Actors Prunella Scales and Timothy West have shared their love of canal journeys across the world with millions in their Channel 4 series.

They’ve visited the Canal du Midi in France, the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals in Scotland, the Shannon Eyrne Waterway in Ireland, the Göta Canal in Sweden, and navigated the Brahmaputra River in India.

Now, the intrepid travellers will be sharing their experiences of a journey on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal with viewers of their series, Great Canal Journeys.

The couple, who choose their own journeys, filmed in Brecon, Abergavenny, and Newport during their voyage on the canal in June for their new series which begins on October 29.

They visited the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre near Newport and chatted to staff, they called into the famous Goose and Cuckoo pub in Upper Llanover, and popped into a book shop in Crickhowell, before ending their trip in the canal basin at Brecon.

There, they were met and were serenaded by Aberhonddu Male Voice Choir – with Timothy West joining in with a verse of Cwm Rhondda.

The choir also sang Calon Lan, Nant y Mynydd, and Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau during the filming.

Nearby Theatr Brycheiniog had a pop up café at the site while its restaurant was refurbished, making the completion of the trip a special event.

A spokesman for the Fourteen Locks Canal Centre was delighted with the couple’s visit, saying: “Their love for canals and support towards the Monmouthshire, Brecon and Abergavenny canals trust and the restoration project of our waterways shone through both on and off camera.”

The centre is at the top of the unique and challenging Cefn Flight of locks.

The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal runs for between Newport and Brecon, with 35 navigable miles.

It is a canal with a long history. A branch of the Monmouthshire Canal from Malpas to Crumlin was opened in 1799, and the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal was promoted by Acts of Parliament in 1793 and 1804 and opened in 1812. The two canals join at Pontymoile.

  • The new series of Great Canal Journeys begins at 8pm on Sunday October 29 with the couple returning to the Norfolk Broads to reminisce about childhood holidays and the book, Swallows and Amazons. They also discover how peat digging and reed-cutting has had a major impact on the landscape of the area and take a look at a local ‘wherry’.

Fancy following in their wake?

If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday and are inspired to take to the water by Prunella Scales and Timothy West, Road House Narrowboats, based in Gilwern, has boats for hire on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.

Drift along and enjoy the stunning scenery, sample local food, enjoy beautiful walks, and visit local towns and villages.

Check out our prices and availability.


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