Walking boots on to see Chesterfield ‘at its best’

CHESTERFIELD Canal Walking Festival will be an opportunity to see the area ‘at its best’.

Taking in three counties and 46 miles of towpaths over nine days, the Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival is billed as the biggest canal walking event in the country.

Organised by the Chesterfield Canal Trust, the festival will run from Saturday, September 14 to Sunday 22, with a total of 53 guided walks – the majority of which are free – ranging from a children’s walk of just two miles to the full 46-mile length of the canal in three days.

The trust’s walks officer, David Blackburn, who has been researching and leading walks for more than 20 years, said: “The canal is an absolute delight at any time of year, but early autumn possibly sees it at its best.

“There are walks for all ages and abilities, including specialist interest walks and combined walks and boat trips for people who would like a more relaxing day out.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us to put this festival together and to our sponsors Bassetlaw District Council and the Canal & River Trust.”

Special interest walks will include nature, history, architecture, restoration, bird spotting, bat spotting and geocaching.

Some walks will explore the attractive towns and villages in north Nottinghamshire.

Dr Patrick Harding, one of the country’s leading experts in fungi, will be leading a tree, mushroom and toadstool walk. National Trust staff from Mr Straw’s House in Worksop will be leading a towpath trek.

The full-length of the canal (46 miles) will be covered in three days, starting at West Stockwith on the River Trent and finishing in the centre of Chesterfield. 

There are opportunities to combine a walk from two miles up to seven miles with a cruise on one of the trust’s trip boats. 

One walk gives the opportunity of a guided tour of Britain’s last surviving working Railway Roundhouse at Barrow Hill, while another includes a ‘Posh Picnic’. 

Several walks will investigate the section of the Chesterfield Canal that has not yet been restored and will reveal plans on how this will take place.

Full details for all the walks, including booking information, can be found at www.chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk Bookings can also be made by calling 01246 345777.