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Fatjoff

Ripon to Sheffield

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I'm just starting to research a boat trip from Ripon to Sheffield and back at the end of August.  I haven't had a long run out for a couple of years and I need one.  So a mate and I have decided to abandon the women for a fortnight and head for Sheffield, where my mate went to Uni (he won't recognize the place after all these years!).

 

Anyway, I'm happy enough with the route from Ripon to Dole Bank lock, having done that a few times.  but I have always turned right previously at Dole Bank, and this time I'll be turning left.  I've planned longish days - 6hrs or thereabouts - so that we can spend a couple of days in Sheffield, and I've got my mind on overnight stays in Selby, around Sykehouse Junction (or somewhere near), Doncaster and Rotherham before hitting Sheffield.  I'm looking for any advice, tips, recommendations etc for the journey from Dole Bank into Sheffield, such as good moorings, good pubs, places to avoid.  Particularly, I'd be interested in what people consider to be the best places to moor around Doncaster and Rotherham.  I'm not familiar with either town and would quite like to explore, so if you know of good town centre moorings, I'd be grateful for your thoughts.

 

Cheers all.

 

 

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About 3 miles after Doncaster is Sprotbrough, which is a very pleasant place to moor, you will have a long day from there into Sheffield though.

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You have to book the lock flight at Tinsley for assisted passage by the CaRT lockies the day before, so most arrive at Holme Lock at around 9am and are in Sheffield for around 1pm. Basically for safe moorings in Sheffield you are limited to the Basin. Noisy, but OK and close to the city centre. Reasonable off side moorings at Eastwood Lock in Rotherham. @Kendorr has already mentioned Sprotborough. Barnby Dun is another pleasant mooring spot. Visitor moorings in Doncaster near the Minster, behind a CaRT key locked gate. If you are a member of an AWCC affiliated boat club, then Strawberry Island BC in Doncaster may be able to accommodate you for a night or two if you get in touch ahead of time.

 

There is nowhere on the cut to buy fuel. The places I know of require a diversion. Either Goole, or Thorne. Make sure you have plenty in the tank.

 

Between Doncaster and Tinsley you are on a mix of the River Don and lengths of cut that bypass weirs. The Don rises and falls rapidly when it rains, so keep an eye on the forecast. Some stretches of not very salubrious urban environment from Mexborough upwards, which limits low risk mooring options. Some very pretty bits too. When I first did the S&SY navigation I was expecting post industrial wasteland from Doncaster onwards. It is mostly not like that. Mostly!

 

Jen

 

Oh yes, you could also meet this:

 

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies

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1 hour ago, Kendorr said:

About 3 miles after Doncaster is Sprotbrough, which is a very pleasant place to moor, you will have a long day from there into Sheffield though.

  You won't even get from Sprotbrough to Sheffield in a day, due to the fact that you are restricted to when you can travel up, usually mornings 09:00-09:30am arriving at Sheffield 01:00-02:00pm.

  Doncaster town moorings to Sprotbrough little over an hour, two big locks which will probably be set against you as they are often set to fill automatically, this could be the case all the way to the last big electric lock at Eastwood. Not many canal side pubs on that stretch. Would rather stay at Pastures just after Mexborough low lock then Sprotbrough, large carvery/family type pub next to the hotel. See the link https://www.pastureslodge.co.uk

  After that not a lot before Rotherham, Sad to say not the best moorings at Rotherham and few people stay there the night before they travel to Sheffield. Hopefully this may change as there is a redevelopment planned for the near future, with new visitor moorings and sanitation block.

  I always advise to stay at Iccles lock the night before, nothing there but more secure then Eastwood, even though you stay on the lock landing there will be nothing using it till something comes down the flight next day and if anyone is on it they will be going up the flight with you. DO NOT stay at Holmes lock the night before as this is only 10 minutes away from Iccles and where you meet the CaRT staff that take you up the flight usually at 09:00-09:30 depending on staffing and if anything is coming down.

  You can view the reverse journey from Sheffield to Mexborough low lock at the link below to give you an idea of what to expect.

 

Edited by PD1964
Lo
  • Greenie 1

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5 hours ago, PD1964 said:

  You won't even get from Sprotbrough to Sheffield in a day, due to the fact that you are restricted to when you can travel up, usually mornings 09:00-09:30am arriving at Sheffield 01:00-02:00pm.

  Doncaster town moorings to Sprotbrough little over an hour, two big locks which will probably be set against you as they are often set to fill automatically, this could be the case all the way to the last big electric lock at Eastwood. Not many canal side pubs on that stretch. Would rather stay at Pastures just after Mexborough low lock then Sprotbrough, large carvery/family type pub next to the hotel. See the link https://www.pastureslodge.co.uk

  After that not a lot before Rotherham, Sad to say not the best moorings at Rotherham and few people stay there the night before they travel to Sheffield. Hopefully this may change as there is a redevelopment planned for the near future, with new visitor moorings and sanitation block.

  I always advise to stay at Iccles lock the night before, nothing there but more secure then Eastwood, even though you stay on the lock landing there will be nothing using it till something comes down the flight next day and if anyone is on it they will be going up the flight with you. DO NOT stay at Holmes lock the night before as this is only 10 minutes away from Iccles and where you meet the CaRT staff that take you up the flight usually at 09:00-09:30 depending on staffing and if anything is coming down.

  You can view the reverse journey from Sheffield to Mexborough low lock at the link below to give you an idea of what to expect.

 

^^^^^ this is all good advice, I moor in Rotherham yet I still go to Iccles the night before the flight, Pastures is a nice pub and you can moor outside it or at the top side of the lock before it, at the small visitor mooring there. Both Doncaster and before swinton lock has shops very near to a mooring you will see the lidle supermarket on the right. Be aware that the Exol pride arrives in Rotherham Thursdays now and returns to goole on Fridays, the two boat that met her today after coming down Tinsley flight had a bit of a surprise

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On ‎20‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 18:35, PD1964 said:

  You won't even get from Sprotbrough to Sheffield in a day, due to the fact that you are restricted to when you can travel up, usually mornings 09:00-09:30am arriving at Sheffield 01:00-02:00pm. 

 

Sorry, I'm confused.  By my calculations, Sprotborough to Sheffield is about 11 hours.  What time rerstrictions are you referring to?  Is that for the Tinsley flight?

 

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1 hour ago, Fatjoff said:

 

Sorry, I'm confused.  By my calculations, Sprotborough to Sheffield is about 11 hours.  What time rerstrictions are you referring to?  Is that for the Tinsley flight?

 

Yes that is the issue, plus the locks can be unreliable, so if you left Sprotborough early in the morning so you arrived at Holmes lock at 0930, it would only take one broken lock to stop you, during the day they are are normally there within the hour at 0400 it might take them a couple of hours longer!!

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8 hours ago, Fatjoff said:

 

Sorry, I'm confused.  By my calculations, Sprotborough to Sheffield is about 11 hours.  What time rerstrictions are you referring to?  Is that for the Tinsley flight?

 

  It will come clear once your at Sheffield, as calculations and real time to Sheffield are a bit different, you can't really do it in one day due to the assisted passage times on the Tinsley flight, as you have to be at Holmes lock between 09:00 - 09:30 in most cases to start up the flight.  It takes about 6-7 hours from Sprotborough to Iccles Lock, the next lock is Holmes lock, about 10 minutes away where you meet the lock keeper.  Normally all the locks are set against you as they're self filling. So to stand a chance to get to Holmes Lock for the 09:00-09:30 assisted start if you were doing it in one run/one day from Sprotborough you would have to leave Sprotborough at 02:30-03:00am. I doubt you would do that and as Peter says all it takes is one electrical fail at a lock and you can add on a hour or more. Yes it's about 11 hours of travel time but virtually impossible to do that 11 hours in one run or single day. Hope this makes sense.

Edited by PD1964

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36 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

  It will come clear once your at Sheffield, as calculations and real time to Sheffield are a bit different, you can't really do it in one day due to the assisted passage times on the Tinsley flight, as you have to be at Holmes lock between 09:00 - 09:30 in most cases to start up the flight.  It takes about 6-7 hours from Sprotborough to Iccles Lock, the next lock is Holmes lock, about 10 minutes away where you meet the lock keeper.  Normally all the locks are set against you as they're self filling. So to stand a chance to get to Holmes Lock for the 09:00-09:30 assisted start if you were doing it in one run/one day from Sprotborough you would have to leave Sprotborough at 02:30-03:00am. I doubt you would do that and as Peter says all it takes is one electrical fail at a lock and you can add on a hour or more. Yes it's about 11 hours of travel time but virtually impossible to do that 11 hours in one run or single day. Hope this makes sense.

Thanks for explaining that.  I don't intend to do it one day.  I am planning to stop in Donny, then Rotherham before the last leg into Sheffield. I hadn't planned to stop in Sprotsborough.

 

Thanks for all the responses.

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8 hours ago, peterboat said:

Yes that is the issue, plus the locks can be unreliable, so if you left Sprotborough early in the morning so you arrived at Holmes lock at 0930, it would only take one broken lock to stop you, during the day they are are normally there within the hour at 0400 it might take them a couple of hours longer!!

The powered locks and lift/swing bridges up to Rotherham can be unreliable sometimes as @peterboat says. All it takes is for a sensor not to give what the control gear is expecting and it will fail to safe. During the day there is someone with a van basically on call, fixing these sorts of problems as soon as they can after you let CaRT know. Some trips you get all the way through no problem. Other times you might be waiting for an hour at one of the locks, or bridges. CaRT are on the ball with getting you on the move again as it is a commercial waterway, but you need a bit of float time for these sorts of delay. Most people stop at Eastwood, or Iccles the night before, to be at Holme Lock bright and early.

The pumps for the Tinsley flight that fill the Sheffield summit level are due to be replaced towards the end of July and they are planning a weeks stoppage. Shouldn't affect your trip at the end of August and hopefully the pumps will be more reliable.

 

Jenny

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1 hour ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

The pumps for the Tinsley flight that fill the Sheffield summit level are due to be replaced towards the end of July and they are planning a weeks stoppage. Shouldn't affect your trip at the end of August and hopefully the pumps will be more reliable.

 

Jenny

I had never realised that water was pumped to the summit. Sheffield is surrounded by hills, you enter the city (by road) downhill from the North or West. I assumed it would be gravity fed. 

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 have known its been pumped for years, the start of the canal though is higher than the river nearest to it, never a good way of doing things is it? I suspect at one point the canal was fed from water pumped up from mines? also the mill owners might not have wanted to give up water that they needed to power up to produce steel? who knows?

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28 minutes ago, peterboat said:

 have known its been pumped for years, the start of the canal though is higher than the river nearest to it, never a good way of doing things is it? I suspect at one point the canal was fed from water pumped up from mines? also the mill owners might not have wanted to give up water that they needed to power up to produce steel? who knows?

@Pluto probably!

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10 hours ago, MHS said:

I had never realised that water was pumped to the summit. Sheffield is surrounded by hills, you enter the city (by road) downhill from the North or West. I assumed it would be gravity fed. 

The story I was given by one of the lock keepers was that it was originally fed by a culvert from the river Sheaf. When the railway station was built this was lost and it was fed by water pumped from mines. When they closed, then pumps were installed. The river Sheaf is now underground where it passes around 100 yards beyond the end of the canal. The tunnel is called Megatron.

 

9 hours ago, peterboat said:

 have known its been pumped for years, the start of the canal though is higher than the river nearest to it, never a good way of doing things is it? I suspect at one point the canal was fed from water pumped up from mines? also the mill owners might not have wanted to give up water that they needed to power up to produce steel? who knows?

The canal was built in the first place because the mill owners wouldn't allow the Don to be made navigable in to the city. Before it was built goods had to be taken in and out by road to a wharf on the river in Tinsley about four miles away.

Jen

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies

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32 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

The story I was given by one of the lock keepers was that it was originally fed by a culvert from the river Sheaf. When the railway station was built this was lost and it was fed by water pumped from mines. When they closed, then pumps were installed. The river Sheaf is now underground where it passes around 100 yards beyond the end of the canal. The tunnel is called Megatron.

 

The canal was built in the first place because the mill owners wouldn't allow the Don to be made navigable in to the city. Before it was built goods had to be taken in and out by road to a wharf on the river in Tinsley about four miles away.

Jen

Same in Rotherham, the navigation was built so that goods could travel freely without huge tolls from the mill owners.

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On 20/06/2019 at 17:29, Kendorr said:

About 3 miles after Doncaster is Sprotbrough, which is a very pleasant place to moor, you will have a long day from there into Sheffield though.

Did Sheffield to Doncaster yesterday, two boats, both single handed, in under 9 hours yesterday. Yes a long day. And a start at 9ish at Tinsley Top helped but the trip up will need a stop over.

Why di we do such a long day then? Because Doncater is great town, way, way above our expectations. Stayed here on the not over attractive but almost town centre VMs on the way up and for a couple of days too.

All the shops and stores you would expect in a sizable town, and more. Great market. The Information Centre will even provide you with a CAMRA mag with all the good pubs on a map! We have ended up patronising the lovely 1930s back room in The Plough, or Little Plough to some

Rotheram sadly has no moorings in town recognised by either Nicholsons or more importatly, CRT, although there are some! We stopped at the secure moorings above Eastwood Lock, and witnessing the natives while on a dog walk further along, I'm glad we did. Got an excellent taxi into town and back that night which I can strogly recommend; the taxi that is,

Great trip.

James

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7 hours ago, JamesWoolcock said:

Did Sheffield to Doncaster yesterday, two boats, both single handed, in under 9 hours yesterday. Yes a long day. And a start at 9ish at Tinsley Top helped but the trip up will need a stop over.

Why di we do such a long day then? Because Doncater is great town, way, way above our expectations. Stayed here on the not over attractive but almost town centre VMs on the way up and for a couple of days too.

All the shops and stores you would expect in a sizable town, and more. Great market. The Information Centre will even provide you with a CAMRA mag with all the good pubs on a map! We have ended up patronising the lovely 1930s back room in The Plough, or Little Plough to some

Rotheram sadly has no moorings in town recognised by either Nicholsons or more importatly, CRT, although there are some! We stopped at the secure moorings above Eastwood Lock, and witnessing the natives while on a dog walk further along, I'm glad we did. Got an excellent taxi into town and back that night which I can strogly recommend; the taxi that is,

Great trip.

James

Excellent stuff, thank you.  Can you enlarge on your comments about the natives in Rotherham?  Is it safe to leave the boat unattended at Eastwood lock while I explore the town?

Edited by Fatjoff

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1 hour ago, Fatjoff said:

Excellent stuff, thank you.  Can you enlarge on your comments about the natives in Rotherham?  Is it safe to leave the boat unattended at Eastwood lock while I explore the town?

The area is near a not terribly salubrious part of Rotherham. Definitely not the posh bit. I've moored there on numerous occasions, including an entire week when I was stuck by the Don going in to flood. Never felt unsafe leaving the boat there to go do stuff. On the opposite bank, by the lock there are long term moorings, some of which people live on. The old lock cottage on the same side as the visitor moorings is lived in. In August, yours won't be the only boat on the visitor moorings. It is surrounded by high security fencing and the way in and out to the whole lock, long term, visitor moorings and lock cottage complex is by CaRT key, so security depends on people locking the main gate. The only thing even approaching trouble I've ever had was some young kids trying to drop clods of earth on my boats roof over the security fencing. Just bored children. They ran off as soon as I appeared. Scary lady! I've stayed in a lot more dodgy places than Eastwood without problems. 

 

You now also have the option of taking the tram in to Rotherham centre and on to Sheffield from the nearby Parkgate stop.

 

Jen

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1 hour ago, Fatjoff said:

Excellent stuff, thank you.  Can you enlarge on your comments about the natives in Rotherham?  Is it safe to leave the boat unattended at Eastwood lock while I explore the town?

Mick from Eastwood moorings parks below Rotherham town lock to go into town, he has been doing it for years, the railway station is there and plenty of people walking past, so for shopping and a pint or two its safe enough. I have in the past seem visitors moored there for a few days with no issues at all, you cant live your life in fear of what if

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35 minutes ago, peterboat said:

you cant live your life in fear of what if

I don't.  But I like to know what I'm dealing with.  Thanks for the info. Much appreciated, all.

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12 hours ago, JamesWoolcock said:

Did Sheffield to Doncaster yesterday, two boats, both single handed, in under 9 hours yesterday. Yes a long day. And a start at 9ish at Tinsley Top helped but the trip up will need a stop over.

Why di we do such a long day then? Because Doncater is great town, way, way above our expectations. Stayed here on the not over attractive but almost town centre VMs on the way up and for a couple of days too.

All the shops and stores you would expect in a sizable town, and more. Great market. The Information Centre will even provide you with a CAMRA mag with all the good pubs on a map! We have ended up patronising the lovely 1930s back room in The Plough, or Little Plough to some

Rotheram sadly has no moorings in town recognised by either Nicholsons or more importatly, CRT, although there are some! We stopped at the secure moorings above Eastwood Lock, and witnessing the natives while on a dog walk further along, I'm glad we did. Got an excellent taxi into town and back that night which I can strogly recommend; the taxi that is,

Great trip.

James

Yes you can get from Sheffield to Doncaster in a day no problem also helps that the locks will be set in your favour, but you can't get from Doncaster to Sheffield in a day for reasons mentioned earlier.

  If you want to visit Rotherham for a few days stay at Eastwood, not the prettiest place but ok. I've never known anyone stay at the moorings around the Town Lock the night before they travel to Sheffield. You do get a few "down on their luck" sorts drinking and hanging about the lock area, but have never heard of them causing harm but as I say most boats do not stay there and just keep moving through to Ickles for the night before traveling up to Sheffield.

 

 

  

Edited by PD1964

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1 hour ago, PD1964 said:

Yes you can get from Sheffield to Doncaster in a day no problem also helps that the locks will be set in your favour, but you can't get from Doncaster to Sheffield in a day for reasons mentioned earlier.

  If you want to visit Rotherham for a few days stay at Eastwood, not the prettiest place but ok. I've never known anyone stay at the moorings around the Town Lock the night before they travel to Sheffield. You do get a few "down on their luck" sorts drinking and hanging about the lock area, but have never heard of them causing harm but as I say most boats do not stay there and just keep moving through to Ickles for the night before traveling up to Sheffield.

 

 

  

Last time I came through the lock a couple of the lads that hang around the lock helped me through! I was surprised but grateful as it had been a tiring morning, As I say Mick with the broads cruiser stays at the town lock fairly regular and spends the night there, but for me its Icles every time and I am based in Rotherham

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