Saturday, 20 February 2010

Cromford Canal Cruising Guide 2020

Cromford Canal Cruising Guide
 February 2010

Having explored the full length of the Cromford and Erewash canals in some detail, I thought it would be a good idea to pull back and reflect on the the big picture, a sort of a round up review.

With cruiseway status already conferred on the little travelled Erewash and restoration plans progressing on the Cromford, how better to review this contrasting pair of waterways than by the publication of a virtual cruising guide. Set aside the troubles of 2010 and leaf through the new canal guide, published in time for the new 2020 boating season. 

Cromford and Erewash  Canal Cruising Guide

Welcome to the 2020 cruising guide to the Cromford and Erewash Canals.

After the exciting reopening ceremonies of 2019, the canals are now ready and waiting for their first full season of visitors. A cruise to the terminus at Cromford Wharf offers a varied boating experience which can be achieved in three days if you are on a strict timetable, but the beauty of the area means that most visitors are likely take it at a more leisurely pace, savouring what has justifiably been described as the "Llangollen of the east".

We hope you share our delight in this unique network of restored canals on the Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire border.

Day One - Trent Lock to Langley Mill
12 miles and 15 locks

Most visitors take an overnight stop at Trent Lock, where the River Trent, the Trent and Mersey Canal, The River Soar and the Erewash canal combine. This is one of the great inland waterway crossroads and is blessed by an excellent pub, The Steamboat, plus a Tea Rooms  and BW services, which are few and far between in these parts. This spot is very popular with non boaters, so you can expect  to attract quite an audience as you leave the Trent behind.

 Sandiacre mills
After a few miles of level cruising the Erewash Canal starts it's relentless climb, rising through Sandiacre and Ilkeston via 15 broad locks. This lower section of the canal is mainly industrial and urban, but it is not without interest. The old cotton mills of Sandiacre have been sympathetically restored and converted into housing, adding a spectacular backdrop to the waterway. This canal used to be known for its rubbish, but with the arrival if more boats has restored local pride in this once great waterway which, in its day, delivered riches beyond the wildest dreams of it's investors. This ribbon of water gave access to the rich coalfields in the north and was the enterprise of its day.

Cotmanhay nr Shipley Lock

Most boaters press on beyond Shipley Lock where the urban gives way to countryside, mooring amid quiet fields and small farms. But for those in need of refreshment there is always the Great Northern Inn at Langley Mill which offers locally brewed Kimberley Ales and food at very reasonable prices. Limited mooring is available at the Junction with the Nottingham Canal (currently being restored) but these is plenty of quiet towpath mooring below Langley Lock.

Langley Lock pre 1900

Look out for the old toll house bedside Langley Mill Lock, a rare surviving relic of the canal in it's heyday.

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