Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
The Chesterfield Canal, known locally as the ’Cuckoo Dyke’ is beautifully green and peaceful, with barely a house in sight at the eastern end.
Boat Maintenance & Repair
JP Boat Training Services is an RYA recognised Training Centre offering Narrowboat training and canal boat handling training courses throughout the canal network.
Come and see us at the only Visitor Centre on the Chesterfield Canal. We are packed with information and things to do. Our friendly and informative staff have loads of ideas to help you make the most of...
The Chesterfield Canal Trust runs boat trips on Madeline from Hollingwood Hub every Saturday from the start of April to to the end of October.
The Hugh Henshall is run by the Chesterfield Canal Trust and is crewed by fully qualified volunteers.
The Seth Ellis is run by the Chesterfield Canal Trust and is crewed by fully qualified volunteers. She is licensed to carry up to 12 passengers. Purpose built in 2005, she has a galley for serving hot...
The John Varley was launched in 2016. It is run by the Chesterfield Canal Trust and is crewed by fully qualified volunteers. It runs trips from Tapton Lock, on the Tesco roundabout in Chesterfield.
We have a small shop which sells hot and cold drinks, ice cream and snacks. We also have a good selection of gifts, maps and books.
The Chesterfield Canal Trust is a charitable company run entirely by volunteers, incorporated in July 1997. In 1998 it took over the assets of the former Chesterfield Canal Society (founded 1976).
Norwood Tunnel to Bridge 31 Kiveton Dog Kennel
Lock 53 Osberton to Bridge 50a Ranby A1 Road Bridge
Bridge 50a Ranby A1 Road Bridge to Bridge 51 Chequer House
Kiveton fishing Ponds
Lock 41 Cinder Hill to Shireoaks Bottom Lock 44
Lock 44 Shireoaks Bottom to Lock 51 Worksop Bracebridge
Lock 58 Retford West Town to Bridge 68 Clayworth Otters.Fishing is permitted opposite Retford and Worksop Boat Club Moorings, a distance of approximately 800 metres
North portal of Drakeholes Tunnel at Low Wharf to Bridge 85 West Stockwith Road
Bridge 51 Chequer House to Old Barracks @ Ranby
Bridge 31 Kiveton Dog Kennel to Lock 41 Cinder Hill
Bridge 54a Retford G N Railway to Lock 58 Retford West Town
It is very popular for walking and cycling, but quiet in terms of boats, perhaps because you have to turn around and come back when you reach the end. However, it is well worth the journey for the leafy tree tunnels, meadows and wildlife.
One area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, because of its rare aquatic plant life, including linton's pondweed, short-leaved water starwort, and brackish water crowfoot.
The canal was saved from dereliction, and boaters can now travel from the River Trent to Kiveton Park. There is a further five miles of restored canal at the Chesterfield end, but this is not connected to the rest and is only accessible by slipway. The Chesterfield Canal Trust is working to close the gap between the two sections.
In total, the 46-mile canal has 59 narrow locks, six wide locks, and two tunnels - one of which, Norwood, collapsed at the start of the 20th century.
Find stoppages, restrictions and other navigational advice for this waterway
The part of the Chesterfield Canal running through Drakesholes is a Site of Special Scientific Interest - great for family country walks and for spotting wildlife. best of all it's free!
Download our free guide to Drakesholes
The Chesterfield Canal was promoted by James Brindley but since his growing reputation meant he was greatly in demand, much of the work fell to his assistant John Varley. The line, known locally as 'Cuckoo Dyke', officially opened in 1777, five years after Brindley's death.
It originally extended 46 miles from the River Trent through Worksop and Retford before arriving at its terminus in Chesterfield. Along the way it negotiated two tunnels and a combination of narrow gauge and broad gauge locks. These hark back to a decision in 1775 when it was agreed that although the canal should be narrow from Chesterfield to Retford, it should be built on a larger scale between Retford and the River Trent to accommodate wider-beam river traffic along that section.
Throughout the 19th Century, the canal was very successful. In addition to large amounts of coal, it also carried agricultural goods, iron, pottery and ale. Its most famous cargo was 250,000 tons of stone from local quarries which were used in the construction of the Houses of Parliament.
Two World Wars and the advent of the railways did little to avert a commercial decline that was compounded in 1907 by a collapse in Norwood Tunnel. Although some trade did continue on the canal, the last recorded commercial cargo was in the 1960s. By this time restoration efforts were already underway and it was largely due to the efforts of campaigners that the Transport Act 1968, which reclassified canals according to their status of usage, allowed a sizeable section between Stockwith and Worksop to remain navigable. In 1976 the Chesterfield Canal Society, now known as the Chesterfield Canal Trust, was formed.
East Midlands waterways
Find out what our team in the East Midlands are getting up to