For more than half a century, a shared love of canals and narrowboats has been inseparable from the marriage of Timothy West and Prunella Scales. The two iconic actors have spent many of the happiest days of their life together enjoying the calming pleasures of watching land and nature unfold before them at four miles an hour.
In 2014, Tim and Pru took to the canals of Britain and beyond with a television crew and a brief to record their best-loved trips along the most beautiful waterways they could find. Little did anyone guess that their seemingly light-hearted travelogue, and the story of their lives that it revealed, would transcend the programme's gentle facade, becoming something entirely more powerful. From the outset, the reflective undertones of the possibilities of later life, and the realities of Prunella's dementia, struck a chord with viewers around the country. Now in its seventh series, the show has been described as 'beautiful and meditative' by the Guardian, 'touching' by the Independent and 'a hymn to the possibilities of later life' by the Telegraph, there is no finer, nor more thought-provoking, travelogue on British television.
In this handsomely presented book, Timothy West tells the story of the couple's life and travels. Illustrated throughout with beautiful photography, Our Great Canal Journeys recounts their storied careers as actors while recording their remarkable journeys along some of the world's most scenic waterways. Beyond this, however, it explores with sensitivity the trials, but also the joys, of ageing, and how Prunella's struggle with dementia has both changed, and yet failed to change, their lives together.
By turns humorous and poignant, Our Great Canal Journeys is at once a beautifully observed ode to a unique, magical method of travelling the world, and a warm meditation upon love, learning and life.