At the end of the month, there is a rare opportunity to cruise up or down the 23 locks of the Giant’s Staircase on the Chesterfield Canal between Shireoaks and Kiveton Park. These are the Turnerwood and Thorpe flights. They include some of the oldest staircase locks ever built. In one section there are 20 locks in one mile between Stone Lock and Thorpe Top Treble Locks. It is believed that this is the most in a mile anywhere in the country.
Pearson’s Canal Guide describes them thus: “Taken as a whole, the flights at Turnerwood and Thorpe rival anything the inland waterway network has to offer.”
At this time of year, the surrounding woodlands are full of wildflowers, including bluebells, celandines, wood anemones and wild garlic.
On Friday 28th April, the Chesterfield Canal Trust’s trip boat Hugh Henshall will cruise up from Shireoaks to Kiveton Park. The following day, Saturday 29th April, it will return to Shireoaks. Both trips will start at 10.30 a.m.
These one way trips will take about 5½ hours and cost £15 per head. Afterwards passengers will need to make their own way back to their transport, either by walking (3½ miles) or using the train (4 minutes). Both Kiveton Park and Shireoaks stations are a one minute walk from the canal.
Hot and cold beverages will be available for purchase on the boat and passengers are advised to bring a packed lunch. The boat will have a short stop at Turnerwood on both journeys.
Booking is essential; please ring 0114 360 0460.