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The BBC's Great British Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo has helped rekindle public interest in UK rail heritage in his popular series of Great British Railway Journeys, broadcast on BBC2 and BBC HD. The former MP makes his way around the British Isles by train on routes detailed in the Victorian Railway Guidebook, originally written by Lancashire-born cartographer and printer George Bradshaw in the 19th century.

Many Rail Discoveries customers often contact us to discuss which of our train tours travel on the routes presented in the Great British Railway Journeys programme. To help interested customers, we have produced a list of episodes shown so far that feature trains, or areas visited, on Rail Discoveries holidays.

Series of Great British Railway Journeys

Series 6

  

Route Description Similar Rail Discoveries tour
Greenock to Larkhall From Greenock, Michael Portillo sets sail in the world's last seagoing paddle steamer.

Scottish Highlands

West Highlands & Skye

St Andrew's to Edinburgh In St Andrews, Michael Portillo pays homage to the birthplace of golf.

The Highlands by Steam

Royal Deeside & The Spey Valley

Series 5

 

Journey Episode details Similar Rail Discoveries tour
Haworth to Huddersfield Michael visits the home of the Bronte sisters in Worth Valley and Oakworth, with its heritage railway Yorkshire by Steam
Cheltenham to Wolverhampton Michael discovers a very early locomotive carriage in Cheltenham, which ran on the road Worcester & the Severn Valley
Series 4

 

Journey Episode details Similar Rail Discoveries tour
Welshpool to Aberystwyth Michael Portillo has a traditional Victorian trip to the Welsh seaside. Railways of Wales
Series 3

 

Journey Episode details Similar Rail Discoveries tour
Heysham to Snaefell Michael Portillo takes the ferry from England to the enchanting Isle of Man The Isle of Man
Series 2

 

Journey Episode details Similar Rail Discoveries tour
Dereham to Cromer Michael Portillo has the privilege of driving a heritage diesel train Norwich & Norfolk
Llanwrst to Porthmadog Michael Portillo visits the Conwy Valley and its former slate capital of Blaenau Ffestiniog Railways of Wales
Llanberis to Holyhead Michael Portillo climbs to the top of Wales, Mount Snowdon, by train Railways of Wales
Durham to Grosmont Michael Portillo explores the history of breathtaking Durham Cathedral and experiences the legacy of Dracula in Whitby

Yorkshire & Durham

York to Saltaire Michael Portillo takes a Turkish Bath in the famous spa town of Harrogate

Yorkshire & Durham

Yorkshire by Steam

Dumbarton to Tyndrum Michael explores the Dumbarton shipyards that built the Cutty Sark

Highland Fling

The Highlands by Steam

Scottish Highlands

West Highlands & Skye

Edinburgh Tattoo

Oban to Corrour Michael discovers how trains spread the word about Oban Whisky

Highland Fling

The Highlands by Steam

Scottish Highlands

West Highlands & Skye

Edinburgh Tattoo

Roybridge to Glenfinnan Michael investigates one of the great geological mysteries of the 19th century

Highland Fling

The Highlands by Steam

Scottish Highlands

West Highlands & Skye

Edinburgh Tattoo

Lochailort to Skye Michael discovers how the railways helped train commandos at Lochailort in World War II

Highland Fling

The Highlands by Steam

Scottish Highlands

West Highlands & Skye

Edinburgh Tattoo

Series 1

 

Journey Episode details Similar  Rail Discoveries tour
Todmorden to York Michael is introduced to the Roman heritage of the City of York Yorkshire by Steam
Settle to Garsdale Bradshaw's book takes Michael along the Settle-Carlisle Line to mighty Ribblehead Viaduct Yorkshire & Durham
St Pancras to Westminster Michael completes the first stage of his Great British Railway Journeys at one of the grandest stations in the UK Most of our European tours depart St Pancras
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