The Coast of Dreams

For the past twenty years or so, millions of Germans gather around the telly on a Sunday night to watch a family TV movie. These films have one thing in common: they are based on a novel or short story written by a very popular author and are all about love, romance and family fortunes.  They always end well – and they all are set in beautiful parts of the world.  90 minutes of advertisement free soaps offer an escape from reality and a strangely pleasing and light-hearted end to the weekend.

For the first fifteen years  these Sunday evening shows were dominated by the British author Rosamunde Pilcher.  Set in Devon or Cornwall, they feature beautiful countryside, stunning manor houses, rose-clad cottages, good-looking and very well dressed people played by well-known German actors. The storyline tends to be a bit confusing at times, but who cares. Everyone  is only watching it for the countryside anyway!

Yesterday I found out that one of the photographers whose images regularly feature on Exmoor4all and are available for purchase in our online store actually was a member of the English cast in many of these Pilcher films.  I had known someone whose wife had been in charge of the flower arrangements, but hearing that someone I know personally  actually played a part in the films which I probably watched many years ago with my mother in Germany, has connected yet more dots between past and present, and Germany and the UK.

Prompted by John Spurr who took part in 8 (EIGHT!!!!) of these films between 1999 and 2006, each of which has been watched by 12 million viewers, I started to search the internet to find one or two of the films he acted in, but had never watched.  In the process of my research I have come across a film quite aptly named “Coast of Dreams” which is set in locations well known to us on Exmoor and a bit further down the coast in North Devon:  It features the Valley of Rocks and Woollacombe Beach, Clovelly, Northcote Manor as well Tapeley Park in Instow.


I do realise that our English speaking followers will not be particularly interested in watching a 90 minute film in German. However, as I said before, not even the German speaking audience really care about the dialogues and storylines. So if you are looking for a little bit of escapism on a not so nice summer’s day, here’s your opportunity.  Enjoy!

(And let us know if you spot John Spurr!)

(Written by Elke Winzer)