Great British Railway Journeys – 17 May 2021 – 17/5/2021 – Monday – BBC Two

Biggin Hill to Ashdown Forest
Series 13 Episode 1 of 15

Michael Portillo experiences a terrifying ‘victory roll’ in a World War II Spitfire, high above the most famous aerodrome of the Battle of Britain, Biggin Hill. The 80-year-old aircraft, in which so many young men risked their lives for the nation, is one of a fleet intensively maintained by a dedicated team of technicians, and Michael is privileged to be flown by an ex-Royal Navy pilot. Michael learns of the strategic importance of the sector airfield to the defence of the capital and the country.

Back on terra firma, Michael takes the train to East Grinstead on the trail of a bear with very little brain. In Ashdown Forest, he meets a biographer of A.A. Milne to find out about the author’s much-loved character, Winnie the Pooh. Michael plays a game of Pooh Sticks, then treats himself to a ‘little something’ at Pooh Corner.

Deeper into the forest, Michael discovers Plaw Hatch Farm, 200 acres of community-owned farmland that operates biodynamically according to principles first laid out in the 1920s. Michael helps to pick cabbages in the field and lends a hand with cheese production in the dairy.

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About Great British Railway Journeys

Cartographer George Bradshaw produced the first comprehensive timetable and travel guide of Great Britain’s railway system in 1840. Armed with his Bradshaw’s Guide, presenter Michael Portillo travels around the country by train exploring the ways that society and industry have changed since the guide was first published during the Victorian era. In each destination Michael visits local landmarks, meets residents, enjoys local food, and tries his hand at local crafts and manufacture, and considers the legacy of the industrial revolution.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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