Little British Isles: With Alison Steadman
In this Series Alison Steadman celebrates the natural beauty of some of the 6,000 islands that surround mainland Britain. Inspired by memories of a childhood holiday on the Isle of Man, Alison sets out meet some of the people who live on the UK’s 267 inhabited islands.
Part 1: Inner Hebrides
She begins on Scotland’s windswept Inner Hebrides, exploring the sparsely populated Gigha, Jura, Colonsay and Oronsay over the course of a week. She learns how to extract orchid essence, visits a fish farm, meets the keeper in charge of the country’s only native honey bee reserve, and meets the resourceful natives thriving off the tough land that sustains them.
Part 2: Channel Islands
Alison travels across the English Channel to discover more about the idyllic life found on the Channel Islands. In Jersey, she dives into their cultural traditions and helps inseminate the iconic Jersey cow, and finds out more about how this island continues to hold onto its own traditional values. On Alderney, Alison discovers more about the abundance of wildlife found on the island, and then travels to the tiny island of Sark in search of the ancient traditions many of the locals still fiercely protect.
Part 3: Isles of Scilly
Alison’s trip around some of the many smaller islands that surround mainland Britain concludes with a visit to the Isles of Scilly. Her attention falls on Tresco, Bryher, St Martins and St Agnes, collectively known as the Off Islands, where she discovers a Robinson Crusoe-style desert island, and one of the finest examples of a sub-tropical garden in the northern hemisphere. She also gets some hands-on experience at one of the world’s smallest working dairy farms, and reveals how the tourist-friendly locals have found inventive ways to maintain their slice of island life.