Great Canal Journeys

Great Canal Journeys

Series 5 - Episode 1



This is as much a portrait of a loving marriage as it is a travelogue, but both elements make charming viewing.

“Canals wind through our lives,” says Prunella Scales, who describes her dementia as “a nuisance, but it doesn’t prevent me from unlocking the lock gate or making the skipper a cup of tea!”

She and husband Timothy West are pootling through the canals of Venice. They’re more picturesque than most of our city canals where we get “a mill and a pub… if you’re lucky!” They’re also much busier, and it gets quite alarming when they hit the Grand Canal at rush hour. “That was a b***s-up!” says West.


Timothy West and Prunella Scales embark on a spectacular canal journey to Venice, beginning 14 miles west of the Italian city on the Brenta. Lined with palaces which were once holiday homes for Venetian nobility, they follow the route that Casanova and Lord Byron took to the city. After crossing the Venetian lagoon, Tim and Pru arrive at St Mark's Square, where they escape the busy Grand Canal and discover the tranquillity and beauty of the smaller canals that tourists rarely see.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Timothy West
Presenter Prunella Scales
Executive Producer Daniela Neumann
Series Director Mike Taylor
Series Producer Mike Taylor