Tim and Pru take to the helm to explore more waterways.
Part 1: River Nile
Travelling from Luxor to Aswan, Tim and Pru uncover the secrets of this great artery of an ancient civilisation and discover how some of the first-ever canals were used to build the temple at Karnak. They also visit a Nubian village; purchase aphrodisiacs in the souk; and dance by moonlight.
Part 2: North Italy
Travelling from Lake Maggiore to the Naviglio Grande canal, they navigate a route taken by marble-carrying barges for over five centuries. Their journey includes a visit to the Swiss lakeside town of Locarno; a speed boat; the spectacular gardens of Isola Bella; a traditional Italian barging song; wine; and a visit to Milan’s famous cathedral, the Duomo.
Part 3: Manchester
Beginning on Britain’s first purpose-built canal, the Bridgewater, Tim and Pru embark on a voyage through canal history, as they explore the waterways of north west England. Heading from the suburbs of Manchester to the great canal port at Ellesmere, along the way they’ll discover how canals became the veins and arteries of the early industrial revolution, and helped to transform England’s green and pleasant land into the workshop of the world. At Worsley, Tim and Pru discover how in 1761, the building of the Bridgewater Canal, more than halved the price of coal in Manchester and launched a transport revolution. In Manchester, Tim and Pru discover a lesser known aspect of canal history when visiting Canal Street, which lies at the heart of the city’s LGBT+ community.
Part 4: Argentina
Timothy West and Prunella Scales embark on their first Latin American adventure and head for Argentina. A few miles from Buenos Aires lies a vast labyrinth of canals and rivers that meander ever deeper into the jungle. Hiring a traditional cargo boat, known as a chatta, Tim and Pru voyage into the remoter corners of the Paraná delta. ‘When you’re my age, a trip from Wandsworth to Putney on a 37 bus can seem quite an adventure,’ remarks Pru. ‘And here I am in South America on a tramp steamer, heading into the jungle – I mean I can’t believe it.’ Tim and Pru discover the Belle Epoque splendour of the jungle town of Tigre. They visit a remote enclave of Anglo Argentines, who still drink G and T and toast the Queen. They also learn about the ‘dirty war’ of the 1970s. They marvel at the local flora and fauna and admire the hummingbirds, and perform Argentina’s national dance.
Part 5: Lancaster Canal
Timothy West and Prunella Scales return to the English canal system as they navigate the Lancaster Canal. An early masterpiece of the waterways, ‘The Lanky’ wends its way north, through the city of Lancaster and along the coast at Morecambe Bay. The waterway is largely rural, running through rolling open countryside and deep woods. It also boasts one of the most elegant pieces of canal architecture in the country, the Lune Aqueduct. When their journey reaches Carnforth, Tim and Pru visit its train station, which was used as the key location in the film Brief Encounter. This is a very personal voyage for Pru. Long-forgotten memories rise to the surface as she visits the lakeland village of Near Sawrey, where her family lived during much of the war and as a child she once saw Beatrix Potter.
Part 6: Rideau Canal
Timothy West and Prunella Scales embark on an epic adventure along one of the greatest achievements of British canal engineering. It’s a world heritage site, and historically highly significant, yet very few people in this country have ever heard of the Rideau Canal. Heading 3000 miles from their London home, Tim and Pru arrive at Kingston, Canada, where the Rideau begins. Wending its way through the backwoods of Ontario, the Rideau links rivers and vast lakes to create a waterway that connects Lake Ontario with the city of Ottawa. Tim and Pru follow its 125-mile course, all the way to Canada’s capital. En route, they take in Fort Henry; a lakeside resort; and navigate the famous Ottawa lock. They also discover the huge human cost of the canal’s construction and meet with descendants of the Algonquin guides who helped with the build.