Canal Walks with Julia Bradbury

The Caledonian Canal

Series 1 - Episode 1 The Caledonian Canal



In the early 1800s, engineer Thomas Telford had an ambitious dream: to link the lochs between Fort William and Inverness with a series of canals and save shipping from the tortuous sea route around the north of Scotland. Cost and time overruns meant that, when the Caledonian Canal opened in 1822, it had become a white elephant, made redundant by the new railways.
It’s still a major engineering achievement, and one nicely explored on foot by the nation’s favourite hiker Julia Bradbury, who walks the first stretch from Corpach to Glen Lochy on a typical West Highland day of sunshine and showers.
It’s a great chance for her to see mountains without actually having to yomp up them, and in a change to the usual swooping aerial photography we’ve seen so much of in recent times, we get a nice touch of tilt-shift, where everything looks miniaturised and dinky.


The presenter embarks on an eight-mile trip along the Caledonian Canal, the waterway that cuts through beautiful Scottish mountain country and is regarded as one of the most ambitious canals of its time. Its engineer, Thomas Telford, intended not only to create an engineering marvel, but also provide badly needed jobs and wealth for the Highlands.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Julia Bradbury
Director Clare Jones
Executive Producer Eric Harwood
Producer Clare Jones