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The Chesterfield Canal

"Cognisant with so many lovely canals on our travels, none had bowled us over at first encounter so much as this."

"... taken as a whole, the flights at Turnerwood and Thorpe rival anything the inland waterway network has to offer ..."

These two quotes are from the Pearson Canal Companion, East Midlands, 2014 © Michael Pearson.

The Chesterfield Canal is widely recognised as one of the most beautiful and varied waterways in England.

It runs for 46 miles from the River Trent to the middle of Chesterfield, linking Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Every yard of the canal can be walked on the towpath known as The Cuckoo Way.

It goes through tranquil countryside where scarcely a house can be seen; has some of the earliest staircase locks ever built (240 years ago); is hugely popular with walkers; has some of the best canal fishing in the country and ends up at what will be the £310 million Waterside development in Chesterfield.

Quotes from a recent visiting boaters:

"Crew who had not seen the Turnerwood and Thorpe flights before were absolutely delighted with their location, beauty, tradition and interest. This is one of the best stretches of canal anywhere in the UK."

"In October we left Lincoln in our Narrowboat, Grey Goose, and did the whole of the Chesterfield up to the tunnel. It is a beautiful canal in the Autumn and we are very much looking forward to visiting again in the Spring."

Since 1989, 12 miles of the canal have been restored along with 36 locks and 11 bridges; 2 new marinas have been built. The latest section was opened early in 2012 with the flooding of the new Staveley Town Basin.

We have only eight miles left to restore. Detailed plans already exist for every bridge, lock and aqueduct on this stretch. The Chesterfield Canal Trust is currently running a campaign called Closing the Gap in order to achieve this aim.

You can follow the Trust on various social networking sites. You'll find us on:

The Chesterfield Canal Trust is a charitable company run entirely by volunteers, incorporated in July 1997. In 1998 it took over the assets of the former Chesterfield Canal Society, which had been formed in 1976.

The aims of the Trust are to promote the full restoration and appropriate development of the Chesterfield Canal, and to campaign for the construction of the Rother Valley Link, a navigable waterway to join the Chesterfield Canal to the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation.

Amongst other activities we run four trip boats (one in Retford, one at Kiveton Park, one at Hollingwood and the fourth in Chesterfield); we run Work Parties on the canal on most Sundays; we have an 84-year old ex BW working boat, Python, that we use as a promotional vehicle all round the waterway system; we have a promotional trailer, the James Brindley, that attends events and town centres throughout the year and we are building the first new Cuckoo boat (unique to the canal) for nearly 80 years. Our base is in the restored and extended Hollingwood Lock House, now called Hollingwood Hub, in Chesterfield. It has a Coffee Shop, we hold concerts and events and it is available for hire. In addition the Trust has regular meetings, social events, regular festivals etc.

The Trust has over 1450 members, who, for a small membership fee, receive regular copies of the Trust's award-winning magazine Cuckoo, so called because of the local name for the canal, the 'Cuckoo Dyke'. We also publish regular E-Newsletters. To join the Trust, click here.

We have left some of the historical content on our old website as the effort to migrate it is significant and much of the older content will be accessed infrequently.

Please keep checking back here for all things related to the Chesterfield Canal.

If you're looking for information on the old web site, please click here.