Canal Boat - - Arms & Dead Ends -

The Chesterfield is one of the net­work’s longer dead ends – a trick­ier one to get to, re­quir­ing a tidal pas­sage on the River Trent from Cromwell Lock or Keadby. But it’s well worth the in­con­ve­nience, for the sake of vis­it­ing 32 miles of quiet and varied water­way stretch­ing from West Stock­with via Ret­ford and Work­sop to Kive­ton.

It’s a canal of sev­eral parts: be­gin­ning in the flat coun­try­side by the Trent, it me­an­ders vaguely west­wards, briefly dou­bling back on it­self, with a smat­ter­ing of broad locks and the short Drake­holes Tunnel to keep up wa­ter­ways in­ter­est. Pass­ing through the old market town of Ret­ford, it switches to nar­row-beam and the locks start to come a lit­tle more of­ten as it con­tin­ues west through slightly hillier coun­try.

At Work­sop it changes again: the climb steep­ens, cul­mi­nat­ing in the Thorpe and Turn­er­wood flights – over 20 locks in a mile, many in cu­ri­ous shal­low stair­cases. Fi­nally, the three-mile sum­mit leads through glo­ri­ous hilly coun­try­side to Kive­ton vil­lage and the eastern por­tal of the aban­doned Nor­wood Tunnel: one day it will con­tinue all the way to Chesterfield.

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