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Grand Tours of Scotland

Series 1

Episode 2: The Sporting Life

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC One ScotlandLatest broadcast: on BBC Two Scotland

Paul Murton follows in the footsteps of the first tourists to Scotland. With a Victorian guidebook in his hands, he 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.

In this episode, 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. In the spirit of Victorian manliness, Paul makes the journey using a conveyance of the period, an original 1870s tricycle. Enjoying the dubious delights of his unusual mode of transport, he travels from Dunkeld along the banks of Britain's longest river, the Tay, before climbing the mountains to Royal Deeside. From Braemar he travels to the iconic destination of Balmoral, before attempting to cycle one of Scotland's most famous mountain passes, the Lairig Ghru. Show less

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