Today the Erewash Canal is a 12-mile cul-de-sac leading from the Trent Lock where it meets the Trent and Soar rivers to the restored Great Northern Basin near Langley Mill. But it was once the centre of an East Midlands network that included the Derby Canal, the Nottingham Canal, the Cromford Canal and the Nutbrook Canal. If you’ve got time to moor up and go exploring, you can still walk many miles of these old waterways. But even if you don’t, the Erewash itself has its attractions, as it gradually climbs the Erewash Valley through a widely-spaced series of broad-beam locks.
The lower reaches are more urban and industrial, with some splendid old canalside mill buildings surviving from the area’s traditional lacemaking industry, but the surroundings become more rural further north as Sandiacre and Ilkeston are left behind.
Great Northern Basin provides a welcoming destination at the end of your journey, where the former junction of the Erewash, Cromford and Nottingham canals has been restored as a boating centre.