The Chesterfield Canal is an oasis of calm, a beautiful waterway and its surrounding countryside is within minutes of the hustle and bustle of supermarkets and the busy town of Chesterfield. It was built more than 200 years ago.
We have five miles from Chesterfield to Staveley that is open for boating and then another nine miles in need of restoration. You can visit Chesterfield Borough Council's (opens in a new window) website for news about the exciting new waterside development. For more information about the history and restoration of the canal visit the Chesterfield Canal Trust (opens in a new window). You'll also find information about Hollingwood Hub (opens in a new window), the Chesterfield Canal Trust's new home.
The canal towpath is multi-user so whether you are walking, cycling, have a pram or a wheelchair you can enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Look out for the elusive water vole or the brilliant blue flash as a kingfisher darts past.
On summer Sundays and Bank Holidays you can enjoy a trip from Tapton Lock Visitor Centre on the John Varley − the Chesterfield Canal Trusts trip boat. The Madeline offers summer Saturday trips from Hollingwood Hub - and you can also meet Santa on the boat on one of the special trips in December.
Find out more about Chesterfield Canal Trust trip boats (opens in a new window).
You can buy a licence from Tapton Lock Visitor Centre which allows you to launch your own boat on the Chesterfield canal. You will need third party / public liability insurance.
Several local groups use the canal to coach children and young adults in the handling of canoes and water safety.
Trailer boats can also use the canal and there have been several boating festivals held here.
See the fees, licence, terms and conditions, and application forms attached to this page.
You can enjoy fishing on the canal wherever you find a built fishing platform.
For information on where to fish and to buy a day permit call in at Tapton Lock Visitor Centre, or see the bailiff from the Williamthorpe Angling Club (opens in a new window) at the bank side. For membership and annual permits, please contact Williamthorpe Angling Club.
- Bridleway/Horse riding trail
- Picnic area
- Woodland with public access
- Wildlife area
- Light refreshments
- Easy access for all
- On-site information
- Camping/Caravan site
- Children's play area
- Nature trail
- Events area
- Cycle path
- Tapton Lock Visitor Centre
- Tapton Lock Visitor Centre
- 01629 533020
The following documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)
The following documents are in Excel format. You can download software to view Excel documents for free from the Excel viewer page (opens in a new window) of the Microsoft website.
- Fishing on the Chesterfield canal (1850KB)
- Summary - Code of Practice for boaters (30KB)
- Boat licence fees (124KB)
- Pleasure boats licence conditions (30KB)
- Pleasure boats application form (79KB)
- Pleasure boats explanatory notes (17KB)
- Portable boats licence conditions (30KB)
- Portable boats application form (79KB)
- Portable boats licence - explanatory notes (16KB)
- Group licence conditions (30KB)
- Group application (76KB)
- Group licence - explanatory notes (16KB)