Another chance to see some of the programme's best features and stories, presented by reporters from across the UK.
Browse content similar to St Andrews. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to The One Show: Best of Britain. With Alison Craig.
And Mike Dilger.
With another chance to see some of our favourite One Show films.
Today, we are in the place that claims to be both the sunniest
and driest in the whole of the UK.
Hence waterproofs head to toe.
-We're not in Torquay.
-No, we're not.
It's a university town, whose seat of learning is 600 years old.
-It's not Oxford and it's not Cambridge.
-It certainly isn't.
It also has the oldest golf course in the world.
We are in St Andrews, one of my favourite places in Scotland,
where, frankly, everything's ancient!
-No offence, Mike!
On tonight's show, we go back to prehistoric times,
with Ruth Goodman, who unearthed a lost civilisation in Orkney!
There is a burial of two ladies under that bed.
Not only that, but the door here can be controlled from the outside.
So, you could actually be closed in this house.
This might be some form of cult house
or a place where dangerous things happen.
And Miranda heads to the Cairngorms,
on the trail of the majestic Golden Eagle.
-He looks like he's claimed your eyrie.
-I think he has!
-He looks comfortable there.
And don't miss Londoner Danny Baker's moving and hilarious journey
back to his childhood home. As long as someone lets him in!
There you go. My very first flat.
11 Debnams Road, right next to the stairs and the rubbish chute.
When we used to play football in this actual square, all the neighbours,
when it got dark, would turn on their bathroom lights to give us flood lights.
But first, John Sergeant remembers a remarkable family business
who have kept the light shining in the dark
for the last 200 years.
The rugged Scottish coastline has inspired countless
tales of high drama.
Many dreamt up by the author of Treasure Island,
Robert Louis Stevenson.
But members of Stevenson's family,
including his father,
did more than dream of this coastline.
They transformed it,
building more than 200 lighthouses.
"When I smell saltwater", he wrote,
"I know that I am not far
"from one of the works of my ancestors.
"When the lights come out at sundown
"along the shores of Scotland, I am proud to think
"they burn more brightly
"for the genius of my father."
They were an extraordinarily ingenious family.
No matter how inaccessible a site was,
if a lighthouse was needed,
they built it.
I'm on my way to see one of their earliest lighthouses,
on Isle of May in the Firth of Forth.
With me is Dr Robert Prescott from St Andrews University.
He has charted the introduction of lighthouses
along this treacherous coast.
So, how many wrecks do we know that there were
around the Scottish coast?
Around the Scottish coast, it would be many thousands.
So, lighthouses were brought in,
was that to save life, or was it to save cargo?
I think it's always a question of lives and property.
It's the two things together. A vessel that has a crew of 30, maybe,
would have hundreds of pounds of cargo on board.
Lighthouse building really took off in 1808,
when Robert Louis Stevenson's grandfather, also called Robert,
became engineer and chief executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board.
The Isle of May lighthouse is one of his earliest
and it's a masterpiece.
He had space, most rock towers are built on very skimpy pieces of rock
that are perhaps covered by the high tide,
but here he had the room and the space to spread himself.
I don't think there's another lighthouse like this anywhere in Britain.
Not quite so grand. It's like a country house, really, isn't it?
How much of a pioneer was Robert Stevenson?
Well, he was a very considerable pioneer.
No-one prior to him would have dreamed
of trying to put a light tower on the Bell Rock.
A rock that is submerged most of the time
and just appears for an hour or two at low tide
and is in the fiercest and most exposed locations.
So, the ability to build a tower
that's strong enough to cope with those situations, he perfected it.
Robert Stevenson retired in 1842.
Then, there were three more generations of Stevensons
working in the Scottish lighthouse industry.
It wasn't until 1938
that the last Stevenson finally retired as chief engineer.
It's an amazing record.
Wherever you go round the Scottish coast,
you're not far from a Stevenson lighthouse.
Bob McIntosh has visited most of them.
He built 200 lighthouses around the coast of Scotland, 100 like Scurdie Ness here
and 100 smaller lights.
It's something which the mariners around the coast of Scotland
have been very grateful for.
These lighthouses have stood the test of time.
Most are still in use, but with modern technology.
-When was this built?
-This lighthouse was built in 1870.
And no lift, so we've got to go all the way up, haven't we, on the stairs?
-Yes, there's 170 steps right to the top.
The Stevenson lighthouses are impressive structures.
They've endured decades of storms, fierce winds and heavy seas,
and remarkably, they're all still standing.
It's a real tribute to the men who built them.
Right, well, here we are at the top of the lighthouse,
and this is the light, isn't it?
Yeah, this is the modern technology, with the car headlight-type lenses.
We have three levels, which gives us the equivalent of three flashes.
We've used the original structure with some minor modification inside
and the modern technology gives us a better, brighter light.
But otherwise, the structure of the lighthouse is exactly the same
-as it was at the end of the 19th century.
The lighthouse Stevenson's were remarkable men.
Their ideas spread worldwide and they became legendary figures.
These Stevenson lighthouses are not just marvels of the Victorian age.
Here in the 21st-century, they still stand looking magnificent and proud
and long may they do so.
Well, St Andrews doesn't have a lighthouse,
but at 108 feet, Saint Rule's tower is still a pretty steep climb.
It is. It's part of St Andrews' Cathedral,
and from the very top you get a panoramic view of what's beyond.
It's lovely - we've got the North Sea down here.
Across here we've got St Andrews itself and then,
follow us over here, we've got the hills and countryside and beyond,
and by my reckoning,
you could see the Cairngorms National Park from up here.
Well, if we had the Hubble telescope that is,
but that's exactly where we're heading next with Miranda,
who went to meet a conservation hero
who is keeping tabs on our precious golden eagles.
The golden eagle is Britain's most iconic raptor.
But our relationship with this majestic bird
has been a rocky one in the past.
Persecuted for taking livestock,
the population collapsed in the mid-19th century
and they were entirely wiped out in England and Wales.
Nowadays we're very good at protecting adult nest sites,
but how do we safeguard the young birds
when they have no fixed territories of their own?
Until couple of years ago, we had no idea of where
or how far they ranged, but all that's begun to change.
Roy Dennis has been working with Scotland's
400-plus breeding pairs of golden eagles since the 1980s.
He started tagging birds on the Glen Feshie estate
in the Cairngorms two years ago.
The first chick he tagged was Alma.
Last year he also tagged a chick on the eastern side of the Cairngorms called Tom.
So this is the heart of the project, basically.
This is the satellite tag that goes on the back of the eagle.
-It's incredibly light, isn't it?
They're 70g and every hour it works out where the eagle is,
if it's flying, how fast it's flying,
the direction it's flying and the altitude.
From this, we know where Tom was last night.
Yeah, I can be certain that I can show you the wood where Tom is
and we could probably... We may even find the tree he was sitting in.
-OK, let's go.
Many Highland estates are overgrazed by red deer,
but at Glen Feshie their numbers have been kept low
so heather, trees and shrubs are flourishing.
So, too, are mountain hare and grouse,
which attract young eagles looking for food.
See on the hilltop there, that, kind of, patchwork of heather?
That's where John and his colleagues are burning heather.
Some of the heather is old heather where the grouse nest,
and some is new where the grouse feeds.
We've gone as far as we can in the Land Rover,
so now we have to head to the bottom of the wood on foot
trying to find any sign of Tom.
We are looking for a bare branch or a broken tree.
-They like a nice vantage point, do they?
Right, we've just seen some bird poo so we've stopped to have a look.
The bird that does do droppings like that is a bird called the goshawk.
But that's projected quite a long way!
-It's not your average pigeon, is it?
-No, no, no. That's a bird of prey.
Right on target, Roy spots a bare branch.
It's an eagle roost and one he hasn't seen before.
So that's where he was? That's where Tom was last night, roosting?
We can see the marks on the tree where his talons have...
Hang on, Roy has found something over there. Let's join him.
I reckon this is a grouse that's been eaten by an eagle.
And what on earth is that?
That is the gizzard of the grouse where it chews up the vegetation.
So, you've got the grouse's last meal there
and then the eagle's last meal here.
Tom's next satellite readings
would show us he was only two miles to the south
while we were picking over his leftovers.
Day by day, eagle satellite data is building up the evidence needed
to show landowners they can manage their estates
for wildlife as well as game.
And in a neighbouring valley, children at the Alvie primary school
have also been using Roy's satellite data
to follow Tom and Alma on a website.
We've been learning what its habits are.
We've gone on field trips to find stuff.
It's, like, amazing to see a real golden eagle.
The children have built a golden eagle nest, or eyrie,
with Roy Dennis and Highland Council Ranger Duncan McDonald
who's given them the very rare chance to come face-to-face with an adult bird.
-Quince looks like he's claimed your eyrie then.
-I think he has.
He looks very comfortable there.
These kids have obviously got very passionate
about the two eagles, Tom and Alma.
Having Roy's website there to be able to track them
on a day-to-day basis has really brought these eagles alive
to the children and they've thoroughly engaged with that.
It's been hugely successful.
Roy's satellite tagging project
has found a way to help connect the landowners and communities
with a magnificent animal that is normally so shy of human contact.
Well, that was back in 2009 and since that film was made
Alma, the two-year-old golden eagle, was tragically found dead.
She had been deliberately poisoned and to date, no arrests have been made.
Tom, the other golden eagle, went missing last year
and unfortunately there has been no sign of him since,
but the good news is there are now 11 eagles with satellite tags
and Roy has been amazed by the huge distances some of these birds are covering.
Roy is also optimistic that the project
is helping people to understand how this magnificent bird lives
and he believes this is helping the battle to protect them.
Now, although St Andrews Castle is a ruin,
there is still a place here fit for a king, albeit a future one.
Yes, this is the street and indeed the house
where Prince William and Kate shacked up together
whilst they were at university.
It's surprisingly low-key and understated, isn't it?
Which is precisely why I bought this.
-I think we should mark the spot.
-Go for it.
Somewhere else that deserves a blue plaque is the childhood home
of the legendary broadcaster Danny Baker,
although they'll have to be quick
because by all accounts it's not going to be there much longer.
I'm Danny Baker and I'm going back to the street where I used to live.
It's been abandoned, sealed off and boarded up for years now.
But today I've been allowed special access.
There you go. Very first flat. 11 Debnams Road.
Right next to the stairs and the rubbish chute.
When we used to play football in this actual square,
all the neighbours, when it got dark,
would turn on their bathroom lights to give us floodlights.
Yeah, I've still got it. I've still got it.
Incredibly, I left school at 14 and I went to work in a record shop.
You know, I was pretty liberal with the stock
and there was a stack of them in my bedroom,
but my albums started to make the front room ceiling
actually bend a bit like this. It was a sturdy old flat, so it shows you how many records I had.
The kids who lived on the higher floors,
if the ice cream man came round or anything else
this is what they would yell, "Mu-u-um. Mu-u-um."
And suppose it's, I don't know, Jimmy Knight,
"Jimmy Knight's mu-u-um," to identify them from all the other mums,
and she used to come out, "What do you want?" Looking down.
"Ice cream man's here," "Wait there,"
go in, get money, put it in paper, a bit of newspaper,
and drop it over the balcony - donk - into the square.
And then you'd pick that up and go and get the thing,
but you had to identify, "Mu-u-m! "Eddie Gregory's mu-u-um!"
I didn't have to. We lived on the ground floor.
There was no numbers 1 to 10 Debnams Road. It started at 11.
Odd numbers all the way through, and we were the very first one
and we backed on to the railway.
I don't remember hearing it. You just simply filtered it out.
It's like coming down here today -
there's a load of noise, but I can't hear it.
I come round here and I just can't hear it.
We had a dog. He was a black mongrel called, imaginatively, Blackie.
We used to come, open the letterbox and say, "Come on, boy,"
and he used to walk up, put his paw on the thing
and then walk backwards and let us in the house.
He'd run around the estate and when he came back,
he would knock at the door. Knock. Knock, knock.
Sit with his paws up, just knocking the letterbox with his nose.
We thought nothing of this at the time.
Nobody believes us now, but our dog was a genius.
My dad was a docker. He used to bring home quite a lot of stuff out the docks, actually.
One of the things they exported was shoes.
And so much stuff was disappearing that eventually
they decided to export left shoes out of London
and the right shoes out of Liverpool so they couldn't get pairs.
That's absolutely true!
Whatever moderate level of fame I reached, it will never reach my old man.
We used to go down the road and somebody would go, honk, honk, "Oi, oi!"
It wouldn't be for me - it would always be my old man. They called him Spud.
He was an extraordinary, very funny, very, very larger-than-life,
and very physical, my old man.
My mum worked in a chocolate factory like Willy Wonka.
And I remember - and this sounds like a fetish -
I used to get her Doctor Scholl sandal and smell the sole of it
because it smelled so terrific of all this chocolate,
and I can remember sitting smelling this and, "What are you...?
"Don't do that with my bleeding shoe. Give us it back."
Can you notice this slight reddening in my cheeks?
The stairs were popular for courting couples.
And, uh, I did OK.
I'm not nostalgic about it at all.
I think we had the best of it, they should knock it down.
It's an old ruin, but while it's physically here
it wouldn't surprise me to hear someone come bursting out
from these steel shutters going, "Mu-u-um! Mu-u-um!"
# You haven't looked at me
# That way in years
# But I'm still here. #
Danny Baker, a man who certainly has a way with words.
Now, Alison, it's only rained a little bit today,
but we haven't exactly seen a lot of sun either.
Stop moaning, Mike.
Do you not realise you're on the West Sands beach,
iconic for the opening scenes of Chariots Of Fire?
Ah, yes. Team GB training for the 1924 Paris Olympics
running barefoot on the sand to the sounds of Vangelis.
MUSIC: "Chariots Of Fire" by Vangelis
Yes, it's all coming back now.
Well, speaking of the Olympics, you know the Olympic torch
is in the middle of its epic journey right through every nook and cranny in the country
and it's already been through St Andrews.
But as British Para-Olympian Ade Adepitan reports,
the last time the Olympics were held here the message of peace and unity
had an extra special meaning.
In 1948, as the torch arrived in Britain,
it marked the unification of European nations
after the turmoil of World War II.
All through the night the flame was carried by relays of Englishmen,
and by Thursday morning, still accompanied by television newsreel,
it had reached the outskirts of London.
The 178 British athletes that completed the 364-mile torch relay race
from Dover to Wembley for the opening ceremony
and then down to Torquay for the sailing regatta
were everyday village men. In fact, they were just a fortunate few
that were picked from local athletics clubs.
'One of those men was Frank Verge.'
The committee decided to put on an eight-mile race
and the winner was to carry this.
So where are we exactly, Frank?
This is where my leg started and it went for two miles
through Borough Green to the Cob Tree in Ightham.
We were allowed six minutes for a mile.
It was 4.05 in the morning
and the flame appeared in the distance
and it came towards us and we exchanged the flame
and then I was on my way.
We've got 12 minutes to do this in, Frank. Are you ready?
-Yeah, I'm ready. You'll beat me in that.
How did you feel when you got to the end?
I was right on top of the world.
And then I handed the flame over, which was quite happy,
and I must confess I felt almost lonely for a little while.
But after that, I never saw any of them again.
Never heard of them again.
Austin Playfoot ran the Surrey leg from Merrow to Guildford.
When I carried this,
the course into Guildford was absolutely lined with people
on both sides with cars parked, and people even were standing on their cars cheering
and it was terrific. And people were asking me to sign autographs.
"Crikey, they want my name?"
Where did you start your run from...?
-Right under the sign of the Horse And Groom.
Well, shall we get going? We've got 30 seconds to make up, haven't we?
-Well, 1.9 miles. We better get going now, yeah.
Now, the guy you passed the torch on to.
Did you get to talk to him at all?
Not really, because there were so many people
jostling and pushing and shoving
and the moment he lit his torch, he was away.
How important was carrying the Olympic torch for you in your life?
Yeah, I think that stands as a highlight for my career, yeah. For my life, yeah.
It seems both Austin and Frank's experience was common.
Many of the runners had never met each other...
-My name's Frank. Frank Verge.
My name's Austin Playfoot.
Good afternoon. I'm John Barrett from Deal in Kent.
-Oh, here's another one.
I was running on the leg from Wembley to Torquay.
Why don't we put all our torches in the middle
and simulate relighting them again?
Yes, why not?
Yeah, it's a great feeling.
It's a unique situation. Absolutely fabulous.
And we'll never be able to do it again.
Well, I'm hoping next year. Come on.
I can't quite believe I'm playing here
and walking over the Swilcan Bridge.
This is the old course at St Andrews and, Alison,
probably the world's most famous 18th hole.
I would think so, and actually it's a public course.
There are seven links courses in St Andrews and you don't need to be a member to play.
You do need to be organised - you can't just pitch up and play.
-You have to book quite well in advance.
-Oh, of course you do.
And that's because of an ancient charter that dictated
the townsfolk could play golf on the links
and it proved so popular that James II in 1457
had to ban the game because it was diverting
too much attention away from archery.
Good shot, sir.
Well, we're joined by Alasdair McDougall who's 15 years of age
and is a member of St Andrews here, and he plays with a handicap of two.
Now, for those of you that don't know golf, that, frankly,
is absolutely astonishing. What's it like being a member here?
Oh, to play in St Andrews is just phenomenal.
We've got great facilities here,
the opportunity we have is just unreal.
The support we get from the coaches is just amazing.
It's a great opportunity to become the best golfer you can, just to have fun.
-Best score here? One over, I think.
So, looking at the golf stars of today, who's your icon?
-Who do you want to be?
-Well, I'd like to say Tiger Woods.
I think he's a great guy, but my parents, my grandparents,
really just don't like him, so I have to say Luke Donald.
-Keep everybody happy.
-Keep everybody happy.
I'm more of a Rory McIlroy man myself.
One thing I've always wanted to know is why there are 18 holes in golf.
Well, around St Andrews there used to be 22 holes -
11 out and 11 in - and the first four holes, they were too short,
so they decided to cut them down to two holes
and then it had to be equal front nine, equal back nine,
so they decided to cut the last four holes to two
so that takes four off of 22 for 18 holes.
And there we go, and, of course, where Saint Andrew's leads,
every other golf club in the world follows.
Absolutely, and from the Royal And Ancient,
we're going to head up to Orkney where Ruth Goodman
has found a settlement that's six centuries older than Stonehenge.
The idea of lost civilisations conjures up images
of abandoned ruins like the Valley Of The Kings or Pompeii.
But what many people don't realise is that we have one of our own
that could rival anything in the world,
here off the tip of mainland Britain.
Hidden on the Orkney Islands for almost 5,000 years
it was dramatically brought to light during a violent storm in 1850,
which ripped open the hill it had lain buried in.
Very little is known about the people who built it
six centuries before Stonehenge was erected,
but we do know Skara Brae is Europe's most intact Stone Age village
and an invaluable insight into a long-lost Britain.
Because of the lack of timber on the islands,
everything had to be built from stone,
which is why so much survives today.
But Stone Age most certainly does not mean "caveman".
This was a sophisticated society, with the village built over
a system of drains more than 3,000 years before the Romans
were supposed to have brought plumbing to Britain,
and all the houses are built to the same plan.
The focus of the house is the hearth that sits in the centre.
There's the dresser, which is the most prominent feature, really,
that you see as soon as you come in the door.
And then these beds, possibly?
That's right, you could get quite a lot of people, actually,
in this space, couldn't you?
This sort of space is actually much better
than many of the Victorian working-class houses I've been in.
How many of these houses were there in the village?
There's probably about half a dozen contemporary
in the village that we have excavated.
The Skara Brae village is actually bigger out towards the back
and we don't know how much we've lost to the sea at the front.
House seven is the most intact.
It's normally off-limits to the public,
but we've been granted special permission by Historic Scotland to film inside.
But this is no ordinary house.
There is a burial of two ladies under that bed.
Not only that, but the door here can be controlled from the outside
so you could actually be closed in this house.
And we've no real idea quite what this house was used for?
This might be some form of cult house
or a place where dangerous things happened.
Perhaps it is a house for menstruation
or for women to come after childbirth.
So it's real proof that this is a really complicated culture.
You do get the feeling that you wouldn't be wanting to step out of line in this society.
The Orkney Islands may seem remote to southerners,
but in Neolithic times this was a major hub for sea traffic.
Also, the soil here is very fertile
and is still highly valued for its lush cattle grazing today.
But rising sea levels and increased coastal erosion
is threatening Orkney's archaeological treasures.
When it was first built, Skara Brae was over a mile from the sea
and all this we can see in front of us was fields
and then reed beds and marshes going out to the loch.
But in the 1920s, half of this house here fell into the sea
and this seawall had to be put up
to try and protect the rest of the village.
But erosion beyond the wall continues unabated.
Every site is unique.
It's a permanent loss, you can't recreate it.
A quarter of tourists that come say they come because of the archaeology.
This is a support for a rural economy
and we have to look after it.
There's a saying that if you scratch Orkney it bleeds archaeology.
On the nearby island of Rousay,
Steve Dockrill and his team are desperately recording
what's left of yet another recently revealed settlement.
It dates to the Iron Age, and we know from a sample that we took,
we've got a date from round about 0 to 100 AD.
And right over on the other side
we've got the remains of a Norse hall
so that gives us a date round about 1100.
So we've got about 1,000 years of history all, sort of, stacked up?
And the sea, presumably, is taking it away?
The sea's taken an enormous amount of the site away.
Possibly next year, this may not be here.
The Orkney Islands are home
to some of the world's greatest ancient monuments,
yet every year more and more is being lost to the sea,
much without ever being officially recorded.
And should it carry on unchecked... For more reasons than one,
that'll be a price that the Orcadian's can't afford to pay.
Thanks, Ruth. And part of St Andrews has also ended up in the sea
and the pier behind was built out of the ruins of the cathedral
just on top of the hill.
Well, the pier walk is one of the oldest traditions here
and on a Sunday it's a sea of red as the university students
put on their scarlet gowns and walk up and down the pier.
And they say no-one leaves St Andrews without doing
the pier walk at least once. So, Alison, I think we've got time.
-Why not? Until next time. Bye-bye.