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

It was built in 2016 and is a 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 2019

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; babes in arms go free.


Sunday Morning Cruises (2hr, £8.50/£7.50) at 10.00 from 7th April to end October (except 21st April and 15th September). Booking essential.

Sunday Family Fun trips (45 mins, £4.50/£4) at 12.00, 13.00, 14.00 and 15.00 from 7th April to end October (except 21st April and 15th September) and from 11.00 every Bank Holiday Monday. No booking – just turn up.

Staveley Packet Cruises (6hr, £21) at 10.00 on the last Saturday each month from May to October. Booking essential.

Special Occasion Cruises (6hr, £26) at 10.00 on New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and for St George’s Day (23rd April). These include a meal at Hollingwood Hub. Booking essential.

School Holiday Taster Trips (£3/£2) half-hourly from 11.00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Derbyshire School Easter, Spring and Summer holidays (except 23rd April). No booking – just turn up.

Easter Eggcitement (45 mins, £7) hourly from 11.00 on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st April. Easter eggs for children, drinks and hot cross buns for adults. Crafts in Visitor Centre. No booking – just turn up.

Evening Fish & Chip Specials (2hr, £16.50) at 19.00 on 1st, 15th & 29th May; 12th & 26th June; 10th & 24th July. Booking essential.

Lunchtime Fish & Chip Specials (2hr, £16.50) at 12.00 on 22nd May; 5th & 19th June; 3rd & 17th July. Booking essential.

Summer Special Cruises (2hr, £12) at 19.00 on 5th June – Live Folk Cruise and on 19th June – Canal History and its Future. Bring your own refreshments. Booking essential.

Teddy Bears’ Picnic (2 hr, £6/£4) at 11.00 and 15.00 on 15th June. Bring your own picnic and Teddy. Booking essential.

August Fridays – Cake and Cruise at 10.00 and Strawberry Cream Tea Cruises at 14.30 (2hr, £13) on Fridays throughout August. Booking essential.

Santa Special trips (£7) every weekend from 23rd November to Christmas. Booking essential, bookings open on September 1st.


Charter bookings for 2019

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.

Fish & Chip charters can also be arranged. These cost £16.50 per passenger.

It is possible to combine John Varley with Madeline for groups of up to 24 passengers for charters of at least three hours.