The John Varley II runs trips from Tapton Lock, on the Tesco roundabout in Chesterfield.

It is a brand new, state of the art tripboat with a large wheelchair lift, a foredeck, a hearing loop and lots of other superb features including two stained glass portholes.

Cruising the five miles of waterway from Chesterfield to Staveley, guests are able to see at first hand the high quality of the restoration that has been carried out on this stretch of the canal and experience the local flora and fauna.


Public trip dates 2018

Booking is essential for all trips unless stated. For all bookings and information, ring 01629 533020.

All cruises leave from Tapton Lock (S41 7JB).

Where there are two prices, the concessions are for Under 16s and Over 65s; babes in arms go free.


2-hour trips at 10.00 every Sunday from April to October (except 1st July). (£8.50/£7.50). Booking essential.

45 minute trips at 12.00, 1.00, 2.00 and 3.00 every Sunday and from 11.00 every Bank Holiday Monday from April to October (except 1st July). (£4.50/£4). No booking – just turn up.

Half-hourly trips from 11.00 (£3/£2) on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Derbyshire School Easter, Spring and Summer holidays. No booking – just turn up.

Six hour Staveley Packet Cruises at 10.00 (£21/£16) on the last Saturday each month from May to October (except June 23rd, not June 30th). Booking essential.

Six Hour Special Occasion Cruises at 10.00 (£26/£21) on New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and for St George (21st April). These include a meal at Hollingwood Hub. Booking essential.

Easter Eggcitement from 11.00 (£7) on 31st March and 1st April. No need to book. Craft activities for children. Booking essential.

Lock Keeper’s Table Cruises at 6.30 (£6) on the third Monday each month from April to September. Brewers Fayre Voucher for each passenger. Booking essential.

Fish & Chip Specials at 7.00 (£16) on alternate Wednesdays from 2nd May to the end of July. Fish & Chips from Chesters. Booking essential.

Wednesday Summer Specials at 7.00 (£12) on 6th June – Live Folk Cruise, on 20th June – Canal History and its future. Bring your own refreshments. Booking essential.

Teddy Bears’ Picnic at 11.00 and 3.00 (£6/£4) on 16th June. Bring your own picnic and Teddy. Activities at Bluebank Lock. Booking essential.

Cake and Cruise at 10.00 and Strawberry Cream Tea Cruises at 14.30 (£12.50) on Fridays throughout August. Booking essential.

Santa Special trips every weekend from 24th November to Christmas (£7). Booking essential, bookings open on September 1st.


Charter bookings for 2018

Charter bookings cost £50 per hour for up to 12 passengers.

To enquire about booking the John Varley for a charter trip, contact Martin Wilson by emailing or ring 0114 281 1575.

It is possible to combine John Varley with Madeline for groups of up to 24 passengers.