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Susan Calman’s Grand Day Out | Series 7 Preview (Channel 5)

Susan Calman is back for more Grand Days Out. She’s firing up her vintage campervan- named in honour of one of her heroines, Helen Mirren - and sets out for more journeys of joy and discovery.

On a delightful wander through the wonders of the UK and the wider British Isles, she’s set for awesome sights, wonderful tales and colourful characters. The dependable little Helen pootles gently along, and Susan discovers new sights and sounds at whatever pace she pleases. It’s perfect for a Grand Day Out.

In this first edition, Susan hits the road to discover the charming Channel Islands. These British dependencies, just a few miles from the French coast, are somewhere they’ve never explored. Small, but perfectly formed, they will prove packed with adventures for Susan.

Starting off in Jersey, she is thrilled to encounter iconic doe-eyed Jersey cows. And that’s not the only natural wonder as Susan has arrived at peak Jersey Royal potato season. She meets a sixth-generation Jersey farmer, who introduces her to the traditional art of potato harvesting on the staggeringly sheer slopes of Rozel Bay. In a first for Susan, she rides on an ancient horse plough- it’s quite a welcome to the sun-kissed island.

Then travelling around the beautiful coast, Susan sets out to explore the third largest tidal range in the world. When the tide is out, the island dramatically doubles in size.

Susan discovers La Rocque beach, a place the locals refer to as the lunar landscape. It’s an other-worldly place where Susan meets a conservationist and together they go on a giant snail hunt for the Jersey treasure ‘Mother of Pearl’ an Ormer. These creatures have been eaten and traded Jersey for centuries- but Susan’s task today is to help in monitoring their numbers. Her first encounter with one is memorable - and hilarious.

Next, Susan and Helen cross the Channel in a ferry, to arrive in Jersey’s petite neighbour, gorgeous Guernsey. Susan is on a mission to get to spectacular Castle Cornet for the honour of firing the traditional noon day cannon. She joins in the pomp and ceremony under the watchful eye of the keeper of the gun and starts Guernsey off with the loudest bang possible.

On this small island, you are never more than 10 minutes away from the sea. Susan wants to experience the striking La Vallette bathing pools. For over 150 years, visitors and locals have relished its natural turquoise waters, but they’re also great for some serious training. Susan meets a Channel swimmer and hears all about what it takes to join the elite club who have swum from Britain to France.

Today, she is doing a spot of training- and Susan gets to help. Armed with snacks and a long pole, Susan find out how she’d fare if she were on a support boat for real. As she soon discovers, the swimming may be a challenge- but supporting is exhausting too.

Susan wants to take in Guernsey’s world class coastal views, and she is not the only one drawn in by the stunning scenery. She learns that French impressionist Renoir painted some of his most famous works around the spectacular bay of Moulin Huet. As Susan walks in the painter’s footsteps - she learns how saucy secrets of nude bathing inspired his masterful art. And frames on the shoreline give her a unique perspective on his works and the wonderful views.

Susan is then drawn into one of Guernsey’s biggest tourist attractions. Known as ‘The Little Chapel’, it’s the smallest consecrated chapel on earth and Susan discovers how it was built with local donations of ormer shells, pebbles and old china. Susan is stirred by its peaceful splendour and gets to make her mark by helping with some restoration.

Finally, Susan immerses herself in a heritage craft that has been practiced on the island for millennia, as she meets a rare coppersmith, the only one of his kind left in the world. Susan helps make a copper milk can of the kind the island presented to Queen Elizabeth II for her Coronation, and finds it both magical and therapeutic.

Susan finishes her Grand Day Out adventure on a spectacular beach, captivated by these little islands with a big spirit. They’ve proved to be full of colourful characters, stunning scenery and fascinating culture. She can’t wait to come back.

Susan Calman's Grand Day Out returns Thursday 4th July on Channel 5.


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