Canals and rivers on screen

Our waterways have been in the limelight - or set lights - from feature films to fashion shoots for years.

Photo of scene from ITV2 series Zomboat Zomboat

In the past few years, our canals and rivers have been working hard behind the scenes, you might have seen us in...

Zomboat (above) When the zombie apocalypse is unleashed in Birmingham, the only escape is by canal boat. What follows is a high-action, low-speed chase in this ITV2 drama.

His Dark Materials (below) The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal doubles for the waterways of Oxford in the new BBC/HBO adaptation of Phillip Pullman's novels. 

Killing Eve Our London towpaths have found their way into this spy thriller multiple times.

Peaky Blinders Last year the Trent & Mersey canal was the backdrop to a dramatic gunfight at Middleport pottery.

Paddington 2 – In 2017 Paddington Bear mounted a dog and chased a book thief around Browning’s Pool in Little Venice.

Photo of Canal & River Trust employees as extras in His Dark Materials

The 'life afloat' theme has proven popular with films featuring characters navigating life on London’s canals and rivers such as Finding Your Feet (below), Anchor & Hope and Swimming With Men.

Photo from Anchor and Hope film

Documentary series about canals are going from strength to strength, this year Great Canal Journeys completed its tenth series with presenters Timothy West and Prunella Scales revisiting the Oxford Canal, where they first began boating. A new series of Celebrity 5 Go Barging with Shaun Williamson, Michael Buerk, John Prescott, Anita Harris, and Amanda Barrie aired on Channel 5 and received positive reviews. 

Photo from Gareth Edward's Great Welsh Adventure

This summer we welcomed former rugby player Gareth Edwards and his wife Maureen to our Welsh canals for the BBC Wales documentary series Gareth Edward's Great Welsh Adventure.

Finally, in November 2019, real-life boater Robbie Cummings debuted his BBC4 series Canal Boat Diaries with an insightful look at what it's like to live aboard and travel England's canals.

Photo of vlogger Robbie Cummings

Last date edited: 9 January 2020