Timothy West and Prunella Scales return for a brand new series of the popular show.
Part 1: Oxford Canal
They begin their first journey in the romantic city of Oxford. It’s here that Tim and Pru began their courtship many years ago and where they went on their first-ever canal trip together. They follow the gentle contours of the Oxford canal through the Cherwell Valley, where they meet author Philip Pullman and are joined by their son Samuel West. Tim and Pru follow in the footsteps of author Tom Rolt, whose vivid account of his journey down this canal in 1939 ignited a campaign that went on to save Britain’s canals from extinction. Tim enters the National Town Crier’s competition to extol the virtues of the Oxford Canal, and issue a warning to those who would seek to destroy it.
Part 2: London Ring
Timothy West and Prunella Scales have lived all their married life in London, but have never explored the canals on their doorstep. They journey along the London Ring, as it’s known to narrow-boaters, in a voyage of discovery through their home city. Starting in Brentford, they follow the Union Canal, and then the Regent’s Canal, through the heart of the capital, until it meets the Thames at Limehouse. They meet up with Andrew Sachs and Sir Ian McKellen, and visit the cemetery at Kensal Green, and the grave of friend Harold Pinter. It’s a tale of two cities: from the urban edge of Kentish Town, to the glorious grandeur of Regent’s Park; from idyllic daylight moments, when they encounter nature and wildlife, to the darker night times when they become strangers in their own city.
Part 3: Canal du Midi
Built nearly a century before the British canal system, the Canal du Midi in the south of France has been designated a world heritage site for both its historic importance and its beauty. Timothy West and Prunella Scales explore its most picturesque stretch, as is it gently meanders towards the Mediterranean. They visit Beziers; the Malpas Tunnel – the first navigable tunnel in the history of mankind; and taste the delights of cervelles d’agneau – lamb’s brain fritters – and brandy that’s almost 200 years old.
Part 4: Union, Forth and Clyde Canals
Set against the stunning backdrop of some of central Scotland’s most glorious countryside, Timothy West and Prunella Scales travel along the Forth and Clyde Canal and the Union Canal. The coast to coast adventure starts in Edinburgh and concludes in Glasgow, taking in Scotland’s highest aqueduct and longest canal tunnel, some monumental sculpture, history stretching all the way back to the Romans, and a Scottish love affair from long ago. The two canals feature some striking examples of 21st century engineering and illustrate the potential for the restoration of the nation’s waterways, ensuring their long-term future.