Great British Railway Journeys

The BEST episodes of Great British Railway Journeys

Every episode of Great British Railway Journeys ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Great British Railway Journeys!

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Railway Guidebook. Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways have changed it, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

Last Updated: 8/11/2022Network: BBC Two
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Newbridge to Roscrea
star
9.00
1 votes

#1 - Newbridge to Roscrea

Season 4 - Episode 24 - Aired 2/7/2013

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks once again using his Bradshaw's 'Handbook for Tourists in Great Britain and Ireland' from the Victorian era. Portillo is on a railway journey through the Republic of Ireland travelling from the rugged beauty of County Kerry, across the rural Irish Midlands to end in the city of Galway on the Atlantic coast. In this episode, Michael visits the Irish National Stud, discovers how harsh life was for the Irish poor and uncovers an astronomical feat of Victorian engineering.

Canterbury to Alexandra Palace
star
9.00
1 votes

#2 - Canterbury to Alexandra Palace

Season 11 - Episode 11 - Aired 1/20/2020

Beginning in Canterbury in Kent, Michael treads the boards as he uncovers the political message behind a play, published in 1936, inspired by the 12th-century murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket.

Deal to Margate
star
9.00
1 votes

#3 - Deal to Margate

Season 13 - Episode 4 - Aired 5/20/2021

Michael heads to the splendid Walmer Castle, home during the 1920s to a Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Beauchamp, whose openly homosexual lifestyle led to his exile from the country.

Oban to Corrour
star
8.75
4 votes

#4 - Oban to Corrour

Season 2 - Episode 23 - Aired 2/2/2011

Michael discovers how trains spread the word about Oban whisky, hears about the heroic struggle to build a railway across the desolate Rannoch Moor, and visits Corrour, one of the favourite shooting estates of the Victorian political elite

Dromod to Sligo
star
8.67
3 votes

#5 - Dromod to Sligo

Season 8 - Episode 14 - Aired 1/19/2017

With his Victorian Bradshaw's guidebook in hand, Michael Portillo crosses the Emerald Isle uncovering Irish identity, forged at a time of political strife. Travelling through the beautiful landscape, Michael learns how it inspired one of the 20th century's greatest poets, WB Yeats.

Taunton to Salisbury Plain
star
8.50
2 votes

#6 - Taunton to Salisbury Plain

Season 11 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/17/2020

Michael Portillo crosses the county line from Devon into Somerset. He sees first-hand how willow farmers sought to overcome the challenge from the production of synthetic plastics during the 1930s.

Brighton to Crystal Palace
star
8.44
62 votes

#7 - Brighton to Crystal Palace

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/3/2011

Michael finds out about Brighton's Victorian aquarium

Dumbarton to Tyndrum
star
8.40
5 votes

#8 - Dumbarton to Tyndrum

Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired 2/1/2011

Michael explores the historic Dumbarton shipyards that built the Cutty Sark, visits one of Queen Victoria's favourite haunts, Loch Lomond, and goes hunting for gold in Scotland's mountains

Dundee to Aberdeen
star
8.40
5 votes

#9 - Dundee to Aberdeen

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired 1/22/2013

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with his copy of Bradshaw's Victorian railway guidebook, he travels the length and breadth of the British Isles to see what of Bradshaw's World remains. Michael is exploring the stunning scenery of rural and coastal Scotland, travelling from Stirling, through the industrial east coast and dramatic Highland landscapes, to the beauty of the western lochs, finally ending his journey in John O'Groats. Michael learns how Queen Victoria used to hide from her subjects, discovers how factory workers went deaf and goes out with a bang in Aberdeenshire.

Edinburgh to Kirkcaldy
star
8.38
8 votes

#10 - Edinburgh to Kirkcaldy

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/15/2010

Michael makes apple juice in the Clyde valley orchards, pays a thrilling visit to the top of the Forth Rail Bridge and relives his childhood memories in his grandparents' home town of Kirkcaldy.

Killarney to Cobh
star
8.33
3 votes

#11 - Killarney to Cobh

Season 4 - Episode 21 - Aired 2/4/2013

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks once again using his Bradshaw's 'Handbook for Tourists in Great Britain and Ireland' from the Victorian era. Portillo is on a railway journey through the Republic of Ireland travelling from the rugged beauty of County Kerry, across the rural Irish Midlands to end in the city of Galway on the Atlantic coast. In this episode Michael samples nineteenth century foodie delicacies, explores a stunning landscape shot to fame by rails and royals and risks life and limb for the gift of the gab.

Swindon to Bristol
star
8.25
4 votes

#12 - Swindon to Bristol

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired 1/18/2010

Michael finds out about free holiday trains for the GWR workers in Swindon, samples the Spa in Bath, and tries his hand at glass blowing in Bristol.

Darsham to Felixstowe
star
8.25
4 votes

#13 - Darsham to Felixstowe

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/3/2012

Michael Portillo follows the Victorians' fascination with Britain's own Atlantis to Dunwich and discovers the history of the Port of Felixstowe.

Roybridge to Glenfinnan
star
8.20
5 votes

#14 - Roybridge to Glenfinnan

Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired 2/3/2011

Michael investigates one of the great geological mysteries of the 19th Century, the parallel roads of Glenroy. Plus, he finds out how the Victorians put a weather observatory on the top of Ben Nevis and takes a steam train across one of the most spectacular viaducts in Britain at Glenfinnan

Swanwick to Brownsea Island
star
8.19
31 votes

#15 - Swanwick to Brownsea Island

Season 9 - Episode 5 - Aired 1/5/2018

Michael Portillo builds a bivouac with a group of scouts and learns about war horses.

Portsmouth to Gomshall
star
8.17
6 votes

#16 - Portsmouth to Gomshall

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired 1/14/2013

Michael Portillo embarks on the next stage of his journey in which he travels from the naval hub of Portsmouth to Grimsby docks. On the first leg, he helps feed the crew of Britain's newest battleship, discovers how the Victorians planned to repel a possible French invasion and learns there is a well-established industry in an unlikely location.

Kingston upon Hull to Malton, North Yorkshire
star
8.07
29 votes

#17 - Kingston upon Hull to Malton, North Yorkshire

Season 9 - Episode 11 - Aired 1/15/2018

Plymouth to The Lizard
star
8.03
29 votes

#18 - Plymouth to The Lizard

Season 9 - Episode 10 - Aired 1/12/2018

Michael Portillo boldly goes to the moon by the way of the Cornish Rivera Express!

Dereham to Cromer
star
8.03
33 votes

#19 - Dereham to Cromer

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 1/7/2011

Michael gets the rare chance to drive a heritage diesel train.

Settle to Garsdale
star
8.03
34 votes

#20 - Settle to Garsdale

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 1/12/2010

Michael returns to the historic Settle-Carlisle line to find out what has happened to it since he helped save it in the 1980s. Along the way, he explores the magnificent Ribblehead viaduct, finds out about the navvies who helped to build it and catches a steam train along the line.

Pontefract to Bridlington
star
8.00
33 votes

#21 - Pontefract to Bridlington

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 1/7/2010

Michael searches for the last liquorice grower in Pontefract, discovers how the railways turned Hull into one of the largest white fish ports in the world and goes fishing for sea bass in Bridlington.

Carlisle to Glasgow
star
8.00
6 votes

#22 - Carlisle to Glasgow

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired 1/14/2010

Michael meets the wild clansmen of Carlisle, the Border Reivers, witnesses a wedding in Gretna Green and visits a secret World War One munitions factory.

Dundalk to Portadown
star
8.00
5 votes

#23 - Dundalk to Portadown

Season 3 - Episode 23 - Aired 2/1/2012

Today Michael explores the Victorians' fascination with antiquity, by visiting the amazing Cromlech stones of Dundalk. He reaches for the stars at the Portadown Observatory and travels in style along the steam railway of Downpatrick.

Ballymoney to Londonderry
star
8.00
3 votes

#24 - Ballymoney to Londonderry

Season 3 - Episode 25 - Aired 2/3/2012

Today Michael takes a white knuckle walk over the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, follows in the footsteps of the Victorians to experience the delights of the Giant's Causeway and explores the rich history of Londonderry.

Woking to Clapham Junction
star
8.00
5 votes

#25 - Woking to Clapham Junction

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired 1/15/2013

Michael Portillo travels from Woking in Surrey to Clapham Junction in south London. Along the way he gets close to some precious Victorian botany at Kew Gardens, tries his hand at croquet and discovers a very surprising 19th-century place of worship.

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