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Hi Everyone,

 

Thinking of a Canal holiday in August, has anyone used Chesterfield Canal Boat Company based in West Stockwith Canal Basin ? And can offer any advice or reviews.

 

What is the boating like from West Stockwith for 7 nights on the Chesterfield Canal ?

 

Any advice or information greatly appreciated 👍🏻

 

Thanks

 

Mark  

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If you can find a copy of the July 2020 issue of 'Waterways World' magazine it has an extensive cruising guide to the canal. That hire company is mentioned - apparently they operate only two boats so you may have to be quick.

We have at least one very active member of the canal society on here, who would be able to tell you more.

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Thanks Athy,

 

looking for a week away in August (22nd) at a reasonable price (if that’s possible in the current circumstances ?  

 

Seen some on the Chesterfield Canal, not got much knowledge of it , so checking it out.

 

 Thanks  

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The Chesterfield is well worth a visit and there are some lovely spots. It's worth checking out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1_CKxovjYVXkpNCLOjrbA as they have just spent the entire lockdown on the Canal. Don't worry too much about the weed it's vastly improved in recent weeks. The Boat Club at Clayworth is currently closed but may well be open by then and they are a friendly bunch there are also visitor moorings with facilities. 

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7 minutes ago, bigray said:

Don't worry too much about the weed it's vastly improved in recent weeks. 

...reported a group of teenagers sitting in a bridge hole.

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They only operate two boats and they are not fitted out with all the bells and whistles of modern boats but they are always clean, tidy and comfortable.

 

We have not hired from them but we have spent a fair amount of time at West Stockwith so know the boats and owner quite well.  We keep saying we will hire one for a week but have just never got around too it.

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Naughty Cal,

 

Thanks for your post, what’s missing compared to modern boats ? They are priced well for August compared to others. 

 

How far can we go from West Stockwith up the Chesterfield Canal ? Is there any junctions to turn into other waterways ?

 

 Thanks 

24 minutes ago, bigray said:

The Chesterfield is well worth a visit and there are some lovely spots. It's worth checking out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1_CKxovjYVXkpNCLOjrbA as they have just spent the entire lockdown on the Canal. Don't worry too much about the weed it's vastly improved in recent weeks. The Boat Club at Clayworth is currently closed but may well be open by then and they are a friendly bunch there are also visitor moorings with facilities. 

Bigray,

 

How far can we go from West Stockwith up the Chesterfield Canal ? Is there any junctions to turn into other waterways ?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Jeff78 said:

 

Bigray,

 

How far can we go from West Stockwith up the Chesterfield Canal ? Is there any junctions to turn into other waterways ?

 

 

You can head up to the Norwood Tunnel which is around 32 miles and if you then want to you can walk over the top and head towards the restoration. There are no other waterways to turn off although hopefully that will change in the future.

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20 minutes ago, Jeff78 said:

Naughty Cal,

 

Thanks for your post, what’s missing compared to modern boats ? They are priced well for August compared to others. 

 

How far can we go from West Stockwith up the Chesterfield Canal ? Is there any junctions to turn into other waterways ?

 

 Thanks 

Bigray,

 

How far can we go from West Stockwith up the Chesterfield Canal ? Is there any junctions to turn into other waterways ?

 

 

There is nothing missing in terms of what you will need for a week away. They are basic but comfortable boats.

 

There are no navigable waterways off the Chesterfield Canal and you can not take the boats out onto the Trent but there is plenty to explore on the Chesterfield.

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The Chesterfield canal is a relatively quiet canal and very scenic in places, the problem at the minute is the weed, making slow going. Have a look at this Vlog as they have just done the trip to the end:

 

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1_CKxovjYVXkpNCLOjrbA/videos

 

The other issue as I say it is a dead end canal, so you will have to return the same route as you went out, so you will be seeing the same countryside and places. I don't know if the hire company would let you leave the boat at Shireoaks, so not to return to West Stockwith and that "Deja Vu" feeling.

 I did the Chesterfield last year and it was slow going and frustrating due to water depth and weed but my boat has a 30" draft and weighs 21 ton, so a smaller lighter boat might be ok. But I'm glad I did it as it is a quiet picturesque canal.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by PD1964

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11 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

 

 

The other issue as I say it is a dead end canal, so you will have to return the same route as you went out, so you will be seeing the same countryside and places.

 

 

Surely not an issue: all canals look different when you're going the other way! I certainly find that the Ashby does.

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1 minute ago, Athy said:

Surely not an issue: all canals look different when you're going the other way! I certainly find that the Ashby does.

 Yes but if your paying £1000 for a weeks holiday and you have only an outward journey of 3 days then have to return back the same way to get back for the next hirer's, it's not ideal especially if moorings/stop offs are limited.

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42 minutes ago, Jeff78 said:

Naughty Cal,

 

Thanks for your post, what’s missing compared to modern boats ? They are priced well for August compared to others. 

 

How far can we go from West Stockwith up the Chesterfield Canal ? Is there any junctions to turn into other waterways ?

 

 Thanks 

Bigray,

 

How far can we go from West Stockwith up the Chesterfield Canal ? Is there any junctions to turn into other waterways ?

 

 

If you look-up a you tube blog called "minimal list" you will get lots of recent info about the Chesterfield.

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4 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

 Yes but if your paying £1000 for a weeks holiday and you have only an outward journey of 3 days then have to return back the same way to get back for the next hirer's, it's not ideal especially if moorings/stop offs are limited.

Lots of hire yards operate out and back routes. It certainly isn't uncommon and I wouldn't say that there is a lack of places to stop on the Chesterfield. There is certainly plenty to see and do in a 7 day break which really isn;t 7 days when you take account of pick up and drop off times, more like six.

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23 minutes ago, Athy said:

Surely not an issue: all canals look different when you're going the other way! I certainly find that the Ashby does.

 

I agree.  Seasons make an enormous difference too - the same canal is very different in winter than it is in summer.

 

The trick with out-and-back journeys is not to stop at all the places you want to visit on the way out and save some of them for the way back.  That way you get the different views and also different stopping places to visit towns/villages/pubs whatever on the return journey so it feels like a different trip.

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4 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

I agree.  Seasons make an enormous difference too - the same canal is very different in winter than it is in summer.

 

The trick with out-and-back journeys is not to stop at all the places you want to visit on the way out and save some of them for the way back.  That way you get the different views and also different stopping places to visit towns/villages/pubs whatever on the return journey so it feels like a different trip.

Yes - with the added bonus that you can revisit that pub which you really liked on the outward journey, during your return trip.

 

It does occur to me that the great majority of holidays - whether undertaken by car, train, plane or whatever - consist of an outward journey and a return one, often retracing the same route.

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39 minutes ago, Naughty Cal said:

Lots of hire yards operate out and back routes. It certainly isn't uncommon and I wouldn't say that there is a lack of places to stop on the Chesterfield. There is certainly plenty to see and do in a 7 day break which really isn;t 7 days when you take account of pick up and drop off times, more like six.

There's not really a great deal of places to spend a days visit, maybe Retford and Worksop, but there is lots of places in the middle of the countryside to stop for the night and a few nice pubs long the way. It all depends on what the OP is after, but it would be far better if they were allowed to leave the boat at Shireoaks after their 7 days and the company collect them and drop them off back at West Stockwith that way they can do the whole stretch.

  Maybe the reason why the company only has two hire boats is it's not ideal for a hire base with a dead end canal and not being allowed to go on the Trent to say Lincoln and Boston.

  The Chesterfield canal is a lovely canal and very scenic don't get me wrong and we’ll worth visiting by boat but be prepared for a slow journey on it.

Edited by PD1964

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Just now, Athy said:

It does occur to me that the great majority of holidays - whether undertaken by car, train, plane or whatever - consist of an outward journey and a return one, often retracing the same route.

 

That was what switched my parents from touring caravans to motorhomes.  Dad reckoned you spend nearly half your holiday driving back to the same caravan site with a tourer and couldn't be bothered hitching the caravan up and moving every few days.  "Handbrake on, kettle on!" was enough work on a holiday for him.

 

  • Greenie 1

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21 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

There's not really a great deal of places to spend a days visit, maybe Retford and Worksop, but there is lots of places in the middle of the countryside to stop for the night and a few nice pubs long the way. It all depends on what the OP is after, but it would be far better if they were allowed to leave the boat at Shireoaks after their 7 days and the company collect them and drop them off back at West Stockwith that way they can do the whole stretch.

  Maybe the reason why the company only has two hire boats is it's not ideal for a hire base with a dead end canal and not being allowed to go on the Trent to say Lincoln and Boston.

  The Chesterfield canal is a lovely canal and very scenic don't get me wrong and we’ll worth visiting by boat but be prepared for a slow journey on it.

I would politely suggest that if the only places you found were Retford and Worksop that you didn't really give it a fair shot and explore a little beyond the canal.

 

It really wouldn't be viable for a small company with two boats to be leaving one at one end of the canal to bring back. The costs wouldn't stack up.

26 minutes ago, Athy said:

Yes - with the added bonus that you can revisit that pub which you really liked on the outward journey, during your return trip.

 

It does occur to me that the great majority of holidays - whether undertaken by car, train, plane or whatever - consist of an outward journey and a return one, often retracing the same route.

Agreed.

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1 hour ago, Naughty Cal said:

I would politely suggest that if the only places you found were Retford and Worksop that you didn't really give it a fair shot and explore a little beyond the canal.

 

It really wouldn't be viable for a small company with two boats to be leaving one at one end of the canal to bring back. The costs wouldn't stack up.

Agreed.

Have you done any of the canal by boat apart from the basin at West Stockwith? and I image you’ve only driven to the other bits by car. As there is a difference when you actually do it by boat, especially if you only have a week to get out and back to West Stockwith with the weed and depth issues. The only two attractions the Hire Company mention are in Retford and Worksop so their not really highlighting the sites.

 It all depends on how busy the Hire company is. there could always be a boat at each end for the new hirers, so one starts at West Stockwith finishes at Shireoaks and vice-versa, but obviously there’s not enough bookings to achieve this, which is a shame as I say it’s a very quiet scenic canal.

Edited by PD1964

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We had a great holiday on the Chesterfield last year. I think the highlights for me were the pubs in Retford, club house at West Stockwith  and the pretty flight of locks up to Norwood tunnel, some of them double and triple. First time i had experienced a narrow canal and a tunnel ( although very short ). Sadly even last year two of the canal side pubs in the Nicholsons guide had closed down.  

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I did the Chesterfield for a week 22 years ago - the limit of navigation then was just above Morse lock 

 

Saturday night - Gringley Carr

Sunday night - Ranby

Monday night - Worksop

Tuesday night - Worksop having walked bussed and trained to Chesterfield

Wednesday night - Forest

Thursday night - Drakeholes

Friday night - Misterton and walk to Misterton Soss

Saturday morning - half hour back to Stockwith

 

Not that demanding but enjoyable - Extending the cruise to Norwood would add quite a bit 

 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, magpie patrick said:

 

Not that demanding but enjoyable - Extending the cruise to Norwood would add quite a bit 

 

If you don't do the locks at the end up to Norwood you miss the best bit!

  • Greenie 2

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3 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

If you don't do the locks at the end up to Norwood you miss the best bit!

But could you get there and back to West Stockwith in a weeks hire?

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30 minutes ago, David Mack said:

 

If you don't do the locks at the end up to Norwood you miss the best bit!

They hadn't been restored when I did it!

 

26 minutes ago, PD1964 said:

But could you get there and back to West Stockwith in a weeks hire?

Yes - my week was very leisurely without the run up to Norwood

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