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Goes to Ireland - Belfast to Whitehead

Michael Portillo explores the fascinating history of Belfast's Victorian docks and discovers the Irish spade-making traditions untouched for over 150 years.

Michael Portillo takes to the tracks with a copy of George Bradshaw's Victorian Railway Guidebook. Portillo travels the length and breadth of the country to see how the railways changed us, and what of Bradshaw's Britain remains.

He crosses the Irish Sea to discover the rich railway history of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, following the unfurling 19th century expansion of the tracks from Dublin to Londonderry.

Michael explores the fascinating history of Belfast's Victorian docks, discovers the Irish spade making traditions untouched for over 150 years and takes a walk on the wild side with Whitehead's Victorian coastal paths.

30 minutes


Role Contributor
Presenter Michael Portillo
Series Producer Jay Taylor
Executive Producer John Comerford


  • Thu 2 Feb 2012 18:30
  • Tue 10 Jul 2012 04:05
  • Mon 10 Mar 2014 19:30
  • Thu 6 Nov 2014 16:50

Steam Railways

Steam Railways

A collection of programmes from the BBC archives on the beauty of steam locomotives.