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Great British Railway Journeys [Hardcover]

Michael Portillo , Charlie Bunce
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 13.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Jan 2011

The Sunday Times Bestseller

A glorious insight into Britain over the last 150 years - its history, landscape and people - from the window of Britain’s many and magnificent railway journeys.

Inspired by George Bradshaw, a 19th-century cartographer who mapped Britain’s railways as they sprung up around him, Charlie Bunce and Michael Portillo take a journey along nine classic British railway routes and surround themselves with the history, the charm and the people at the heart of the railways.

More than just a practical mode of transport, Britain’s railways are richly representative and evocative of British society and how it has developed over the last 150 years. Symbols of progress and change, they tell of remarkable breakthroughs in technology, industry and travel. Iconic in their design they have both made a distinctive impact on Britain’s landscape and opened it up to millions of people who, through train journeys alone, became acquainted with wonderful new places and sights. And as fond staples of childhood experiences they evoke deep, memorable feelings of nostalgia, of holidays and home.

Great British Train Journeys is a passionate, charming and insightful look at Britain from a window seat: a compelling read for all who look forward to travelling by train.

Frequently Bought Together

Great British Railway Journeys + Bradshaw's Railway Folded Map 1907 (Old House) + Bradshaw's Handbook - A Facsimile of the Famous Guide (Old House)
Price For All Three: 24.79

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; First Edition edition (6 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007394764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007394760
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 20.3 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


• ‘A glorious insight into Britain over the last 150 years – its history, landscape and people – from the window of Britain's many and magnificent railway journeys […] It fills in the gaps, gives you more insight, takes you further, as it were. Charlie Bunce's words are the perfect compliment to Portillo's commentaries, and the entire book is a delight to read. The original photography is stunning, while the historical photographs are simply fascinating. All in all, this is a book no serious history student of this period can afford to be without. It's for armchair travellers, yes indeed, but it's much more valuable than that.’ – Books Monthly's Nonfiction Choice for February

• A ‘delightful pictorial travelogue’ – Annabel Ford, Cox & Kings

• ‘A colourful insight into Britain over the last 150 years’ – National Geographic Traveller

About the Author

Charlie Bunce has spent his working life in broadcasting producing many award-winning programmes. He is now Editor of Factual Programmes at talkbackTHAMES, where he produced Grand Designs and Great British Railway Journeys.

Michael Portillo was an MP for nearly 20 years and held three ministerial positions in the cabinet. He now has a regular weekly television show about politics, and has made documentaries on a range of subjects, including Great British Railway Journeys.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ideal answer to relax after a tiring day! 4 Feb 2011
By Penny
Having watched the television series I was delighted to receive the book and how true to the series it was. This book is very well written, beautifully illustrated and very easy to read and assimilate - a good read after a busy day. Looking forward to receiving the DVD of the series.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great British Railway Book 21 Feb 2011
We were drawn to the book having seen a couple of episodes of the televsion series, presented by Michael Portillo. Unfortunately we didn't manage to view the whole series (6.30 in the evening was rather poor programming) so perhaps a DVD purchase is imminent! The book is an 'easy read' - not complicated or stuffy and includes some excellent photographs. The journeys are described beautifully with the bonus of snippets of history about various towns en route. It is not a book just for 'railway enthusiasts' - though I feel sure they would enjoy it - and it has a much broader appeal. In recent times we are used to holidaying abroad so many people are more knowledgeable about foreign cities than those on our doorstep, myself included, and this book has rekindled an interest in doing some touring closer to home, both by rail and by simply tracing parts of the route by road and by foot. One journey in the book was near Newcastle, a region that I know nothing of despite my mother being a Geordie, so this is where we are bound in the near future - having done some family tree research first. It's amazing where a 'good read' might take you! I enthusiastically recommend this book.
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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A super TV tie-in 16 Jan 2011
By Steve
I enjoyed the first series of Great British Railway journeys on TV last year and the current series does not disappoint.
This book is excellent with informative text and super illustrations and manages to combine social history with the enthusiasm for rail travel.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well presented 9 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent programme and very good book showing the highligts .
A good substitute for Bradshaw's Hand Book which is unattainable
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great British Railway Journeys 31 Mar 2011
This is an interesting book, especially for people who have seen the TV series. I missed some of the episodes, which is partly why I bought the book. However, as mentioned by other reviewers, there are a few annoying errors, such as the reference on Page 262 of the Hythe and New Romney railway being opened in 1927, "and extended to Dungeness in 1828". Back to the future? Also, I cannot understand how anyone can publish a book such as this without including at least one map showing the routes covered. Even a basic outline map of the UK with the routes marked would have been helpful. Having said this, I did enjoy reading it and am not sorry I bought it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good idea! How do you choose? 25 Feb 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Revisiting Bradshaw is a great idea, but how to choose? The TV programmes and therefore this book contain an eclectic choice of routes, many of which are scarcely credible in terms of journeys that would actually be chosen (many required some road based assistance!). The circuitous ramblings however provide an interesting selection of places and snippets of information about their past to provide a fascinating read. A good selection of illustrations adds to the interest.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Railman 31 Jan 2011
By cairns
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A book to accompany the T.V. series. It moves along at a good pace and helps to fix in your mind what you saw on the programmes. There are lots of photo's to accompany the text, both colour and black&white. Each chapter covers one of the set of programmes, nine in all. There are some glaring errors, Dark Peak becomes Dark peat, Bouch becomes Boucher, Swan becomes Swann and Edward Pease's birth and death dates are partially mixed up, but these can be easily rectified in any further reprints. It is perhaps more of a book for the casual observer, but great enjoyment could be attained by anyone.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could be better 7 Mar 2011
By T. W.
If you're expecting it to be as exhilarating as the television series, it falls short - as it's not written by Michael Portillo, it lacks his charisma and, sometimes, his grammar too. So, although it needs a little more proofreading, it's quite fun and informative but lacks the obvious thing - maps. Worth buying but to be read with your own map to hand.
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