Sunday, 21 February 2010

Cromford Canal Cruising Guide - Day Two

Day two - Langley Mill to Pinxton Wharf
7 miles and 7 locks

It is generally recognised that the last couple of miles into Langley Mill providesa taster of what lies beyond. Langley Mill marks the end of the Erewash Canal and the start of the Cromford Cana,l which will carry you the next 16 miles deep into the hills of Derbyshire.

 Langley Mill moorings

Langley Mill is a watershed in your trip, with your passage under the busy A610 tranforming what was a largely industrial canal route into one of rural tranquility and abundant wildlife. Biu don't be misled by what you see today. You are now entering the old coal mining area, ravaged by rampant subsidence and opencast mines which obliterated the next couple of miles of canal . The canal you travel on is all new. As you glide across the open meadows and shallow lakes, remember that this used to be a hive of industry and where there are now Coots and Cormorants there used to be coal cacophony.

Sart of the Ironville flight

Having crossed the Erewash on a small aqueduct the canal follows its original path to the flight of seven locks which lift you up to the model village of Ironville, built by the Butterley Company, then owners of the canal. Some boaters choose to moor alongside the expansive Codnor Reservoir but most decide to press on up the three mile lockless Pinxton Arm.

Pinxton Wharf

This interesting detour is not to be missed, skirting beneath the tower of Ironville Church before crossing the site of the reinstated Somtherfly opencast mine and then into the tranquility of Pinxton Wharf. There is nowhere quite like this location, with moored boats lined up on an autumnal evening, smoke curling from their  chimneys as their owners swap watery tales in the welcoming embrace of the Boat Inn.

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