Michael Portillo makes various railway journeys across the UK, using a 150-year-old Bradshaw's Guide (a collection of railway timetables and a guidebook). He looks at the history, culture and industry of the towns that he passes through, and the way that things have changed since Bradshaw wrote his Guide. Written by
Did You Know?
For Series 2, each week's five episodes constituted one journey. Episodes Great British Railway Journeys: Brighton to Crystal Palace
(2011) to Great British Railway Journeys: Dereham to Cromer
(2011) formed the first journey, north-eastwards across southern England and East Anglia, from Brighton via London to Cromer. Episodes Great British Railway Journeys: Ledbury to Shrewsbury
(2011) to Great British Railway Journeys: Llanberis to Holyhead
(2011) formed the second journey, westwards across the English Midlands into north Wales, following the route of the historic Irish Mail train, from Ledbury to Holyhead. Episodes Great British Railway Journeys: Newcastle to Chester-le-Street
(2011) to Great British Railway Journeys: Langley Mill to Melton Mowbray
(2011) formed the third journey, southwards across northern England and the Midlands, from Newcastle to Melton Mowbray. Episodes Great British Railway Journeys: London Bridge to Chatham
(2011) to Great British Railway Journeys: Hythe to Hastings
(2011) formed the fourth journey, southwards across southern England to the south coast, from London to Hastings. Episodes Great British Railway Journeys: Ayr to Paisley
(2011) to Great British Railway Journeys: Lochailort to Skye
(2011) formed the fifth journey across Scotland from Ayr to the Isle of Skye. See more
[introduction to each episode
In 1840, one man transformed travel in Britain. His name was George Bradshaw, and his railway guides inspired the Victorians to take to the tracks. Stop by stop, he told them where to travel, what to see and where to stay. Now, a hundred and seventy years later, I'm making four long journeys across the length and breadth of the country to see what remains of Bradshaw's Britain.