Travel documentaries

All aboard! Join a star-studded cast of travel guides as they take you to some of the most remote and fascinating corners of the globe. BBC Select is home to BBC travel documentaries you can watch in the US and Canada today.

Joanna Lumley in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon

Watch Joanna Lumley in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon

Bhutan, the beautiful land-locked nation in the Eastern Himalayas, has always been steeped in mystery.

In this revealing BBC travel documentary, Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley retraces the steps her grandparents took in the country 60 years before. Through her eyes, a world that challenges accepted ideas of wealth and happiness is explored.

But what family secrets will Joanna uncover?

The Silk Road

Stream The Silk Road on BBC Select

Covering 5,000 miles, passing through 13 countries and crossing some of the most dramatic landscapes on the planet, this is the fascinating story of the lucrative trade route which changed the course of civilization forever.

In this extraordinary documentary series, Dr Sam Willis explores how the fortunes, ideas and history of the West were shaped and exchanged by travelers from the East.

South Korea with Alexander Armstrong

South Korea with Alexander Armstrong

South Korea is a nation of contrasts. It’s smaller than many states but can feel like another planet. Alexander Armstrong is getting to the heart of what makes the nation tick is in this
engrossing travel documentary. Gangnam Style, Squid Games, K-Pop; South Korea is one of those places that’s always somewhere in our consciousness, but most people know little about this extraordinary country.

Ep 1
Alexander Armstrong kicks off his Korean adventure with a little Gangnam Style. The fabled district of Gangnam is immortalized by Psy’s Gangnam Style video, one of the most viewed songs on YouTube. Alexander Armstrong decides to kick off his epic Korean adventure in the area, as he attempts to discover the true South Korea. He then meets other internet stars helping to keep Korea on the global map including a record breaking ‘bulk-eater’ who joins Alexander for noodles.

EP 2
How will Alexander do as he attempts to play a version of Squid Game in South Korea? The international TV hit Squid Game has taken the world by storm. As his Korean adventure continues, Alexander Armstrong goes in search of the show’s origins and even plays a non-fatal, version of the game. He also visits the awesome Gyeonbokgung Palace, picks something up at the vast Yangnyeongsi herbal market, and explores the importance of wearing jaunty socks.

Ep 3
Alexander struggles with some South Korean seafood that’s trying to escape his plate! Let’s hope Alexander Armstrong has a strong stomach, as he concludes his South Korean adventure at the seaport of Busan. There he enjoys a variety of unusual seafood, including some items that are still wriggling on his plate! He also visit s a shaman for a slightly strange insomnia cure
and hopes to climb up the spellbinding Sunrise Peak. If he can avoid the area’s wild dogs.

Iceland With Alexander Armstrong

Iceland’s unique isolated position has created an equally individual culture. Actor and presenter Alexander Armstrong sets out on the adventure of a lifetime in the Land of Ice and Fire. He soon finds that there’s more to Iceland than just Vikings and violently erupting volcanoes. Traversing the full breadth of the country he discovers a land of geysers, very expensive beer and even rotten shark.

EP 1: Reykjavik
Get ready for a dramatic volcanic eruption followed by a trip to the Penis Museum! Iceland, and its capital Reykjavik is filled with wonders of both a natural, and a slightly more bizarre persuasion. Alexander Armstrong daringly hovers over a volcanic eruption in a helicopter before learning more about these deadly emissions. He then finds out about the Icelandic belief in elves, meets an Icelandic rock band and then takes a trip to the legendary Penis Museum.

EP 2: The North
Rotten shark is on the menu as Alexander Armstrong continues his journey around Iceland. Northern Iceland and the port of Husavik is beloved of whale watchers and Will Ferrell fans (as it’s the locale of his film Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga). In this laid-back town, Alexander Armstrong meets, and eats, a huge Greenland shark, considered one of the world’s most disgusting food dishes. He also tries to knit, plays golf at midnight, and learns to ride an Icelandic horse.

Ep 3: The South
Get ready to revel in the glory of southern Iceland’s spectacular natural wonders. In a land of natural wonders, the south of Iceland contains some of the country’s most spectacular, breathtaking scenery. On the last leg of his adventure in the Land of Fire and Ice, Alexander Armstrong heads south and visits a worryingly thinning glacier, takes a trip to an island nearly destroyed by volcano, walks on a dangerous beach before spending the night in a capsule hotel.

George Clarke's Remarkable Renovations

George Clarke's Remarkable Renovations

Across Britain, over 600,000 buildings lie unused and unloved. Nearly a third of them are commercial. Shops, post offices, bars and banks are closing down as towns and cities enter a new era. Architect George Clarke meets the brave people trying to breathe new life into these overlooked properties, transforming local landmarks into unique and extraordinary family homes.

Ep 1: Victorian Bank, Cornwall
Do Richard and Sarah have enough cash to turn their local bank into a unique family home? In picturesque Cornwall, Richard and Sarah, purchased an old bank for £50,000. Now they face the challenge of converting this Victorian building into a unique family home. Ace renovator George Clarke follows their progress as they turn an imposing commercial property into a unique place to live. But do they have the budget to realize their ambitious plans?

Ep 2: Coach House, Tamworth
A couple fall in love with a 19th-century coach house. But will it love them back? Laura and Adrian have fallen in love with a derelict 19th-century coach house. They’ve sold their home and used up all their savings in order to buy it. But with a tight budget, they go to extremes to realize their dreams. How will they cope living in a caravan on-site with their children while the
renovation takes place? George Clarke tries to lend a hand as the project hits trouble.

Ep 3: Police Station, West Yorkshire
Rachel and Mike plan to turn an oldpolice station into a home–but can they do it justice? In beautiful Yorkshire, Rachel and Mike think it would be criminal to allow a former police station to sit empty. It comes complete with original holding cells and a 1980s reception area, but can it be transformed into a spectacular home? George Clarke follows the project as timelines stretch and budgets dwindle. Can they do this formercop shop justice?

Ep 4: Barn, Harrogate
Can Erin and Oliver turn a shoddy, smelly old barn into a stunning family home? Erin and Oliver have spent their inheritance on a barn in glorious North Yorkshire. The newlyweds’ dream is to turn the 200-year-old building into a stunning country home. Unfortunately, it’s dilapidated and full of dung. George Clarke follows their progress as they try to turn this smelly shack into a spectacular residence. But soon the budget and the Yorkshire weather interfere with their plans.

Ep 5: Farm, Stockport
In an emotional renovation, Gordon tries to turn an old cattle shed into his home. Three Ways Farm has been in Gordon’s family since the 1950s. His late mother’s dream was for Gordon to turn the 120-year-old cattle shed and milking parlor into a home for himself. George Clarke charts his progress as he tries to turn this fantasy build into a reality. But, as the money starts to run out, will the finished result be something his mother would have been proud of?

Ep 6: Stable, Humber
Can Bernie turn a set of old horse stables into the perfect place for his retirement? Bernie has fallen in love with a ramshackle stable block and plans to turn it into the perfect retirement retreat. But can he covert a building that’s only ever housed horses into a livable home? George Clarke follows his progress and attempts to steer him away from some of his more eccentric ideas. But will Bernie’s ambitious plans saddle him with unexpected, runaway costs?