Britain's Ancient Tracks with Tony Robinson

The Portway

Series 2 - Episode 3 The Portway



This week Tony Robinson is following the routes that shaped the Peak District before its history could be written but that still have a story to tell. Walking along the ancient trackway of Portway he discovers a prehistoric shark’s tooth and an abandoned railway tunnel before arriving at Mountain Cottage, perched high on the hillside on the outskirts of Middleton-by-Wirksworth.

Here DH Lawrence and his German-born wife Frieda lived and worked for a while at the end of the First World War, having been forced to move from Cornwall after locals falsely accused them of being spies. The views are outstanding or, as Lawrence wrote, “From the height it is very beautiful”.


The Time Team veteran continues his journeys down some of the UK's oldest trackways and roads. This time, he visits the Peak District, where he ventures along the Derbyshire Portway, which is believed to date from the Bronze Age, and can be traced from Mam Tor in the north of the county, through to the Hemlock Stone on the edge of Nottingham. Along the way, he examines a prehistoric shark tooth, shines a light in an abandoned railway tunnel and takes a tour of DH Lawrence's mountain retreat.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Tony Robinson
Director Brian Henry Martin
Executive Producer Diarmuid Lavery
Executive Producer Michael Hewitt
Series Producer Ben O'Loan
Documentary Education