Great British Journeys

BBC2 (8 x 60 mins)

Nicholas Crane takes on the Great British Journeys, eight of the most extraordinary adventures ever made across the largest island in Europe - Great Britain. He travels by foot, horse and bicycle, on eight epic endurance journeys, through our wildest landscapes, following in the footsteps of Britain's greatest indigenous explorers. These are historical and geographical journeys into uncharted territory, exploring both physical and human landscapes and revealing defining periods of social and industrial change.

At the core of each programme there's an extraordinary traveller and the route of the remarkable journey he, or she, undertook. This is a series about geography; it's about landforms and the way cultures relate to their landscapes. So, it inherits all the key characteristics of Map Man. However, instead of a map, each of these programmes benefits from a strong historical personality and a detailed record of that person's journey.

What is it like to see your own country for the first time? To travel as a stranger through a land you once thought familiar? This was the challenge facing ten of the greatest travellers to explore the British Isles. This is Nick's challenge. As he travels the same routes, he'll be asking how these journeys informed the public of the day; what light they cast on the Britain of that time, and how their Britain compares to our modern archipelago.

The focus of these stories is the island of Britain itself. How many viewers really appreciate its incredible diversity? Between the sea stacks of Cape Wrath and the tidal mudflats of Norfolk, there is a wonderful spectrum of landscapes and historic sites. This archipelago has everything from sylvan villages to teeming cities, from melancholic abbeys to fierce castles. By exploring these treasures through the eyes of great travellers, we'll be seeing them anew, and at a contemplative pace.