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Great British Railway Journeys

Documentary series in which Michael Portillo travels the country by train.

Great British Railway Journeys Episodes

Series 13: 10. Park Royal To Westminster

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 10. Park Royal To Westminster

Michael’s rail journey through the interwar capital follows Harry Beck’s radical map for the London Underground, embraced by Londoners since its launch in 1932. Mich ...

01-06-2022

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BBC 2

Series 13: 9. Dagenham To Battersea

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 9. Dagenham To Battersea

Armed with his 1930s Bradshaw’s guide, Michael is in London, where he tracks the River Thames from east to west. Michael is drawn to the industrial eastern suburb by the u ...

31-05-2022

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BBC 2

Series 13: 8. Hampstead To Islington

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 8. Hampstead To Islington

Michael’s Bradshaw’s-inspired rail tour of London continues in Hampstead, where shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, a groundbreaking Jewish doctor f ...

30-05-2022

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BBC 2

Series 13: 7. Hackney Wick To Oxford Circus

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 7. Hackney Wick To Oxford Circus

Michael continues his travels through the capital in the heart of London’s East End. Michael explores Hackney Wick, today transformed from the time of his 1930s Bradshaw&r ...

26-05-2022

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Series 13: 6. Chislehurst To Kennington

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 6. Chislehurst To Kennington

Michael continues his journeys in greater London. Beginning on its southeastern fringe in the leafy and historic village of Chislehurst, Michael finds surprising imperial connec ...

25-05-2022

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BBC 2

Series 13: 5. Herne Bay To Leeds Castle, Kent

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 5. Herne Bay To Leeds Castle, Kent

Armed with his interwar copy of Bradshaw’s Guide to the Railways, Michael reaches the Kent seaside resort of Herne Bay, where he learns about a pioneering aviatrix who beg ...

24-05-2022

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Series 13: 4. Deal To Margate

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 4. Deal To Margate

From the Kent Cinque Port of Deal, Michael heads to the splendid Walmer Castle, home during the 1920s to a Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Beauchamp. Michael’s guide ...

23-05-2022

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BBC 2

Series 13: 3. Rye To Dungeness

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 3. Rye To Dungeness

Michael Portillo follows his 1930s Bradshaw’s guide to the unspoilt East Sussex Cinque Port of Rye. On the windswept harbour beach, he hears how, in 1928, a generation of ...

19-05-2022

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BBC 2

Series 13: 2. Hassocks To Benenden

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 2. Hassocks To Benenden

Starting in Hassocks, Michael makes his way to the beautiful Sussex village of Ditchling, where, between the wars, a Roman Catholic community of artists made their home. Michael ...

18-05-2022

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BBC 2

Series 13: 1. Biggin Hill To Ashdown Forest

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 13: 1. Biggin Hill To Ashdown Forest

Michael Portillo experiences a terrifying ‘victory roll’ in a World War II Spitfire, high above the most famous aerodrome of the Battle of Britain, Biggin Hill. The ...

17-05-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 15. Aberystwyth To Newtown

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 15. Aberystwyth To Newtown

Armed with his 1930s Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael travels from Aberystwyth into the Cambrian Mountains at Devil’s Bridge and finishes in Newtown, Powys.\n\nIn the elega ...

26-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 14. Blaenau Ffestiniog To Barmouth

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 14. Blaenau Ffestiniog To Barmouth

In the Welsh mountains of Snowdonia, Michael Portillo reaches an abandoned mine, where in 1940 the wartime government sought sanctuary for the National Gallery’s priceless ...

25-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 13. Bangor To Betws-y-coed

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 13. Bangor To Betws-y-coed

Michael Portillo continues his 1936 Bradshaw’s-inspired railway tour of north Wales in the coastal city of Bangor before turning south from Llandudno Junction to travel th ...

24-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 12. Rhyl To Anglesey

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 12. Rhyl To Anglesey

Michael Portillo’s 1930s Bradshaw’s-inspired railway tour of north Wales takes him to a coast lined by magnificent castles and sweeping bays.\n\nIn Colwyn Bay, he he ...

20-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 11. Crewe To Shotton

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 11. Crewe To Shotton

Michael Portillo is in Crewe, a town steeped in railway history and immortalised in Victorian music hall, to investigate the making of the iconic cinema classic The Night Mail d ...

19-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 10. Newmarket To Walsingham

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 10. Newmarket To Walsingham

Michael Portillo is in Suffolk on the last leg of his 1930s Bradshaw’s inspired tour of East Anglia. He begins at the home of British horseracing, Newmarket, where he lear ...

18-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 9. Sawbridgeworth To Cambridge

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 9. Sawbridgeworth To Cambridge

Steered by his Bradshaw’s guide, Michael Portillo heads for the Hertfordshire village of Perry Green, where, in 1940, a young couple fleeing the bombing of London chose to ...

17-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 8. Potters Bar To Cardington

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 8. Potters Bar To Cardington

Michael Portillo’s Bradshaw travels resume in leafy Hertfordshire, where he attempts a canoe slalom course at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, built for the London Olymp ...

13-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 7. Colchester To Chadwell Heath

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 7. Colchester To Chadwell Heath

Michael Portillo continues his Bradshaw’s-inspired journey through East Anglia, where he discovers the Essex origins of the BBC, joins the Women’s Land Army to pick ...

12-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 6. Saxmundham To Dedham

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 6. Saxmundham To Dedham

Armed with his 1930s Bradshaw’s guide, Michael Portillo explores East Anglia between the wars. His railway journey begins at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, where archaeologists ma ...

11-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 5. Farnborough To Winchester

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 5. Farnborough To Winchester

Michael is heading for Farnborough, Hampshire, famous today for its airshow and home to what was then the Royal Aircraft Establishment. Richard Gardner of the Farnborough Air S ...

10-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 4. Guildford To Aldershot

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 4. Guildford To Aldershot

Michael Portillo resumes his tour of the Home Counties in the picturesque and historic county town of Guildford. His 1936 Bradshaw’s guide commends its 'fine old cast ...

06-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 3. West Ruislip To Windsor

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 3. West Ruislip To Windsor

Michael Portillo heads for leafy Hatch End, where he investigates an illustrator whose work was so popular in the 1920s and 30s that his name entered the English dictionary. Wil ...

05-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 12: 2. Stoke Mandeville To Beaconsfield

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 2. Stoke Mandeville To Beaconsfield

Michael Portillo continues his travels through England's Home Counties at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire, where he discovers the legacy of a German Jewish doctor who f ...

04-01-2022

BBC 2

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BBC 2

Series 12: 1. Oxford To Abingdon

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 12: 1. Oxford To Abingdon

Michael Portillo strikes out on another series of railway journeys, this time through Britain between the world wars, armed with his 1930s Bradshaw’s guide.\n\nHe begins w ...

03-01-2022

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BBC 2

Series 11: 15. Attleborough To Skegness

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 15. Attleborough To Skegness

Michael Portillo is in East Anglia on the last leg of his rail journey through 1930s Britain. He begins in Attleborough in Norfolk, at the headquarters of an international horse ...

25-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 14. Saxmundham To Norwich

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 14. Saxmundham To Norwich

Michael Portillo continues his railway journey through eastern England from Canterbury to Skegness steered by his 1930s Bradshaw’s guidebook. \n\nStopping at Saxmundham ...

24-11-2021

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Series 11: 13. Witham To Felixstowe

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 13. Witham To Felixstowe

Michael Portillo's railway journey through 1930s Britain from Canterbury to Skegness reaches Witham in Essex. Here he visits the factory of the world's oldest supplier ...

23-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 12. Limehouse To Rochford

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 12. Limehouse To Rochford

Following his 1936 Bradshaw’s guidebook, Michael Portillo explores the east of England, in London and Essex, en route to Lincolnshire.\n\nOn this leg, Michael alights at L ...

22-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 11. Canterbury To Alexandra Palace

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 11. Canterbury To Alexandra Palace

Steered by his 1930s Bradshaw’s guidebook, this week Michael Portillo explores the east of England in the interwar period.\n\nBeginning in Canterbury in Kent, Michael trea ...

18-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 10. Taunton To Salisbury Plain

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 10. Taunton To Salisbury Plain

Michael Portillo crosses the county line from Devon into Somerset on his rail exploration of the West Country steered by his 1930s Bradshaw's guide.\n\nHe sees first-hand h ...

17-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 9. Paignton To Tiverton

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 9. Paignton To Tiverton

Michael Portillo's exploration of the West Country continues in south Devon. Guided by his 1930s Bradshaw’s, Michael arrives in Paignton to investigate an extraordina ...

16-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 8. Bodmin To Totnes

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 8. Bodmin To Totnes

Clutching his 1930s Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo reaches Bodmin en route to Totnes as he explores the West Country from St Ives to Salisbury Plain. \n\nOut on the ru ...

15-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 7. Truro To St Mawgan

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 7. Truro To St Mawgan

Michael Portillo is in Cornwall’s county town, Truro, with his 1930s Bradshaw’s Guide. In the surrounding countryside, he finds the historic estate of Trewithen, who ...

11-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 6. St Ives To St Day

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 6. St Ives To St Day

Michael Portillo boards the Great Western Railway at the Cornish seaside resort of St Ives. Steered by his 1930s Bradshaw’s Guide, this week he explores the West Country b ...

10-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 5. Elgin To Loch Ness

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 5. Elgin To Loch Ness

Michael Portillo is in the Scottish Highlands on the last leg of his rail journey through 1930s Britain. He begins in Elgin's port, the coastal town of Lossiemouth, where J ...

09-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 11: 4. Dundee To Aberdeen

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 4. Dundee To Aberdeen

Michael Portillo continues his railway journey from Newcastle to Loch Ness, steered by his 1930s Bradshaw's Guide. \n\nStopping at Dundee, Michael heads for Glamis Castle, ...

08-11-2021

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Series 11: 3. Falkirk To Dundee

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 3. Falkirk To Dundee

Michael Portillo's railway journey through 1930s Britain from Newcastle to Loch Ness reaches Falkirk in Scotland. Here he discovers the Westerglen Transmitting Station, fro ...

04-11-2021

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Series 11: 2. Kielder Forest To Edinburgh

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 2. Kielder Forest To Edinburgh

Steered by his 1936 Bradshaw's Guide, Michael Portillo is in Northumbria en route to the Highlands. \n\nOn this leg, he explores Kielder Forest, beginning at the County Sh ...

03-11-2021

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Series 11: 1. Newcastle To County Durham

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 11: 1. Newcastle To County Durham

Michael Portillo begins a new series of railway journeys through 1930s Britain, armed with an interwar Bradshaw's guide. He explores an unmistakably modern era of glamorous ...

02-11-2021

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BBC 2

Series 10: 15. East Malling To Rye

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 15. East Malling To Rye

Steered by his Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo is on the last leg of his journey from Warwick to Rye in East Sussex. In the orchards of East Malling, Kent, Michael disc ...

01-11-2021

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Series 10: 14. Piccadilly Circus To Gravesend

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 14. Piccadilly Circus To Gravesend

Michael Portillo hits the West End to explore an exotic store, which was a favourite among Edwardian ladies. At Covent Garden’s Royal Ballet School he hears how in 1909 a ...

28-10-2021

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BBC 2

Series 10: 13. Ealing Broadway To South Kensington

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 13. Ealing Broadway To South Kensington

Michael Portillo reaches the capital on his rail journey from Warwick to Rye in East Sussex. In the Queen of the Suburbs, Ealing, he finds comedy at the home of British cinema a ...

27-10-2021

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BBC 2

Series 10: 12. Reading To Taplow

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 12. Reading To Taplow

Armed with his Edwardian Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo picks up his rail journey from Warwick to Rye along the River Thames. In Reading, he traces the origins of educ ...

26-10-2021

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BBC 2

Series 10: 11. Warwick To Radley

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 11. Warwick To Radley

Michael Portillo embarks on a journey through Edwardian Britain, steered by his early twentieth century Bradshaw’s Guide. In Warwick’s medieval castle he uncovers th ...

25-10-2021

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BBC 2

Series 10: Episode 10

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: Episode 10

Armed with his Edwardian Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo falls into line with the University of Glasgow’s Officer Training Corps. Founded in the early 20th centur ...

20-10-2021

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BBC 2

Series 10: 9. Glasgow To Cumbrae

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 9. Glasgow To Cumbrae

Michael Portillo continues his journey through western Scotland by exploring the industrial heartland of Glasgow and its mighty River Clyde before taking the ferry to the island ...

19-10-2021

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Series 10: 8. Larne To Dumfries

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 8. Larne To Dumfries

Michael Portillo continues his journey from Northern Ireland across the water to Scotland. Leaving from the seaport of Larne he reaches Stranraer and the Mull of Galloway, where ...

18-10-2021

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Series 10: 7. Belfast To Portrush

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 7. Belfast To Portrush

Michael Portillo continues his rail journey through Northern Ireland steered by his Bradshaw’s Guide. In Belfast’s grand Edwardian City Hall, Michael investigates th ...

14-10-2021

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BBC 2

Series 10: 6. Newry To Portadown

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 6. Newry To Portadown

Steered by his Edwardian Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo navigates his way by rail – and ferry - across Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands from Newry to ...

13-10-2021

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Series 10: 5. Birmingham To The Potteries

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 5. Birmingham To The Potteries

Armed with his Bradshaw’s guide, Michael Portillo reaches Birmingham and discovers how a radical reformer would make his mark on the city of a thousand trades. \nAt Highb ...

12-10-2021

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Series 10: 4. Maltby To Hinckley

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 4. Maltby To Hinckley

Michael Portillo continues his tour of Britain’s industrial heartlands guided by his early 20th-century Bradshaw’s. Michael heads for Maltby, where he is caught up w ...

11-10-2021

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Series 10: 3. Manchester To Elsecar

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: 3. Manchester To Elsecar

Armed with his early 20th-century Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo continues his journey from Warrington to the Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent.\nIn Manchester, at the magni ...

07-10-2021

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Series 10: Episode 2

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: Episode 2

Michael Portillo continues his rail tour of Britain’s industrial northwest, steered by his early nineteenth century Bradshaw’s guide. \nIn Blackburn, he catches a r ...

06-10-2021

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Series 10: Episode 1

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 10: Episode 1

Armed with his early 20th century Bradshaw’s Guide, Michael Portillo embarks on a new journey through Britain’s industrial heartland in the footsteps of King George ...

05-10-2021

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Series 9: 15. Criccieth To Caernarfon

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 15. Criccieth To Caernarfon

With his Edwardian Bradshaw's railway guide tucked under his arm, Michael Portillo begins the last leg of his journey from Hull to Caernarfon. In picturesque Snowdonia, he ...

04-10-2021

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Series 9: 13. Sheffield To Nantwich

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 13. Sheffield To Nantwich

With his Edwardian railway guidebook tucked under his arm, Michael Portillo is in the steel city of Sheffield, where he discovers an enormous and beautifully preserved early 20t ...

28-09-2021

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Series 9: 12. York To Frizinghall

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 12. York To Frizinghall

Armed with his Edwardian Bradshaw's guide, Michael Portillo conducts important research in an historic tea room, built by an Edwardian immigrant to the city of York. Resear ...

27-09-2021

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Series 9: 11. Hull To Malton

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 11. Hull To Malton

Michael Portillo embarks on a journey through Britain steered by his Edwardian railway handbook. He begins in the East Yorkshire port of Hull, where he heads for the docks throu ...

23-09-2021

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Series 9: 10. Plymouth To The Lizard

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 10. Plymouth To The Lizard

Steered by his early 20th-century Bradshaw's railway guide, Michael Portillo boldly goes to the moon by way of the Cornish Riviera Express! On the trail of an historic achi ...

22-09-2021

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Series 9: 9. Taunton To Newton Abbot

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 9. Taunton To Newton Abbot

With purple, green and yellow ribbons flying, and sporting ankle bells, Michael Portillo is led a merry dance in Stogumber - all in the name of fertility. He visits a celebrated ...

21-09-2021

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Series 9: 8. Newport To Clevedon/yatton/bristol Channel

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 8. Newport To Clevedon/yatton/bristol Channel

Steered by his early 20th-century Bradshaw's guide, Michael discovers the birthplace of British aviation in Bristol and prepares an Airbus 380 for a smooth landing at Filto ...

20-09-2021

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Series 9: 7. Pontyclun To Ebbw Vale Town

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 7. Pontyclun To Ebbw Vale Town

Armed with his Edwardian Bradshaw's guide, Michael strikes gold at the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, where after much frisking, he gains access to the inner vaults.\n\nAt Card ...

16-09-2021

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Series 9: 6. Whitland To Swansea

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 6. Whitland To Swansea

Dressed in the colours of the Welsh flag and with his 'new' Edwardian Bradshaw's guide in hand, Michael Portillo embarks on a railway adventure, from the coalfiel ...

15-09-2021

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Series 9: 5. Swanwick To Brownsea Island

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 5. Swanwick To Brownsea Island

Steered by his Edwardian Bradshaw's guide, Michael Portillo promises to do his best on the island where Robert Baden Powell began the Scout movement in the early 20th centu ...

14-09-2021

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Series 9: 4. Chichester To Cowes

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 4. Chichester To Cowes

His early 20th-century Bradshaw's guide in hand, Michael Portillo is in Chichester, West Sussex, where he encounters an Edwardian motoring duo patronised by King Edward VII ...

13-09-2021

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Series 9: 3. Croydon To Shoreham-by-sea

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 3. Croydon To Shoreham-by-sea

Steered by his Edwardian Bradshaw's guide, Michael Portillo arrives in west Croydon, where he uncovers a once-celebrated, now forgotten, mixed-race composer with an uncanni ...

08-09-2021

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Series 9: 2. Letchworth Garden City To Herne Hill

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 2. Letchworth Garden City To Herne Hill

Armed with his early 20th-century Bradshaw's guide, Michael Portillo explores an Edwardian utopia with a radical plan at its heart. Michael joins a garden party where a fou ...

07-09-2021

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BBC 2

Series 9: 1. Cromer To Cambridge

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 1. Cromer To Cambridge

Michael Portillo fast tracks to the early 20th century to embark on a new series of railway journeys through Edwardian Britain. His \

06-09-2021

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Series 9: 14. Liverpool To Dolgarrog

Great British Railway Journeys - Series 9: 14. Liverpool To Dolgarrog

Michael Portillo's Edwardian railway guide takes him to the city of Liverpool, where King Edward VII had recently laid the foundation stone for a grand Anglican cathedral a ...

18-06-2020

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