Lockdown hit TV viewers are being offered the chance to travel along the Wales Coast Path from the comfort of their own living room – including locations stretching from Flintshire to Anglesey and the Llŷn peninsula, across Cardigan Bay and Pembrokeshire to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and the Severn Estuary.
ITV Good Morning Britain presenter Sean Fletcher will be meeting some of the many amazing characters who live and work along the 870-mile route which runs from Flintshire to the River Wye.
The six-part series, Wonders of the Coast Path was filmed by ITV Cymru Wales before the Covid 19 lockdown began. It will be broadcast in Wales from 8.30pm on Monday 27th April.
It will then be broadcast across the UK on the ITV network during the summer.
Says Sean: ‘It’s vitally important that everyone follows government guidelines and stays at home, but in these difficult times this series can hopefully provide a bit of virtual escapism.”
“We have the most beautiful and diverse coastline in the world, waiting there to be explored and enjoyed by everyone when we are past this and the time is right.”
The series begins with a visit to the sand dunes at Talacre in Flintshire where Sean goes in search of rare natterjack toads.
Said Sean: “They come out in the dark, so we were out in the dark with our head torches looking around for them.
“We managed to find them. They sort of hide under bits of carpet that the wardens in this area put down for them for the toads to hide under and we found a few of these beautiful little toads.
“I never thought I’d say a toad is beautiful – it’s got this little strip along its back and it was just a magical moment when I found this toad and you realise that these toads were almost wiped out and now they are thriving in this part of Wales.”
On Cardigan Bay, the ITV Good Morning Britain presenter visits Harlech Castle on Owain Glyndŵr day, the anniversary of the native Welsh leader being proclaimed Prince of Wales – and tries his hand at medieval sword fighting.
Erin Lloyd Jones tells how Glyndŵr took over the castle and held a parliament there in the early fifteenth century.
“He was actually a really amazing person. He was fighting for Wales but he had the most amazing ideas. He was looking for two universities in Wales, a Church of Wales. He was really a pioneer and he wanted the best for his country.”
Sean finishes the Ceredigion section of his epic journey by trying his hand at Celtic Longboat racing. He joins the Aberporth team for a friendly race against local rivals, Llangrannog.
In Pembrokeshire, the epic tour takes in the Castlemartin Training range.
Here, park ranger Lynn Houston takes the presenter to see a newly born grey seal pup.
“The mums will feed them for about three weeks, and then that’s it. She abandons them after that and they are on their own.
“After week one she will start taking them out into the sea and showing them how to catch their own food and how to swim.”
Sean also walks to the end of Worms Head on Gower with National Trust warden Kathryn Thomas.
Emphasising the need to check tide times on the journey, she warns: “You should never under-estimate the walk to the Worms Head.
“It’s about a mile but there’s a lot of scrambling involved.
“You have a five-hour window of opportunity, two and a half hours either side of low water and if you get it wrong, you’re stranded there.”
“You can’t risk swimming through it because it would just take you away.”
Using the latest drone camera technology, Sean’s camera crew capture both the hard work involved in getting to the end of Worms Head – and the fantastic views along the way.
Sean’s final stop is in the Severn Estuary, close to the Severn Bridge.
Here, he meets some of the last fishermen in Wales to practice the ancient technique of Lave Net fishing.
Brothers Martin and Richard Morgan of the Black Rock Lave Net Fishermen’s Association explain: “We have got a maximum of eight licences.
“We are the last traditional fishery left on the Severn Estuary.
“A hundred years ago you would have come here, there would have been fisheries all along the Monmouthshire coastline.
“They are all gone now.
“We are passing the tradition on. That’s what we are all about.”
Jonathan Hill, Executive Producer of Wonders of the Coast Path explains: “In these difficult times when people aren’t allowed to enjoy the great Welsh coastline, this series offers a wonderful escape to some of the most spectacular places along The Wales Coast Path.
“What really enriches this series are the fascinating characters Sean meets during his journey from north to south. I hope that once the restrictions are lifted people will get a chance to discover the wonders for themselves.”