Chesterfield Canal – Tapton Lock Visitor Centre
Our countryside sites are open for you to enjoy. Before you venture out, please visit the website to see the latest information about what facilities are open and measures in place during coronavirus.
The Chesterfield Canal is a beautiful waterway, an oasis of calm in the busy market town.
Built more than 200 years ago to transport lead, iron and coal to the River Trent and following the collapse of the Norwood Tunnel in 1907, it fell into disuse. The five mile stretch from Chesterfield to Staveley is now restored and a wonderful place to visit, known locally as the Cuckoo Way.
Start from the Visitor Centre at Tapton Lock, where you’ll find friendly advice and a selection of walking and cycling maps and leaflets to help you explore. With freshly ground coffee, delicious snacks and homemade cakes. It’s just a short walk along the towpath to the town and the famous ‘Crooked Spire’.
The canal towpath is multi-use and easy access, so whether you are walking, cycling, have a pram or a wheelchair you can enjoy the scenery and wildlife all year round. If you want to explore further afield there are plenty of opportunities. Do a circular route using the Trans Pennine Trail, bridle links or local public rights of way. A tramper mobility scooter can be hired from the Visitor Centre and the site is awarded the prestigious Green Flag for its green space.
Wildlife - You’ll discover Bluebank Pools Local Nature Reserve along the towpath. Take your time, sit quietly and you are bound to be rewarded. Look out for the elusive water vole or the brilliant blue flash as a kingfisher darts past. Early morning walkers may spot Roe deer grazing along the canal and many water birds make their home here.
Boating - Five miles of canal from Chesterfield to Staveley is open for boating. You can buy a licence from Tapton Lock Visitor Centre which allows you to launch your own boat. British Canoeing members paddle free of charge, contact us for details and for information about residential and commercial mooring opportunities. Enjoy a seasonal boat trip from Tapton Lock aboard John Varley II or the narrowboat Madeline offers trips from Hollingwood Hub.
- Disabled access - Tramper mobility scooter hire
- Disabled toilets
- On-site light refreshments
- Picnic site
- Baby changing facilities
- Children welcome
- Facilities for educational visits
- Facilities for groups
- Dogs Accepted
- Public toilets
* Canal and towpath open
Tapton Lock Visitor Centre – open 10am – 4pm every day (excluding Christmas Day) - closed for lunch from 1 to 1.45pm from Monday to Friday