June 25, 2024

Release Your Worries as You Cruise on a Narrowboat

Just barging about.
Photo: Matt Morton – PA Images (Getty Images)

It’s a Monday, you have the day off and no concrete plans for how to spend your time. Let me assist you in finding the perfect way to clear your mind of all concerns: slow TV. So sit back, grab a drink, and unwind as we embark on a YouTube journey that will take us through the serenity of a British canal, come along.

For today’s glimpse into true tranquility, I’ve discovered a corner of the web that’s filled with immersive slow TV videos. We’re talking cameras mounted on the front of Norwegian cruise ships exploring the fjords, a journey along the railways of America, and this one, showcasing as much of the Grand Union Canal as possible in four hours.

Produced by the London Borough of Hillingdon, the video depicts a classic coal barge journeying from Yeading in West London to Paddington in the heart of the British capital. En route, the canal passes through numerous locations with whimsical names like Horsenden Hill, Kensal Green, Maida Hill, and Smudgenose. Well, the last one is actually fictitious.

“Slow TV” Canal video: Yeading to Paddington Basin on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal

As expected from a video showing a narrowboat cruising at a leisurely pace of four miles per hour, it’s an incredibly soothing watch. You’ll hear the gentle hum of the diesel engine in the background, the water lapping against the hull, and a variety of wildlife chirping, squawking, and fluttering by.

There are also moments of interest to observe, such as the coal barge passing under a bridge, and a decision point around the two-hour mark where the canal bifurcates, requiring the captain to choose a path to follow. Engaging content, indeed.

If you crave new experiences but lack the time to jet off on a plane, rent a narrowboat, and embark on your own adventure, then this calming journey down the Grand Union Canal might be the next best thing. Enjoy.

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