Taking in three counties and 46 miles of tow paths 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 14th to Sunday 22nd September 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 over 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 and River Trust.”
There are special interest walks, including 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 on 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, whilst 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.