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Travel the UK without Viral Concerns

This post should more likely be under " England " or "Books and Movies " but since many here travel widely in Europe , this seems a more appropriate thread - While heartbroken about the likely reality of having to postpone my protracted trip to England and Scotland this coming Autumn , I fortunately have a temporary substitute - Starting in 2010 , a former MP began a series on BBC entitled " Great British Railway Journeys " . Still going strong , at eleven seasons , this documentary undertaking takes you on myriad trips . The title is somewhat misleading , because this covers a great deal of information , not only about trains , but inclusive of British history in many aspects , mostly in the Victorian era . If you have to stay home for the foreseeable future , spend a few dollars or euro , and get your hands on some of these They are available from Amazon and Amazon UK , but you will need a region free and code free DVD player to watch them ( not terribly expensive ) or they can be played on your computer This article will explain in greater depth - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_British_Railway_Journeys Try one of these , you will be hooked . EDIT - Some of the later series are posted on YouTube , you can sample them here - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=great+british+railway+journeys

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335 posts

The MP referred to, Michael Portillo, has also ventured future afield than the UK with his train journeys. There are many to Europe and he has also been to the US, Canada and - more recently - the Far East. This week on TV was a trip within Vietnam. The European trips are called Great Continental Railway Journeys.

There was an Australian episode that was interesting, when he encountered a group of Australians on a train who, having seen his previous train trips, had instigated - without knowing he would be aboard their train - a Portillo dress-alike competition. They asked him to judge it.

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4479 posts

Very dark glasses are recommended for many of his outfits.

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2982 posts

As Thomas More remarks in the opening of " A Man for all Seasons " , when they speak of Wolsey , " Yes , his looks , I give you his looks " ;-)

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2423 posts

Thank you, Steven. I am enjoying these very much.
At least, the ones I can find on YouTube.

I think many of these train journeys got their inspiration from one done by Michael Palin in 1980.
(of Monty Python fame and he was in "A Fish Called Wanda")
By coincidence, I was watching this one just yesterday.
Here's a 1980 train video by Michael Palin. Some good footage.
He is a serious train buff.
Enjoy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYi1qLUAJJI

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2982 posts

Rebecca , I'm glad you are enjoying the Portillo rail series . I've watched the Michael Palin video more times than my wife can count , having taped it back in 1980 when it first came out . It's a favorite of mine , very soothing . " Confessions of a Trainspotter " was one of a seven part series made by BBC back then ( " Great Railway Journeys of the World " ) , Each program had a different writer and presenter . Two of the others which were really great are - " Changing Trains " by Eric Robson , takes you from England on through to Budapest , on the route of the old Orient Express , crossing the continent with great style . Having watched this . also ad infinitum , it was a thrill to ride the Rigi Mountain Railway on Lake Lucerne thirty odd years later . Also , the children's railway in Budapest , was quite a thrill . ( in four parts , fifteen minutes each ) https://youtu.be/hlZaicAXnFA This one , is also a winner - Written by British historian , Michael Wood . " The Blue Train " takes you from Capetown to Victoria Falls in South Africa . This was done on the eve of Zimbabwe's independence from the former Rhodesia . My first introduction to Cecil Rhodes , forty years ago , this opened my eyes to a part of history of which I was unaware . - https://youtu.be/LRwtABg21YA . I would love to know what you think of these , Steve

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1220 posts

If you like the various Great Railway... programmes, you might want to look at the Great Canal Journey series. It has a slightly different premise because it's also partly about the husband and wife presenters (both famous actors), and increasingly the effect of the wife's dementia as it gets progressively worse. But it includes the same aspects of making a journey and finding out about the history/changes of where they pass. It ran for many series before they had to stop for health reasons. Early series covered Britain and France, and later ones were more global, including Canada in one episode.

Clearly, there is a good market for these travelogues (including me). If Great Rickshaw Journeys hasn't been made yet, then expect it soon!

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4479 posts

The BBC comedy 'Goodness Gracious Me' some years ago did a parody of train documentaries, especially those made in the likes of India, which can be found on youtube here (Official channel)

Warning for language and gratuitous ridicule of money-belts.

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2903 posts

This is perfect for my train nerd husband, thanks for the rec! I now have a good birthday present in mind.