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Nicholas Crane (born 6 May 1954) is an English geographer, explorer, writer and broadcaster. Since 2004 he has written and presented four notable television series for BBC Two: Coast, Great British Journeys, Map Man and Town.
Early life and education
Crane was born in Hastings, East Sussex, but grew up in Norfolk. He attended Wymondham College from 1967 until 1972, then Cambridgeshire College of Arts & Technology (CCAT), a forerunner to Anglia Ruskin University, where he studied Geography.
In his youth he went camping and hiking with his father and explored Norfolk by bicycle, which gave him his enthusiasm for exploration.
In 1986 he located the pole of inaccessibility for the Eurasia landmass travelling with his cousin Richard; their journey being the subject of the book Journey to the Centre of the Earth. In 1992–93 he embarked on an 18-month solo journey, walking 10,000 kilometres from Cape Finisterre to Istanbul. He recounted the trip in his book Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Across Europe which won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in 1997, and made a television self-documentary of the journey: High Trails to Istanbul (1994).
His 2000 book Two Degrees West described his walk across Great Britain in which he followed the eponymous meridian as closely as possible. More recently he published a biography of Gerard Mercator, the great Flemish cartographer.
In 2007 he completed a series called 'Great British Journeys'. In eight parts the series consisted of eight people who explored Great Britain and made a contribution to society born of the exploration. Each episode lasts one hour. The explorers are:
- Thomas Pennant (clergyman)
- William Gilpin
- Celia Fiennes
- William Cobbett
- Gerald of Wales
- Daniel Defoe
- John Leland
- H.V. Morton
He presented a series about British towns broadcast in August 2011 and May–June 2013.
He is currently working on a 12,000-year historical geography of Britain.
He married Annabel Huxley in 1991. They live in north-west London and have three children.
- The CTC Route Guide to Cycling in Britain and Ireland (with Christa Gausden, 1980)
- Cycling Guide (Tantivy Press, annually 1980–86)
- Cycling in Europe (1984)
- Bicycles Up Kilimanjaro (with Richard Crane, 1985)
- Journey to the Centre of the Earth (with Richard Crane, 1987)
- Richard's Mountain Bike Book (with Charles Kelly, edited by Richard Ballantine, 1988)
- Nick Crane's Action Sports (1989)
- Atlas Biker: Cycling in Morocco. O.U.P. (1990)
- Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Across Europe (1996)
- Two Degrees West: An English Journey (2000)
- Mercator: The Man Who Mapped the Planet (2003)
- Great British Journeys (2007)
- Coast A Journey around our Shores (2010)
- Now Get Out of That – as a contestant representing Oxford, 1982
- High Trails to Istanbul (1994)
- Map Man (8x30m, 2004 and 8x30m, 2005)
- Coast (as main presenter, 13x60m, 2005 and as regular contributor 2006 to present)
- Great British Journeys (8x60m, 2007)
- Nicholas Crane's Britannia: The Great Elizabethan Journey (3x60m, 2009)
- In Search of England’s Green and Pleasant Land: East (30m, 2009) Broadcast 5 June 2009 7.30pm BBC4
- Munro: Mountain Man (60m, 2009) Broadcast 20 September 9pm BBC4
- TOWN with Nicholas Crane (4x60m, 2011 and 4x60m, 2013)