Great British Railway Journeys – Series 7 (2016)

Michael Portillo standing on a steam train in front of the control panel

Michael Portillo, Great British Railway Journeys © BBC/Boundless, part of FremantleMedia UK

 

Production company: Talkback Thames

Kent Locations used: Dover, Romney Marsh, Dungeness, Ashford, Sevenoaks, Knole Park

Series seven of Great British Railway returns to BBC Two, as presenter Michael Portillo travels on the great train routes of Europe and retraces the journeys featured in George Bradshaw’s 1913 Continental Railway Guide.

In episode six of the new series, Portillo embarks on a new railway journey along the south coast of England which starts at the port of Dover where he is inspired by a brave Victorian sea captain to plunge into the English Channel. Next he takes the spectacular Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch miniature steam railway through the Romney Marsh to Dungeness before heading to Eastbourne.

Episode 16 sees Michael Portillo journey from Ashford to Sevenoaks starting by lending a hand at a state-of-the-art train maintenance plant which is home to the High Speed 1 trains. Next he tracks east to Marden and is moved by music played on Queen Victoria’s personal piano before ending his journey in Sevenoaks where he ends the journey at Knole Park, seat of the Sackville-West family.

Dover is home to Europe’s busiest ferry port as well as the iconic White Cliffs of Dover and Dover Castle. Productions which have previously filmed in the Dover area include Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Mr Selfridge Series 3 (2015) and Poirot – The Clocks (2009).

Romney Marsh is renowned for its unique natural beauty, diverse wild life and extensive coastline. The Romney Marshes have been used as a film location for The Honourable Woman (2014), Parade’s End (2012) and Dr Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (1964).

The desolate landscape of Dungeness is largely made up of shingle with wooden houses, power station, lighthouses and extensive gravel pits. The Dungeness area has previously been seen on screen on Homes By The Sea (2014) and Eastenders (2007).

The market town of Ashford has shops, eateries, a designer outlet shopping centre and has great links with London and Europe which are just a train ride away through Ashford International train station. Ashford and surrounding areas has been used as a film location from visiting productions including The Apprentice (2015), The Monuments Men (2014) and Emma (2009).

Sevenoaks is a town in West Kent with vibrant shopping streets, architectural treats and historic buildings including Knole Park which is nestled in a medieval deer-park and full of hidden treasures.  The area has welcomed filming from productions such as Rush (2013) and Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011)

The Dover to Lewes episode of Great British Railway aired on Monday 11th January 2016 at 18.30 on BBC Two and the Ashford to Sevenoaks episode is on Monday 25th January 2016 at 18.30 on BBC Two .

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 

 


Great British Railway Journeys (2014)

Great British Railway Journeys- presenter walking towards the camera with white cliffs behind

Great British Railway Journeys © BBC/Boundless, part of FremantleMedia UK

Production Company: Talkback Thames

Kent locations used: Gravesend, Rochester, Faversham, Dover, Tonbridge

This BBC Two series follows journalist and broadcaster Michael Portillo as he travels the country by train and looks into how Britain’s railways have shaped the country as well as the impact trains have had on our lives. 

On the journey between cathedral cities Norwich and Chichester, Michael Portillo travels across the South East and visits some delightful Kent locations. In episode 18 of the fifth series, he visits Gravesend where he discovers how army officer General Gordon influenced the town before he travels to Rochester to explore the one time home of renowned writer Charles Dickens.

Michael Portillo, John Owen in front of the entrance to Shepherd Neame brewery

Michael Portillo, John Owen at Shepherd Neame brewery © BBC/Boundless, part of FremantleMedia UK

In the next episode, Michael starts his journey in Faversham where he visits one of the oldest breweries in the country, Shepherd Neame, to investigate how railways helped the brewery transport beer. He then visits Dover to explore the fortification at Western Heights before heading to Tonbridge where he learns how railways helped Tonbridge School to cricketing glory. 

Gravesend is on the south bank of the River Thames and has a cast iron pier, promenade and high street as well as international links at the nearby Ebbsfleet International station. Gravesend has welcomed other film productions such as  Long Lost Family: Born without Trace (2020).

Rochester is a historic City that boasts an impressive cathedral and castle that links back to the medieval period. The City has strong connections with Charles Dickens, and many TV and film adaptations of his famous novels have filmed in the area.

Faversham is a beautiful, historic market town which boasts nearly 500 listed buildings and is set on the picturesque Faversham Creek. It has many restaurants, shops, attractions and beautiful walks and has been used for various productions including Channel 4 drama Southcliffe (2013) and the nearby Oare Marshes were used in feature film Great Expectations (2012).

Dover is home to the infamous White Cliffs of Dover and Europe’s busiest passenger port. The area has been used for many filming projects such as  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Tonbridge is a West Kent market town with a rich cultural heritage and spectacular scenery. The area is surrounded beautiful countryside and boasts castles, stately homes, gardens, farms, as well as sports and leisure facilities. Productions that have previously filmed in the area include Missing (2010).

Don’t miss the Kent episodes of Great British Railway Journeys which will be shown on Wednesday 29 January 2014 at 18:30 on BBC Two and Thursday 30 January 2014 at 18:30 on BBC Two.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.