Recently I’ve been watching, and re-watching Michael Portillo’s television series ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ which covers the social political and cultural upheaval that was the invention and spread of the railways across not only the United Kingdom but all of Europe and the world.
Michael Portillo’s journey through the UK, and Europe using his copy of the 1913 Bradshaw’s Railway Guide has fascinated and allured this committed public transport enthusiast (yes it really is as bad as it sounds – I’ve even got my wife taking photos of trains now although it’s taken 20 years of brainwashing to achieve). I digress however; I have many friends in the UK Model Railway community and one of my desires once both of the kids finish High School is to take a 3 month holiday to the motherland and travel the rails and catch up with people all over. Thus Julian Holland’s tome comes to the fore.
As a planning tool it will be as invaluable to me as Bradshaw’s Railway Guide was to Michael Portillo. The book provides all the area highlights, destinations, train frequency and so on that the traveller will need to aid in planning and executing (this now sounds more like a military operation than a holiday I know) their excursions.
As a travelling companion I’ll enjoy it no less, allowing me to look both at where I’ve travelled from and where I’ll be travelling to next.
I’ve given the book 8/10 simply because there is no additional advice on how best to plan your day trips to maximise your time and so on in the regions. That said, I love the book and the passion the writer brings to the subject. Onward to Old Blighty in 2023!