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Elis James, comedian.
Born in Wales, lives in England.
Miles Jupp, comedian.
Born in England, lives in Wales.
These are our journeys across Wales by land, sea and rail.
So, you've moved to Wales...
-That is right.
-You've been on holidays here.
I've spent a lot of time here. But I'm hungry.
You know, I want to know more. I want to see more.
-I want to feel more.
-Well, guess who your ideal guide is.
Well, my ideal guide would be Rhod Gilbert.
Yes, he's unavailable. Guess who's available?
Stop. We made a terrible mistake.
That is not what nature is for.
It's a classic 1-2 combination.
This man came up to be and said, "I don't like your..."
-So, welcome to James...
OK, we're starting this adventure in my hometown of Carmarthen.
Look at you, yawning away.
I had to come up on the train the night before.
I'm in Carmarthen. It's very early in the morning.
Elis has asked me to meet.
I've just spent the night in a perfectly comfortable hotel but
one that did not offer complimentary shampoo, which is...
-That is unusual.
-Hey, hey, hey.
-Welcome to the town that never sleeps.
-Apart from at 6:26am.
The centre of the universe, Carmarthen.
-It's very... Are we not getting...?
No, no, no. I've got something special planned for you,
as we're starting off in the jewel in West Wales' crown.
I stayed in a hotel were they didn't offer complimentary shampoo.
Time and tide wait for no man, Miles,
and that's the reason we're up so early because it's high tide at
Carmarthen quay and our transport today is by boat.
-How are you doing?
Could I have two singles to Laugharne, please?
-You certainly can.
-One adult, one child, please.
You're always making that joke.
It is a joke with a purpose, Elis, to remind you to grow.
Thank you. That's not bad, is it?
Now, Carmarthen is quite a long way inland but on a high tide, Miles,
you can travel all the way out to sea and our destination today is
Laugharne, famous of course, you'll know this,
for its connection with Dylan Thomas.
I do know that.
This morning, the shower I was using,
there was no blind in the bathroom.
-It was only misted glass up to the halfway point.
So I reckon... I stood there in the shower for ages,
I didn't have my glasses on, so I couldn't see,
but I could not be sure that I couldn't be entirely seen.
There was a house there and there were some lights on.
And I thought, I am clearly, clearly visible.
So, I... Well, I'm afraid...
..red rag to a bull.
Did the full works.
-Good morning, Carmarthen.
Morning! I'm just buffing the windows.
It didn't take long before the river widened out.
There's Llansteffan Castle on the left,
which is about two thirds of the way to Laugharne.
I think, as it's an estuary now,
it's wide enough for me to have a go at driving the boat.
That's what they say, isn't it? Driving the boat?
Tony, do you mind if I have a...?
Yeah, carry on. Right then, Elis.
OK, if we bear right now...
-Come around this buoy.
And we're going to head across to the green buoy and the stick.
I had no idea what was going on here.
Oh, my God!
He just wants to get in the steering house because it's warmer in there.
Very, very transparent behaviour. He's pretending to be interested.
He's chatting away.
"Oh, do I turn this bit? Do I press this?"
He's literally just chasing some heat.
And I'm going to do exactly the same.
And once I'd gone in the cabin too,
well, the mood brightened considerably.
It's sort of cheeky.
HORN BLOWS MULTIPLE TIMES
This man came up to me and he said, "I don't like your..."
"..attitude." And I said, "Well, you, sir, you can go..."
-"..yourself and your...
-"..can do the same."
There is the destination ahead, the small white building right by the sea,
which is the Dylan Thomas boathouse.
And by this time, I did have a reason why I was quite keen to get
off the boat.
I tell you one thing, I really loved sailing from Carmarthen to Laugharne.
However, on a boat of this size...
..the toilet facilities leave a lot to be desired.
You try pooing in one of those.
So, the tide is going out all the time and the water is too shallow
for us to get off at the boat house itself.
So, Tony needs to take us to shore on the little tender.
Which gives us plenty of time to show you this lovely shot of the
boat and the Taf estuary. Because it took us about as long to get ashore
here as it did to come all the way from Carmarthen.
Still going... Still going...
-Right, Elis, thanks for organising that.
-What a lovely treat.
I am a logistics guy.
You really are, aren't you?
I might not be the funniest, Miles, but good grief, I'm good at admin.
I mean, you actually like Dylan Thomas, don't you?
-Yeah, I love him.
-Oh, good. That's all right.
That could've been awful. "No, it's RS Thomas, I like."
I had been here before but I was monumentally hungover
and in a desperate hurry. So it was much less relaxing last time.
It is a tiny house but its location is superb.
Thomas lived here with his wife, Caitlin, and their three children.
They must have had some rows in here, mustn't they?
-Extraordinary to think of him being here, isn't it?
Very calm but at the same time, it cannot have been.
So, now we're heading to the thing I actually like more than the
boathouse - Dylan Thomas' little writing shed.
So you've been to Laugharne before.
But I mean, for example, the shed,
it's never actually open.
You can just sort of look through the window.
Check that out.
-Where did you get that?
-I just pinched it.
Dylan Thomas, he probably did his chin ups from here.
He used to do a lot of sort of upper-body stuff?
Yeah, mainly upper-body stuff.
That's what kept him in such good shape.
So this is where he wrote...?
-He wrote Under Milk Wood...?
-In here. At this desk?
Well, who knows? Because, obviously, they're not going to keep actual
Dylan Thomas artefacts in this shed, but we'd been told there
was one object in here which was actually an original item.
Owned and touched by the great man himself.
So, was it this copy of Under Milk Wood?
"The cold streets silent and the hunched quarters and rabbits
"limping invisible down to the slow black, slow black,
"crow black fishing boat bobbing the sea."
I don't know if it can be original.
I'd like it to be. But I'm not sure.
-It could be...the curtains...
The curtains are a shout.
Oh, I know what's original.
I've spotted it.
There you are.
The old intruder alarm.
Yeah. He put that in himself.
The shelves are... Well, he used to be absolutely obsessed with DIY.
If he hadn't been, think about how much more productive he'd have been.
He was into all the latest gadgets.
Would you like to come to America and do a series of lectures?
I would like to but I'm screeding my shed.
-Creosoting the fence.
I don't want to say it held him back but it held him back.
And the real artefact was...
We never found out. Come on then, trouble.
-Where you taking me next?
-Into Laugharne city centre.
Do you know what Laugharne needs?
Cybercafe. 24-hour gym.
-A Freeman Hardy Willis?
Perhaps a Jean Junction?
He used to live there. Seaview, it's for sale.
-Look at that.
He actually lived there and you can buy it. Amazing.
First thing I'd do, if I bought that place, turn it into an NCP car park.
Just profit, then.
A quick walk around the sometimes narrow streets of Laugharne,
but basically this was just to work up a thirst because we wanted to
visit another well-known Thomas haunt.
The bar of Brown's Hotel.
Sat at the bar, it was like
Dylan Thomas was there right next to me,
so I came up with a belter of a TV programme idea.
Are you ready? Who do you think you look like?
Have you ever been told that you look like a young Dylan Thomas?
A young Winston Churchill?
-A young Mick Hucknall?
-A young John Sergeant?
I could play Michael Gove in a sort of slightly cheap thing.
I'd have to go...
-Now, because you've got this kind of...
You look like a sort of tiny Bradley Wiggins.
Oh, thank you. There was that time when he was very famous,
I had similar sideburns, even though I had them first.
And I used to get called Bradley a lot, especially at gigs and things.
-Yeah, especially stand-up gigs.
-And the tragic thing is...
Never once thought of a decent...
I never once thought of a decent comeback.
You always just put the mic back in the stand,
-sit on the front of the stage and cry.
Oh, well, that's that. Mic back in.
It's funny to think of Dylan Thomas here, isn't it?
Do you know what his drink of choice was?
It was vodka and Tizer.
-Was it? That was his thing?
If he couldn't get Tizer, he'd have Lilt or Rio.
-Yeah, basically he drank like he was on a hen do.
And, of course, dressed up... Deely-boppers.
-L plates on the back of his pants.
That was his modus operandi.
And yet when we went to the shop today,
they weren't selling any of that stuff.
They made him look like he was quite sensible.
Yeah, yeah. And he looked like a poet.
But actually, if you knew him...
No, no, that's absolutely not what he was...
-L plate and a big sash.
I have absolutely no idea what we were laughing at there but do drink responsibly.
Next morning, I'm trying to work out how the Mini
-got from Carmarthen to Laugharne.
-I told you,
I'm a logistics man and we need the Mini today because it's going to see
some proper action.
And if the Mini had a swear box,
then it was about to see a lot of action.
-What's wrong with this?
-What gear am I...
-I think I've mastered this Mini better.
-But I feel in complete synergy with the Mini.
-Do you really?
I can't believe you would feel synergy with something
that I find small and irritating.
-How on earth has this happened?
It's a symbiotic relationship between the Mini and me.
Do you want to know what gear I'm in right now?
-I'm not in a gear.
-Oh, right. Cruising?
-It was a trick question.
-What, you are in neutral now?
No. No, now I'm in second gear.
So, we're now going from Laugharne just along the coast to Pendine,
famous for its long flat sandy beach where many land speed record
attempts have been made.
In the museum just by the beach is the actual car that Welshman,
John Parry Thomas, was driving on Pendine Sands when he set the land
speed record of 170mph in 1926.
Basically, you'd be able to run very small errands with it,
posting a letter, that sort of thing.
-You wouldn't be able to do your weekly shop in it.
Because if oranges came out of your bag,
they'd roll around by the pedals.
Like all West Walians, I had my first driving lesson
on Pendine Sands. I think it was illegal then.
It's certainly illegal now.
That is where you learnt to drive?
Well, my first lesson, but Dad played fast and loose with the rules.
-So, are we breaking the rules again today?
Thank you, Frank.
Right then. This is extraordinary. So just driving down onto the beach?
-It feels like incredibly reckless behaviour.
-Left or right, would you like?
Left turn. So this is very much like your driving lessons, then.
Driving on a beach. That's crazy behaviour, isn't it?
So there it is, seven miles of uninterrupted beautiful beach but
you can't drive along it normally because it's used as a firing range
by the MOD.
Have you seen Thelma and Louise?
I think Thelma and Louise probably
went a little bit faster than 19mph though.
I'm very happy at this pace.
Come on. I think it's my turn now.
Are you ready? Three, two, one, out.
What tiny legs you have, tiny.
Your legs are weirdly long...
# Shut up and drive... #
OK, already, this is terrifying.
Oh, I just squished a jellyfish.
-But it was already dead.
-We don't know that.
You really like the gearbox to sort of run the gamut of emotional
sounds, don't you?
Oh, my word!
I am enjoying this...so little.
Elis, that was only about 90 seconds
but I found it absolutely sick making.
# Now shut up and drive... #
So, Miles, I've organised the vast majority of this trip.
But tonight is a mystery, so where are we staying?
We are going to...
..where they have caravans.
And the crew will stay in a caravan.
We, however, are going to sleep in a tent together.
Why? I hate camping.
I absolutely hate it.
What sort of tent...? Is it one of those glamping tents where
everything is really flash and modern and nice?
I... I don't want to reveal too much in advance.
Oh, it's going to be a rubbish little 15 pounder, isn't it?
So far, I'm extremely happy with the way things are going.
It's lovely here. It's very busy, there's lots of other people around.
You were loving it, weren't you?
Camping in the driving rain, you weird man.
I mean... He's on about cooking on the gas stove.
He thinks he's in The Famous Five.
I accept that there are worse things going on in the world,
but I've been happier. That is how I feel about it.
I... For God's sake.
So, I thought I'd take Elis to meet the neighbours.
How are you doing? Very nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
Are we having fun?
-We are having fun.
-All of you are having fun?
In the cold and the rain.
More importantly, who is the person who is not having fun?
What would you prefer to be doing?
I'd prefer to be back in Cardiff, where I live.
-I've got a house made of bricks.
When my wife booked the holiday...
I think when she checked the BBC weather app, instead of Narberth,
she looked at Nairobi for the temperature.
And got all confused and here we are.
This is quite nice, though.
This is better than what we've got.
This is the dining room.
This is good.
I don't... I'm not sure I want Elis seeing this
because he's going to sort of bemoan our facility.
It even says home.
-What is it? Is that an air bed?
But eventually, it was time to turn in.
Just open it all up and then we'll be...
Let's get in there properly and we'll get nice and warm,
nice and quickly.
It's essentially very roomy, I think.
OK. Right, night-night.
There. There we go. Super.
Right, pass me that. Pass me my phone.
The minute they've gone, I'm going to phone a hotel,
-because this is unbearable.
-We could go back to Laugharne, it's not far.
Anyway, where are we off to now?
Well, today, we've gone further west to Neyland.
There it is. And we're on another boat because this time, we're going
up the Daugleddau estuary.
It's an amazing tidal area of rivers and backwaters.
It's like a hidden world up here because a lot of places are easier
to get to by boat than by road.
It's called the Daugleddau because there are two Cleddau rivers.
They join together further upstream.
We're going up as far as Llangwm or Langem as the locals call it.
And this is the Cleddau Bridge, which actually collapsed when it was
being built and you go under that and head inland.
Elis, I popped to the chandlers shop earlier.
-..a commercial chocolate bar.
And I thought you could have some of it provided you were prepared to
answer some trivia questions.
What is the most demeaning thing that you have ever done?
Most demeaning thing I've ever done...
I did warm up on the Welsh language Mastermind and an old man came up to
me in the toilets and he said in Welsh...
Oh, no. I thought the first it was the demeaning bit.
No, no, he said, "You have got nothing."
Well, you've got something now, Elis.
-Oh, thank you.
I got sacked in the car park.
I hadn't even got to my car.
I must have done about 30 paces when my phone rang and it was the
producer and he said, "We've seen enough."
-Is that all he said?
-And then the line went dead.
You'd better have another of these. That sounds quite traumatic.
Didn't you go on Celebrity Mastermind once?
-I did, yes.
-And how did you get on?
-Ooh! Specialist subject?
The cricketing career of former England captain, Michael Atherton.
-I beat Rachel Riley.
-God, you're amazing.
You do know that, don't you?
So, just past this bend of the river is the tiny hamlet of Coedcanlas,
which is about five miles from Neyland by river but 15 miles by road.
And we need to get ashore.
Hi there, how's it going?
-Good. How are you?
-Yeah, we're all right.
Is it hard, that row?
Are you well practised?
This boat just glides along like a dream.
-How'd you do, Miles.
-How do you do, Nick.
-This is Elis.
-How are you doing?
So, Nick wasn't just a kindly passing stranger in a rowing boat.
We'd come here to meet him and his family,
wife Annette and daughters Josie and Moki.
Did you just pick this place at random?
I mean, what drew you here?
I was actually born in Carmarthen.
-And I came back here with an old boat
I was hoping to do up and sail off on.
But I got stranded here and started a family and...
Wow! You make it sound like it was against your will.
-I think it probably was, actually. Yeah.
What is it that draws you to the landscape here?
It's definitely the connection with the sea.
The beauty of it is you can get in a boat and sail down to the heads,
St Ann's Head, and then you can go anywhere in the world.
So, we should probably tell everyone what Nick and family do.
They make honey on this farmland on the banks of the River Cleddau.
Inside this little unit,
they process the honey and also make marmalade when the bees are
having a rest.
And Josie was on hand to answer a honey related question.
It keeps for years. It can crystallise sometimes over time.
There's nothing wrong with it when it crystallises?
No, not at all, it's just the sugar crystals.
If you heat it really gently...
Good, that's settled a domestic dispute I've had with my girlfriend
for about ten years. There's nothing wrong with it.
It's perfectly safe to apply honey in all areas...
And she should relax.
So, we wanted to see the bees.
And for that, you need to get suited up.
But... This is a Queen wasp that Nick has found in the suit that I
was about to put on.
It was in the crotch area as well.
-It could've been nasty.
Don't worry, I'm double bagged.
He's also got five kids. It will be a blessing.
MUSIC: Theme From A-Team
And now it was time to get the team together for one last job.
Which team? The bee team.
God, I love slow-mo.
And I love you.
Let's go to work.
We look like we're testing their farm for radiation.
We do. Nick's clearly a bit more relaxed about life.
It's quite cool out here today but inside the brood nest,
it's 35 degrees.
You can feel the heat coming off...
35 degrees in there?
Yeah, you can put your hand in...
No, that's insanity. Why would I do that?
I've felt warm things before.
I feel indestructible in this outfit.
-That is extraordinary.
This is a feeder on the top.
At the end of last year, in October November time,
we get a lot of ivy around here.
And they've got a lot of ivy honey.
So there's the Queen, you can see here.
Terrifying but beautiful sight, I would say.
Would you like to try some of the honey?
-Oh, yes, please.
-I'd love some, yeah.
Which bit of a bead does the honey come out of?
Is it a teat or some sort of...?
Some sort of duct that we don't have?
I'm laughing but I don't know.
We've got, obviously, netting between our fingers and our mouths.
Yeah, good point.
It's nice to look at.
We can go and eat it somewhere else where you can take your veils off,
-if you like.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
If you and I are going to break bread together,
I have to undress first.
Is that your golden rule?
Very much so, yes. Passed down through my mother's side.
So, this is a bit of honeycomb?
It is. A bit of honeycomb that came out of the feeder just now.
-And I can eat this?
-You can, yes.
That's ivy honey from the end of last year.
Isn't ivy poisonous?
It is, yeah.
-It's very nice.
-We forgot to tell you that.
Having been at the more dangerous end of the honey making process,
can we enjoy something safely out of a jar?
Yes, so we've got a range here. We've got the clear,
set heather honey and then on the left, there,
next to the heather honey is last year's early honey,
so that's largely from Sycamore, May...
OK. And this is orange...
This is Seville orange.
That is bees that have been on a mainly marmalade diet.
Yes, largely. Feed them oranges all year and see what comes out.
Is your honey organic?
It's about as close as you can get organic.
Just because in my experience,
pesticides actually taste quite nice.
I probably wouldn't bother with the whole organic thing.
It tastes... If anything, it tastes better.
I'm afraid it's time to leave the happy group,
breaking bread and spreading honey.
This is James and Jupp signing off.
Till we meet again...
Comedians Elis James and Miles Jupp take a series of unconventional trips around Wales. Carmarthen is the starting point as Elis and Miles board the good ship Carolina and sail from the town centre down the Towy river and out to sea. Their destination is Laugharne, famous for its association with Dylan Thomas. After a visit to the Dylan Thomas boathouse and his tiny writing shed, they retire to the bar of Brown's Hotel where Elis comes up with a brand new TV format. The following day they head to Pendine, where many land speed records were set during the 1920s and 30s. Later, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, the two travellers try out camping for the night in a nearby holiday park, then set off the next day for another river trip - this time up the Cleddau river towards the tiny hamlet of Coedcanlas, to meet beekeeper Nick Tonkin and his family.