The charity making life better by water

Planning a safe passage on the River Trent

The River Trent, a scenic link from South to North connecting with the Fossdyke & Witham, Chesterfield Canal and the Stainforth and Keady Canal.

Heading out on the Trent

The River Trent is the third longest river in the UK and with a bigger average flow rate than the Thames, the River Trent has formed a link for vessels between the industrial Midlands to the sea, and to the waters of the Yorkshire Navigations since the days of the Vikings and the Romans. Even through to the 1960s and later, cargo was shipped here from the Humber ports to the likes of Gainsborough, Newark and Nottingham. Even as late as the 1980's gravel was shipped commercially on the river, and some facilities still remain.

This page is intended to assist Inland boaters in navigating safely the 43 miles of the lock free tidal stretch of the river from Cromwell Lock (near Newark in Nottinghamshire) to Keadby Lock, and the Stainforth and Keadby Canal about 10 miles before the Trent reaches the Humber at Trent Falls, saving up to 100 locks on the trans Pennine routes.

The tidal section of the River Trent can take well prepared inland boaters to destinations like the Fossdyke Canal (the oldest UK canal) to Lincoln and onto Boston. Or onto the stunning, rural, and much restored Chesterfield canal at West Stockwith. Both these canals can only be reached via the tidal river, which then goes on to Keadby where the Stainforth and Keadby Canal joins the Trent to take the inland boater safely onto the grand Yorkshire waters to such destinations as Sheffield, Doncaster, York and Leeds, and forms the back door to three trans Pennine rings via the Huddersfield Canals, the Rochdale Canal, or the Leeds & Liverpool Canal - the biggest and perhaps most stunning of the “rings” on the UK system.

Useful links

Last Edited: 11 September 2023

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration