episode 8, James heads East to the region of Jura, where he meets local farmer, Matthew Tissot who shows James his orchard and teaches him about the region’s apple and pears. James also visits Fort des Rousses, home to one of France’s most popular cheeses, Comte, and delving deeper into the region, James is cooked for by two Michelin starred chef, Jean Paul Jeunet who shares his take on a classic risotto using local ingredients in distinctly

In episode 9, James heads to Bresse, home to one of France’s most famous ingredients: the Bresse chicken. Here James goes to a chicken farm and museum to meet some of the chickens and learn just why they are so special. James also gets to meet one of his human culinary heroes, Georges Blanc, owner of his three Michelin star restaurant where James gets a little star struck.

James Martin at Burgundy

And in episode 10, James arrives in Burgundy, a region famous for its wines and mustard fields. Retracing Floyds visit 30 years ago, James stops at the same vineyard for a personal tour.

James also visits the region’s Capital, Dijon, turning his hand to making the city’s more famous export, mustard.

James Martin

Follow James Martin on his travels on ITV1. Watch it from 3.00pm - 4.00pm.

For more information about James Martin's French Adventure and other ITV programmes visit the website at www.itv.com
 

Piers Morgan's
Life Stories


Pier Morgan's Life Stories

Watch it at 9.00-10.00pm on ITV1

Catch Pier's Morgan's Life Stories as he interviews Barry Gibb from the Bee Gees and actor Nigel Havers.

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees joins Piers Morgan on Friday, 3rd February, to look back on his fifty-year career as a songwriter and pop legend.

Barry Gibb and Piers Morgan

He reflects on the untimely deaths of all three of his younger brothers - Robin, Maurice and Andy - and how he’s come to terms with being the last surviving member of the Bee Gees.

Barry tells Piers how the group rose from child performers to global superstars in the wake of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

Barry Gibb

He reveals how a childhood accident nearly killed him, what really happened when he and his future wife sneaked into Dr Who's Tardis and gives his verdict when Piers serenades him with his falsetto voice.

In the next episode on Friday 10th February, Nigel Havers joins Piers Morgan to look back on his 50 year career as one of Britain’s best-loved actors on stage and screen.

Nigel Havers and Piers Morgan

The star of Coronation Street, The Charmer and Chariots of Fire speaks candidly about being caught in an emotional tug of war, between his wife and his lover and how it led him to contemplate taking his own life.

He talks about his most famous fan, Princess Diana, his stint as a nude model and how his dashing good looks, charisma and cut glass accent have helped him to be a success with ladies both on and off screen.

Nigel Havers

Watch Piers Morgan interview Barry Gibb on Friday, 3rd February, followed by Nigel Havers on Friday 10th February from 9.00-10.00 on ITV1.

    Sixtyplusurfers Competition 

Win a Cruise For You
 and Your Loved One
 With Mersey Ferries


Win a cruise for you and a loved one with Mersey Ferries


Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Mersey Ferries to offer one lucky reader and a loved one the chance to win a Manchester Ship Canal Cruise.

The Manchester Ship Canal Cruise is ideal for those that love to take in the sights, offering a day out to remember on one of Britain’s grandest canals, with Mersey Ferries.

The Manchester Ship Canal Cruise is ideal for those that love to take in the sights

A six-hour journey between Liverpool and Salford Quays, offers a relaxing day out for friends and family in the North West. Travelling 35 miles of the canal, cruisers can enjoy spectacular scenery and lively commentary along the way – telling the story of how this magnificent waterway shaped the city of Manchester and the North West of England.

The cruise sails through historic locks and bridges, which have remained largely unchanged since their construction over 100 years ago, and takes passengers past some of the region’s most stunning architectural and natural sights.

The ship includes a bar selling light snacks and refreshments

On board, there is a bar selling light snacks and refreshments. Cruisers can choose the direction of travel – start at either Salford Quays or Liverpool.

For further information about the cruise please visit www.merseyferries.co.uk

   For Your Chance to Win

Tell us how many miles do you travel
on the Manchester Ship Canal Cruise?

       a) 20 miles
       b) 25 miles
       c) 30 miles
       d) 35 miles


 To Enter the Competition

Tell us how many miles do you travel on the Manchester Ship Canal Cruise? Then send in your answer, together with your full name, postal address and telephone number to the Sixtyplusurfers email address as shown below:
sixtypluscomp@hotmail.co.uk

* Please label your entry Mersey Ship Canal Competition
 

     * This competition is open to our
                      UK visitors only

 

   Classical Coffee
   Mornings at The
   Royal Albert Hall


Classical Coffee Mornings at The Royal Albert Hall


On Sunday 19th February at 11am, Scottish pianist Laura Newey will perform at the Royal Albert hall as part of the Classical Coffee Mornings series.

Laura began learning the instrument at 6 years old, and achieved her Diploma in the instrument at the age of 10.

She is the current holder of the Mackenzie Johnstone Award for the best young musician in Scotland, and won a composer’s residency with the National Youth Orchestra last year. Her works have been performed at Somerset House, the Barbican and the Royal College of Music.

The Royal Albert Hall

The programme will include:

Beethoven - Sonata op13 Pathetique

Tchaikovsky - 2 Pieces from The Seasons

Schumann-Liszt – Widmung

The Royal Albert Hall

Further Classical Coffee Mornings will be held at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 12th March and Sunday 23rd April.

For more information visit the website at www.royalalberthall.co.uk

 

  Valentine's Day at
      Hever Castle


Spend Valentine's Day at Hever Castle


For the ultimate Valentine’s Day experience, wake up to breakfast with your loved one at Hever Castle. The romantic castle in Kent is where Henry VIII first set eyes on Anne Boleyn and came courting her at the family home. What better way to say ‘I love you’ than to treat your partner to a special Dine and Stay package in the very place where one of history’s great tales of romance took place?

The amazing Valentine’s Day experience begins on 11th February when couples check in to their luxurious ‘five star’ bedroom before a drinks reception in the Castle at 7.30pm. This is followed by a delicious six course meal with wine, coffee and chocolates in the Tudor Suite Dining Room, where music provided by a harpist adds to the romantic experience.

Overnight accommodation is in the Anne Boleyn Wing or the Astor Wing

Overnight accommodation in the sumptuous setting of the Anne Boleyn Wing or Astor Wing is guaranteed to make a couple feel special. So too will the breakfast with a red rose the following morning. To round off a memorable occasion, guests are given a Private Guided Tour of Hever Castle after check out at 10.30am as well as complimentary access to the Castle and Grounds.

Hever Castle is the ultimate setting to enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway with that special someone. The twenty eight elegant bedrooms have been refurbished to an exceptionally high standard whilst retaining the classic and historic influences of their surroundings. All en-suite and individually styled, the ‘Five Star Gold’ rooms offer stunning views, indulgent bathrooms, antique furnishing and sumptuous beds. It’s a unique chance to stay on a former royal estate with over 700-years of history while enjoying 21st century luxury.

See the snowdrops at Hever Castle

The Valentine’s Day Dine & Stay package must be pre booked and costs from £205 per person. Check in is from 3.00pm. Early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

For further information and bookings please contact the Astor Wing on Tel: 01732 861800

Email stay@hevercastle.co.uk


Or visit www.hevercastle.co.uk/stay 
 

Escape to the Isle of Wight with Red Funnel

Escape to the Isle of Wight with Red Funnel

Surprise someone special and whisk them away for a romantic break to the Isle of Wight this Valentine's Day from just £144.50 per person for two night's dinner, bed and breakfast and return vehicle ferry travel. With a wide range of accommodation from luxurious hotels to cosy B&Bs, excellent dining options, stunning coastline and countryside and many local attractions to explore, the Isle of Wight is the ideal destination for those wanting to spend some quality time together.

From £144.50pp - Indulge your loved one with a two night Foodie Michelin BIB break at the Seaview Hotel this Valentine's. Located in the picturesque fishing village of Seaview on the Island's north east coast, the Seaview Hotel is the ideal bolthole for a romantic getaway. With incredible views across the Solent and stunning sandy beaches, Seaview is the perfect base for long walks, cosy drinks by fires in the local pubs and of course, great dining at the hotel's award winning restaurant.

The Seaview Hotel

A two-night break at The Seaview costs from just £144.50 per person including two nights' accommodation in a standard double room, breakfast each morning, a three course evening meal on the first evening and return vehicle crossings with Red Funnel Ferries. This price is for new bookings and is based on two adults sharing a room, travelling between now and 31 March 2017, subject to availability.

A royal retreat at The Royal Hotel – from £197.50pp including bed, breakfast, three-course table d'hôte dinner and return ferry travel. A refined, historic jewel, The Royal Hotel has been receiving travellers for more than 180 years. Built in 1832 it is one of the oldest hotels on the Island and has been featured in every Michelin Guide since it was first published in 1911. Guests can take advantage of the spectacular food on offer as well as the onsite spa to ensure they leave feeling thoroughly pampered and relaxed.

The Royal Hotel

A romantic weekend package at The Royal Hotel starts from £197.50 per person including two night's accommodation in a classic room, full English breakfast, a three-course table d'hôte dinner on the Friday evening, a Valentine's four-course dinner on Saturday evening with live entertainment by pianist Alan Young and return vehicle crossings with Red Funnel Isle of Wight Ferries. This is based on two adults sharing a room, with overnight stays on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th February 2017, subject to availability.

For more information about The Red Funnel visit www.redfunnel.co.uk/LOVE

 

Celebrate Easter
at Dewsall Court


Dewsall Court

This Easter, Grade II listed country house Dewsall Court in Herefordshire is offering guests the perfect family home-from-home for springtime festivities. The magical house is open to groups for exclusive use, with an array of treats and Easter themed activities included with the booking.

On Easter Sunday, residents can enjoy an Easter egg hunt in Dewsall Court's 12 acres of stunning grounds. The spring gardens provide the ideal setting for such an adventure, vibrant with snowdrops, crocuses and thousands of daffodils. Guests will be welcomed with a basket of local duck and hen eggs to be enjoyed during Easter breakfast, as well as a home made simnel cake.

The exclusive property, which sleeps 20 guests, will be finished with extra special details for the Easter weekend, including hand-picked flowers, soft fresh linen, and bathroom toiletries by 100 Acres. In addition, Dewsall Court has plenty of board games to keep the family entertained, as well as deep comfy sofas, huge open fires and a large kitchen with an Aga, making it the perfect place to spend quality time with family during Easter.

For details visit www.dewsall.com