Let All Your Problems Float Away From The Front Of A Narrowboat

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

It’s a Monday, you’ve got the day off and no real plans for how to pass the time. Let me help you out there with the ultimate way to clear your mind of all its worries: slow TV. So it’s time to sit back, pour yourself a cold one and relax while we delve into a YouTube rabbit hole that’s going to see us cruise through the tranquility of a British canal, welcome along.

For today’s snapshot at true tranquility, I’ve uncovered a corner of the internet that’s packed with luscious slow TV videos. We’re talking cameras strapped to the front of Norwegian cruise liners journeying through the fjords, a journey along America’s railroads and this one, which traverses as much of the Grand Union Canal as you can cover in four hours.

Created by the London Borough of Hillingdon, the video follows a vintage coal barge as it travels from Yeading in West London to Paddington in the center of the British capital. Along the way, the canal passes through a whole host of places with names that sound made up, such as Horsenden Hill, Kensal Green, Maida Hill and Smudgenose. No, actually, that last one actually is made up.

As you’d expect from a video of a narrowboat puffing along at a steady four miles per hour, it’s a ridiculously calming watch. There’s the gentle put put sound of the diesel engine wafting away in the background, while the water patters against the hull and all kinds of wildlife tweet, squawk and flutter past.


There’s other exciting moments to watch out for, like the time the coal barge passes under a bridge, and even a moment at around two hours where the canal splits and the captain has to pick a side to follow. Riveting stuff.

So if you long for pastures new but don’t quite have the time to hop on a plane, rent a narrowboat and adventure for yourself, then this relaxing trip down the Grand Union Canal could be the next best thing. Enjoy.

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