Essential Series 1

Ever wanted a travel series that gets to the very heart of a destination, inspires you with ideas for your holidays and travel but without preaching at you like a guidebook? Well, that's Essential the series that captures the essence of a place - its attractions, culture, history and the secret of its fascination. Our team of reporters, including Mike McClean, Sarah Cawood, and Danny Robbins, lift the lid on old favourites as well as up-and-coming places, getting to grips with what makes them tick. Amongst the destinations getting the Essential treatment in this series are Stockholm, Quebec, Munich, Las Vegas and Prague. The result is often humorous, sometimes controversial but one which always provides an incisive portrait of some of the world's best destinations.


No. of Episodes: 8


1  Stockholm

Stockholm is Scandinavia’s chic capital of style and design. Just the place for Sarah Cawood to prove that there’s nothing dull about the Swedes. The Stockholm she explore proves to be bursting with energy and hooked on ice hockey, home to the world’s most beautifully preserved shipwreck, a great place to search out the tradional at a folk museum as well as the cutting edge in the shops, and a civilised spot where it’s possible to breathe in an archipelago of a thousand islands.
Duration: 30'


2  Quebec

How has Quebec preserved its French culture in the face of Anglophone neighbours? This is just one of the questions posed by Danann Breathnach as he explores the capital of French North America. His journey also takes him to the Ile d’Orleans where he learns how to make maple syrup lollies in the snow, he assesses the role of the Catholic Church, discovers the history of the fur trade, and visits a 5 star hotel which is also a museum.
Duration: 30'


3  Utah

The USA’s most inhospitable spot has somehow never failed to attract people; from the Mormons in the nineteenth century to tourists in the twenty first, Utah is a breathtaking landscape that’s drawn Native Americans, pioneers, explorers, homesteaders, and adrenaline junkies. These all form part of Danny Robbins’ journey as he tackles Salt Lake City, the desert, rafting on the Colorado, and a stint on a horse ranch.
Duration: 30'


4  Munich

Presenter Danann Breathnach explores Germany's third largest city and capital of Bavaria, Munich. Danann will be donning his Lederhosen and heading into the beer halls to find out what makes the locals tick. His travels also take him surfing in the English Garden, rollerblading with ten thousand Muncheners and delving into some of Munich's more controversial history with trips out of town to Dachau and Neuchwanstein Castle.
Duration: 30'


5  Las Vegas

Mike McClean puts America’s city of extremes to the test as he searches out the biggest, best and most expensive. This involves him sampling some lavish hotel suites, tracking down a diamond studded mobile phone, playing witness at a wedding aboard the Starship Enterprise, and chewing into a $6000 burger.
Duration: 30'


6  Prague

A thousand years of stunningly preserved architecture can be found in central Europe’s prettiest city, Prague. Sarah Cawood takes a journey through the sounds of Smetana and Dvorak, the wonders of nouvelle Czech cuisine, the triumphs and tragedies of the city’s Jewish ghetto, and Prague’s long tradition of artisanship and design, She uncovers all this as she explores the signature buildings that attract visitors from all over the world.
Duration: 30'


7  Mauritius

A tropical paradise, a magnet for honeymooners, and littered with some of the world’s top 5 star resorts; Mauritius is the archetypal island bolthole but Nichola Dixon also finds a landscape that up until four hundred years ago was virtually untouched by man. Since then, sugar plantations, immigration, new species, and of course tourism have had a dramatic impact on the face of a country that’s one of the world’s most stylish destinations.
Duration: 30'


8  Egypt-Nile Cruise

Egypt is the world’s oldest tourist destination. It also saw the first ever package holiday organised by Thomas Cook nearly 150 years ago and that holiday was a cruise down the Nile. Danny Robins experiences one of the most romantic journeys in the world. He cruises between Luxor and Aswan and takes in some of the greatest monuments on the planet. He also finds out just how important tourism remains to a country that’s home to a quarter of the Arab world.
Duration: 30'


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