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Things to do at Tapton Lock

Whenever you visit, there is plenty to do along the towpath from the visitor centre. There are 5 miles of canal towpath and a further 6 miles of trail to explore and enjoy.


The level, surfaced paths make the towpath and trail easily accessible for everyone, including prams, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. We have a tramper mobility scooter available for hire from the visitor centre.

A map is attached to this page. Or pick up a leaflet for one of a selection of self-guided walks from the visitor centre.

The towpath is a favourite for dog walkers and we welcome responsible owners and their dogs. Poop scoop bags are available from the visitor centre.


The Trans Pennine Trail southern link begins (or ends) in Chesterfield. From the visitor centre you can join a network of cycle trails and explore the canals and trails in the surrounding area. Please be aware of and considerate to other users.


You can bring a canoe or launch a day-boat from the slipway below the visitor centre. See our information about Chesterfield Canal for charges and licences to get your boat on the water.

Take a trip aboard the John Varley, the Chesterfield Canal Trust's trip boat. Public trips run every Sunday afternoon from the visitor centre between Easter and October or you could try one of the special summertime evening sailings. Santa sailings run every weekend through December.


Responsible anglers are welcome to fish from one of the 100 built platforms along the canal. 

Please make sure you remove any tackle and litter to protect our wildlife.

The fishery is currently not managed by an angling club. Please contact us to express an interest in leasing the angling rights on the canal, tel: 01629 533020.


Countryside volunteers get involved with many aspects of conservation and site management work. Contact us for further information, email


The canal is a popular location for geocaching. The geocaching website has information about finding caches. If you want to place a cache please see the request form and guidelines attached to this page.

Watching for wildlife

Kingfishers, water voles, grass snakes and much, much more make their home in and around the canal and trail. Take a moment to sit, watch and listen, then pop back and tell us what you've seen.