The biggest walking festival based on a single canal in the country is all set and ready to start on Saturday 11th September. The Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival will comprise of 41 walks in all, with the last one on Sunday 19th September.
The walks cover the whole of the canal’s 46 miles from Chesterfield to West Stockwith on the River Trent. They vary from a one mile stroll to a full twenty miles. Much of the scenery is beautiful, none more so than the Giant’s Staircase of 22 locks in just over a mile between Kiveton and Shireoaks that features in several of the walks.
The festival is organised by the Chesterfield Canal Trust, whose Walks Officer, David Blackburn, said: “After last year’s cancellation, we are delighted to be back. The canal is an absolute delight at any time of year, but early Autumn possibly sees it at its best.”
There are special interest walks, such as Wildlife, History, Architecture, Archaeology and Restoration. There are opportunities to explore some of the attractive towns and villages in North Nottinghamshire or you can combine a walk with a cruise on one of the Trust’s trip boats. There is even the opportunity to learn about Geocaching, whilst enjoying the delights of the canal.
New this year is the opportunity to earn sponsorship money for your favourite cause by towing the Trust’s replica Cuckoo boat. There is even a cycle ride with a difference. Waterway and railway enthusiasts will relish the opportunity of a canal and river walk finishing up at Britain’s last surviving working Railway Roundhouse at Barrow Hill.
Pride of place goes to the 20 mile Restoration Walk from Chesterfield to Worksop. This covers the 12 miles of canal that have been restored since 1989 and the 8 miles that are yet to be re-awakened.
All the walks are free except for those combined with a boat. They must be booked in advance, either online via the Trust’s website – search for Chesterfield Canal Trust – or by ringing 01246 477569. A brochure with full details is available at various places along the canal, including Hollingwood Hub and local Tourist Information Centres. It is also available online. Some walks are already full, so it is advisable to book now to avoid disappointment.
Obviously all the walks will be subject to the latest Covid advice, so participants should come prepared with a face covering, even if it will not actually be required.
The Chesterfield Canal Trust wishes to thank all the walk leaders, the many organisations which have helped and the festival’s sponsors: the Canal & River Trust, Avant Homes, Derbyshire County Council Action Grants and Eckington, Misterton and West Stockwith Parish Councils.
Find out more about the event at: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/chesterfield-canal-walking-festival/