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Great Coastal Railway Journeys | BBC Two 31 January 6:30pm

Great Coastal Railway Journeys | BBC Two 31 January 6:30pm

Episode 6

Michael Portillo crosses the Culloden Viaduct aboard the Caledonian Sleeper to arrive bright and early in the coastal city of Inverness, from where he heads north on a magnificent scenic adventure to the Orkney archipelago.

On boggy moorland overlooking the Moray Firth near Inverness, Michael explores the battlefield at Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army fought British Government troops in 1746. Today, ponies and cattle help to preserve the character of the landscape as it was 275 years ago. Michael learns to execute the infamous Highland Charge and discovers how the Jacobites’ catastrophic defeat devastated the Highlands for years to come.

Excellent sea and rail links and swathes of lush pine forest in this coastal region have given rise to a strong timber industry. Michael investigates the production of Oriented Strand Board for the construction industry at an Inverness mill, which manufactures 16 million boards annually.
The Highland mainline climbs the Slochd summit to deliver Michael to the village of Carrbridge, home of the World Porridge Making Championships. At stake is a Golden Spurtle – but does Michael’s whisky-flavoured mushroom porridge risotto stand a chance?

At Broomhill, Michael’s dreams come true when he is invited to join the crew of the Strathspey Steam Railway on the footplate of their wonderful locomotive as they puff and pant their way past the River Spey and the Cairngorm mountains, along the original main line from Inverness to Perth.

At Aviemore, Michael heads into the Cairngorms National Park to admire its epic scenery. On the banks of Loch Morlich, he learns about writer, poet and naturalist Nan Shepherd, who captured the essence of the Cairngorms in her prose.

January 31 @ 18:30
18:30 — 19:00 (30′)

BBC Two

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