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Britain's Lost Routes with Griff Rhys Jones

Premier :: 2012-05-31

Airs :: Thursday 21:00 on BBC One

Genre :: Documentary
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Summary

In 1574, Elizabeth I left Windsor for Bristol. It was a jaunt, says the chipper Griff Rhys Jones, that was "part summer holiday, part huge procession, and part rock'n'roll tour to rival the Rolling Stones". Excuse enough for the comedian to be chauffeured in a Rolls-Royce Phantom V as he retraces a journey made back when Britain's "roads were few and paths obscure". It's a show that neatly balances humour and did-you-know etymology (for example: harbingers were officials sent ahead to ensure preparations for the royal arrival were in place).

Latest Episode

Series 1 - Episode 4 - Pilgrims
Aired - 20 June 2012

Episode summary:

In a spectacular journey through the Welsh countryside, Griff picks up the staff of the medieval pilgrim to retrace the steps that thousands of worshippers made in medieval times from Holywell to St Davids. Walking with five other hardy companions, he rediscovers a once well-trodden route that passed through remote mountain ranges, risking attacks from bandits and many other dangers. Foraging for food and facing fast-flowing rivers, Griff and his fellow travellers come face to face with the perils of medieval travel. Following the arduous tradition of pilgrimage, walking sometimes in sack cloth and sometimes barefoot, they try to understand the lengths that men and women of the middle ages went to in the name of penitence. Passing through beautiful villages, discovering gems of the medieval world from grand manor houses to ancient churches, encountering miracles and relics, bathing in holy wells and washing feet, Griff and his band explore how the British holiday has its roots in the observance of holy days.

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