How To Guides

If you're feeling inspired by The Great British Story: A People's History, watch these seven companion shorts and find out more about how you can start engaging with the local history in your area. Michael Wood is your guide to discovering the layers of the past and each film provides a wealth of hints, pointers and inspiration to get you started on your own historical journey in The Great British Story.

  • What is History?What is History?

    Michael Wood explores his hometown of Manchester, enthusing about the magic of history at a personal level, and revealing the historian's most important tools: documents, dialogue and discovery.

  • How to Read a Rural LandscapeHow to Read a Rural Landscape

    Every UK landscape has its own unique story that you can read and understand. Michael Wood points to some of the clues you should be looking for to get started.

  • How to Read Towns and CitiesHow to Read Towns and Cities

    Across the UK, our towns and cities provide a wealth of historical information. Michael Wood provides some hints to the things you should be looking out for to reveal layers of the past.

  • How to Read BuildingsHow to Read Buildings

    Michael Wood gives us a glimpse at a 1,000 years of architectural heritage in the UK, and offers a simple guide to thinking more about their origins and use.

  • What’s in a Surname?What’s in a Surname?

    Over hundreds of years, surnames have become universal in the UK and offer us clues to the past. Michael Wood explores how you can use surname research to learn more about the history of your family.

  • Getting InvolvedGetting Involved

    History is one of the UK's most popular leisure time activities. Michael Wood surveys the many different ways you can get involved. There really is something for everyone!

  • Putting It All TogetherPutting It All Together

    Michael Wood completes his personal journey and hands over the reins - to you! Armed with a deeper understanding of the history all around us, and with new inspiration into the ways of seeing, it's time to continue your own journey in The Great British Story!

Related Links

  • History HuntHistory Hunt

    The One Show’s Joe Crowley inspires teams of young history hunters from around the country to become history detectives. They use traditional techniques as well as new technology to uncover amazing stories of local unsung heroes. Designed to tie in with the primary curriculum, this series gives children the opportunity to engage with local history in new and exciting ways.

  • BBC TV blog by Michael WoodBBC TV blog by Michael Wood

    Have a read of Michael Wood’s blog where he writes about the making of The Great British Story: A People's History, chronicling the history of Great Britain and Northern Ireland through the eyes of the ordinary people who have lived here for more than 1,000 years.

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