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Journey 2: Swindon to Penzance (Great British Railway Journeys, Book 2)

30 pages40 minutes


A glorious insight into the history, landscape and people of Britain, from The Sunday Times bestseller.

Nicknamed the ‘Holiday Line’, the 300-mile stretch of railway from Swindon to Penzance opened up the South West to a new breed of holiday-makers in the Victorian age, laying the foundations of the modern tourist industry. Michael Portillo visits Swindon, the powerhouse behind the Great Western Railway’s extraordinary feats of engineering, travels through Brunel’s famous Box Tunnel, encounters Bath’s elegant streets and spa and discovers one of Bradshaw’s most significant contributions to modern society – establishing a single time zone throughout Britain.

Places visited: Swindon, Bath, Bristol, Yatton, Weston-super-Mare, Devon , Exeter, Torquay, Totnes, Cornwall, St Germans, St Austell, Par, Mevagissey, Penzance.

This individual journey is one of a series taken from the bestselling books Great British Railway Journeys and Great Victorian Railway Journeys that accompany the highly successful BBC Two series. Michael Portillo follows the famous George Bradshaw railway guides in railway journeys across the length and breadth of the country, discovering spectacular scenery and stunning architecture and exploring local history and industry.

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