Great Canal Journeys

Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Series 5 - Episode 6 Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal



Prunella Scales and Timothy West are pootling along the “Mon and Brec” Canal in south Wales and it’s raining. “Lovely Welsh weather,” Pru observes drily, although, having glimpsed lambs and a bank of wild irises, she’s moved to quote Shakespeare: “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”.

They drift through the verdant beauty of the Vale of Usk, occasionally noticing a scar on the landscape that hints of its industrial past. There’s a lot more talk of Pru’s difficulties and whether they can do many more of these gently enjoyable trips. It would be such a shame if they don’t - for us, too.


Timothy West and Prunella Scales return to Wales to explore a canal that has eluded them for more than half a century. The Monmouthshire and Brecon canal is cut off from the rest of Britain's network of waterways by the Black Mountains, and meanders its way through the tranquil Usk valley. Along the way the couple visit the old ironworks at Blaenavon, where children as young as five were once put to work, and lend a hand with some lock restoration work. They also explore the castle at Tretower - which is rumoured to be haunted. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

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