The Age of Leisure
Documentary series about Britain's railways. A look at how the idea of an excursion to distant places became popular from the 1840s onwards.
The very idea of an excursion to distant places became popular from the 1840s onwards. People were taking day trips and seeing parts of the country they had never seen before. However, it wasn't all seaside and sand. Some excursion trains were set up to satisfy the public's demand to witness public executions. Other lines transported people to enjoy horse racing and sporting events. Thousands visited resorts, spa towns and the coast. A new wave of Victorian tourists spent their cash on holidays and visited hotels at stations and beyond. The ultimate experience was often to head to the hills and sample clean air, far away from industrial grime and pollution. Working-class northerners now had access to the Lake District. However, one particular Lakeland resident, William Wordsworth, was initially not so happy about the influx of this new type of visitor.