‘Canal Boat Diaries’ returns: Season 4 release date and episode guide

It’s been confirmed when the new season of Canal Boat Diaries begins.

BBC Four’s popular series launched in 2019 and has provided some much-needed gentle viewing over the past few tempestuous years.

In the fourth season of Canal Boat Diaries, waterways enthusiast Robbie Cumming is back cruising through towns and villages on his rustic narrowboat – only this time he’s heading out in the UK’s colder months!

Filmed during the autumn and winter of 2022-2023, the four new episodes find the narrowboater and YouTuber journeying through beautiful landscapes in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

Canal Boat Diaries offers a personal take on life as Robbie navigates a 300-mile stretch of the canal and river network, all while sharing his passion for industrial heritage and celebrating the lesser-known stretches of our canals and river navigations.

When’s the release date?

Season 4 premieres at 7.30pm on Monday 1st May on BBC Four, with new episodes airing each consecutive evening throughout the week.

Viewers will also be able to catch up on BBC iPlayer.

In the opening episode, Cumming begins his 300-mile boating adventure across the north of England and the Midlands.

Forced to make a running repair to his narrowboat the Naughty Lass while on the Tinsley lock flight in South Yorkshire, he then cruises beneath Conisbrough’s magnificent viaduct and must wait for an unusual sliding railway bridge to open on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal.

Tuesday’s Episode 2 sees Robbie tackle the fast-flowing tidal River Trent, and he gets invited to join a night-time illuminated boat parade. However, his journey is hampered by a damaged wall in Worksop and a water shortage on the picturesque Chesterfield Canal which threatens his voyage.

The third episode on Wednesday finds Robbie facing autumnal fog and problems with an overheating engine, as he navigates a Roman waterway and the fast-flowing River Trent. It’s a journey of many challenges as he runs aground and breaks down in Nottingham.

In Thursday’s final instalment of the season, Robbie faces issues with ice on the Grand Union Canal on the last leg of his journey across the North and the Midlands.

Episode 4 takes us to Foxton’s famous lock flight in Leicestershire and Robbie completes his journey in the picturesque village Braunston, Northamptonshire, regarded as the spiritual home for narrowboaters.

The first three seasons of Canal Boat Diaries are streaming on BBC iPlayer.