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Grand Tours of Scotland

Grand Tours of Scotland is a six-part BBC documentary series hosted by Paul Murton, following in the footsteps of the first tourists to Scotland. With a Victorian guidebook in his hands, Paul travels across the country tracing the changes that have taken place since the birth of Scottish tourism 200 years ago.

For centuries Scotland was regarded as a place to avoid, and early travellers complained about the terrible weather, bad food, poor roads and the uncouth habits of the natives. To find out what changed to make Scotland an internationally celebrated tourist destination, Paul recreates six Scottish tours suggested by a well-thumbed, 19th-century copy of Black's Picturesque Guide to Scotland.

Episode 1 - The Romantic Ideal
Paul goes in search of the romantic ideal, travelling from the Trossachs out to Iona and then the fabled Isle of Staffa - all places that enchanted and inspired visitors with the magic of Scotland's unique history and landscape.

Episode 2 - The Sporting Life
Paul discovers how 19th-century Scotland's mountains and glens were a playground for rich gentlemen eager to test themselves against the forces of nature.

Episode 3 - In Search of the Real Scotland
Paul boards the Jacobite steamtrain. His route starts at the foot of Ben Nevis in Fort William and continues along the beautiful railway line to Mallaig and onwards to the fabled Isle of Skye.

Episode 4 - Mind, Body and Spirit
Paul goes in search of the stunning landscape of the Highlands that has attracted visitors for the last two hundred years with the promise of improving 'mind, body and spirit'.

Episode 5 - In Search of Perfect Isolation
Paul travels to the Northern Isles to discover how their remoteness from the mainland became a draw for tourists in search of perfect isolation. Paul's journey begins on board a Norwegian racing yacht in the ocean to the east of Shetland.

Episode 6 - Wish You Were Here
Paul traces the rise of the seaside as a workers' playground. Paul begins his journey in the historic town of St Andrews, hops across the Firth of Forth to North Berwick and ends up in the capital city - Edinburgh.


Related Links
Black's Picturesque Tourist of Scotland
By Adam and Charles Black (Firm). Topics: Scotland. Publisher: Edinburgh : Adam and Charles Black. Book Contributor: Harold B. Lee Library.
Scotland Revealed
This is a four-part television series presented by Vanessa Collingridge, revealing Scotland’s stunning landscape and well-known landmarks, with aerial photography.
Making Scotland's Landscape
This is a BBC documentary series presented by Iain Stewart, revealing how Scotland's unique and beautiful landscape has been shaped over the centuries.
Visions of Europe - Scotland
Visions of Europe is a collection of videos full of spectacular views and breathtaking scenes with aerial footage from across Europe.
Rick Steves' Europe: Britain and Ireland
This is a series of videos that provides a travel guide to Britain and Ireland from the program Rick Steves' Europe. Rick Steves explores the most interesting places in Britain and Ireland.
Luke Nguyen's United Kingdom
This is a ten-part television series hosted by a Vietnamese-Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Nguyen, taking us on a culinary tour of the United Kingdom.