The Chesterfield Canal

The Chesterfield Canal extends 46 miles from Chesterfield to the River Trent at West Stockwith and is one of the country’s earliest and most fascinating navigations.

It passes through Derbyshire, South Rotherham and North Nottinghamshire and links the regions of the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. Its bold course includes a range of both natural and built heritage attractions arguably equal to any other part of the UK waterways network.

The story of the origins, rise and eventual decline of the Chesterfield Canal is unique. Many of its features are distinctive and have given rise to unique attributes – even the boats used on the Canal were strikingly different from those used in other regions. To learn more about the history of the canal click here.

The landscape around the canal is hugely varied – from the dark coal measures sandstones to the white Magnesian Limestone and on to the bright oranges and reds of the Bunter Sandstone – the varied geology which the canal traverses has given raise to a rich and varied landscape. This is also reflected in the plants and animals along the canal – in consequence the canal is now an important nature reserve. To learn more about the landscape and ecology of the canal click here.

We hope that your will be able to explore this rich legacy with us and learn how the canal is being restored to life as a waterway for all.

Visiting and Enjoying the Chesterfield Canal

As of 2008 the Chesterfield Canal is navigable from West Stockwith on the River Trent (our connection with the national network) to the East portal of the Norwood Tunnel at Kiveton Park. This 33 mile section is managed by British Waterways East Midlands.

For more information on using the Chesterfield Canal – and especially the British Waterways length -- please visit

The Canal is also navigable from Staveley to Chesterfield. This currently isolated 5 mile section is managed by Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service. A slipway for the launching of trail boats is available at Tapton Lock in Chesterfield.

Chesterfield is also home to Tapton Lock Visitor Centre which tells the story of the canal and its environment. For more information on the Derbyshire managed length visit the Derbyshire County Council Countryside Service.


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