Missed by many boaters as it can only be accessed from the tidal River Trent, this Brindley canal never fails to delight those who make the effort to reach it. After leaving the Trent at West Stockwith, the canal winds through beautiful rural countryside, apart from brief forays into Retford and Worksop which are useful shopping stops on a canal that otherwise offers few opportunities.
Curiously, the locks change from wide to narrow part way.
If you enjoyed the countryside so far, just wait till you get through Worksop – assuming you are not put off by intensive lock work! Thanks to decades of effort by the Chesterfield Canal Trust, you climb through a most delightful sylvan section of canal. Added to this, you navigate a series of three- and four-rise staircase locks designed by James Brindley and restored with careful detailing. This is a beautiful length of canal at any time of year, and if you are not visiting by boat, it is well worth walking it – convenient canalside stations at Kiveton Park and Shireoaks allow for a one-way walk.
For the moment, boaters must wind just short of the tunnel (do try to reach the portal if weed growth allows) but it is hoped to have the remainder of the canal open through to Chesterfield once more in the not-too-distant future. There are already 5 miles restored, from Chesterfield to Staveley, and this section can be accessed by trailboat.