Do you love Great British Railway Journeys? Whether you’re hooked because you simply want to see what sartorial linen delights old smoothie Michael Portillo will be wearing next, or whether it’s to learn more about the UK’s fascinating network of villages and towns, or you’re a railway or history buff, you can now revisit every single episode of the show thanks to their release on DVD.
We recently took the train with Portillo for series 10 and thoroughly enjoyed this year’s offering.
If you want a little reminder of where Portillo visited in earlier seasons, then here’s a quick summary:
Liverpool to Scarborough
Preston to Kirkcaldy
Swindon to Penzance
Buxton to London
Portillo explores the secret ammunition factory at Gretna, sails the last steam boat on Lake Windermere, learns to talk ‘scouse’ in Liverpool, takes a dip in Bath Spa, cooks a traditional curry in Birmingham, tries his hand at oyster fishing in Cornwall and meets survivors of the Coventry Blitz.
Brighton to Cromer
Ledbury to Holyhead
Newcastle to Melton Mowbray
London Bridge to Hastings
Ayr to Skye
Portillo witnesses all the things that have changed since the early days of rail transport and what still remains of Bradshaw’s Britain, discovering the effect the railways had on the public and finding out how the British love of trains all began. Michael samples some classic Cromer crab, gets a rare chance to drive a heritage diesel and gets up close and personal with a pedigree Hereford bull. He also discovers a secret World War II chemical weapons plant at Rhydmwyn.
Great Yarmouth to London
Windsor to Portland
Oxford to Milford Haven
Berwick-upon-Tweed to Isle of Man
Dublin to Londonderry
Michael follows the route of the Great Eastern Line, which ventures from the edge of England, to the centre of the country’s financial capital London. He goes in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, following the railways she once rode from her castle in Windsor to the Isle of Portland on the south coast. Then he travels west, from Oxford in the heart of England, through the Malvern Hills and into Wales, with the unique Victorian heritage of the South Welsh coastline.
High Wycombe to Aberystwyth
Portsmouth to Grimsby
Stirling to John O’Groats
Paddington to Newton Abbot
Goes To Ireland: Killarney to Galway
Beginning in the rolling Chiltern Hills, he makes his way through to the stunning Severn Valley and finishes at the Victorian seaside resort of Aberystwyth. He then travels from the centuries old naval hub of Portsmouth to the historic Grimsby docks. Later, he uses Bradshaw’s Descriptive Railway Handbook of Great Britain and Ireland to explore the Republic of Ireland from Killarney to Galway on the Atlantic Coast.
Manchester to Chesterfield
London to Leeds
Southampton to Wolverhampton
Norwich to Chichester
Portillo goes from Manchester, birthplace of George Bradshaw – the publisher of this trusted guide, to Chesterfield, burial place of George Stephenson, the father of the railway. He also has a painful encounter with a polecat in Norwich.
Ayr to Edinburgh
Amersham to London Bridge
Derby to Lindisfarne
Pembroke Dock to Cambridge
Michael tries his hand at curling, visits the birthplace of golf, gives an old engine a fresh start in Derby, explores London’s Highgate Cemetery, takes a trip to Lindisfarne, learns of the miners who fuelled the Industrial Revolution and explores the treasures of the Bodleian Library.
Carlisle to Alton
Dover to Porthcurno
Birmingham to Dartmoor
Ashford to Henley-on-Thames
Portillo visits the home of Beatrix Potter and takes a ride on the very first passenger heritage line in Britain. He also hears tales from a Victorian tannery, discovers a very early white-knuckle ride, takes in an opera at Glyndebourne, and learns of the tragic events that would ultimately bring about the Victorian age.
London to Edinburgh
Blackpool to Harwich
Goes to Ireland: Wexford to Westport
Portillo returns to school, tests a state-of-the-art passenger train, uncovers the macabre history of body snatching, meets Nobel prize-winning scientists and journeys on the Flying Scotsman!
Cromer to Brownsea Island
Whitland to The Lizard
Hull to Caernarfon
This complete ninth series sees Michael following in the footsteps of King Edward VII, investigating London’s newest rail tunnel, crossing the Solent with a ticket to Ryde, striking gold at the Royal Mint, discovering the departure point of Scott’s ill-fated voyage to the Antarctic, uncovering the birthplace of British aviation and boldly going to the moon by way of the Cornish Riviera Express!
Portillo travels from Warrington to Rye in the North West of England, stopping to try out clay spinning, restoring carriages for a heritage light railway and messing about on the Thames.
Great British Railway Journeys, presented by Michael Portillo, are available now on DVD from Network. Buy now.