Cycling the full length of the Chesterfield Canal can easily be done in a day. The whole route is signposted with Cuckoo Way signs. It would be a good idea to refer to our walking guide as well, which is on the Downloads section of this website; click here to find it..
This describes the way from Chesterfield to West Stockwith. It is possible to return on the train from Gainsborough Lea Road via Sheffield. Click here for the timetable.
The first part is on the Trans-Pennine Trail.
The Trans-Pennine Trail is clearly signposted from Brimington Road in (S41 0ST) to get to the start of the canal, at St Helena’s. Simply follow the TPT, which is the towpath. You will pass Tapton Lock Visitor Centre and Hollingwood Hub.
After about 6 miles, at Staveley, you must make a decision. Either follow the TPT to Renishaw (which uses the line of the Great Central Railway) or take the line of the canal which is much more difficult to cycle. Most people do the former.
The two routes meet up in Renishaw, where there is another choice – either follow the loop of the canal or the TPT route. Again, the latter is easier.
At the old Killamarsh Station (10 miles), you leave the TPT. The next 3 miles are tricky! Go up the ramp on the left and over the bridge. Turn right up Station Road and you will see signs for the Cuckoo Way and Killamarsh Greenway. Keep following the signs right through Killamarsh.
The way through Killamarsh is not obvious so keep a very close look out for the Cuckoo Way and Killamarsh Greenway signs. If you do get lost, just go downhill to the main road (Sheffield Road) and turn right. As the road starts to rise, you will see a Cuckoo Way sign pointing along a path to the left.
A short distance after crossing Rotherham Road, you will come to the Norwood flight of locks and eventually to the sealed up western portal of the Norwood Tunnel. Just before the tunnel, you will need to take the path to the left, up the hill. All but the most hardened mountain bike riders will be pushing their bikes here.
Go under the M1. From here it is downhill all the way to the River Trent!
Follow the path that goes slightly to the left to the line of the hedge. Keep going until you reach Kiveton Waters Fishery. Cross Hard Lane, go straight across the field and you get to the eastern portal of the Norwood Tunnel. From here you just follow the towpath for the remaining 32 miles to West Stockwith on the Trent.
Some parts of the towpath are quite narrow. Some parts are rough grass. A Brompton-style bike would be hard work.
Please be very careful with walkers and anglers. You should also be wary if the hawthorn hedges are being cut – puncture risk.