Walk: The Giant’s Staircase

An easy walk along the Chesterfield Canal, near Worksop on the border of South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, taking in 20 locks on the oldest flight of staircase locks.

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The Route

  • what3words for start point: ///dumpling.cassettes.feels
  • Start Point: Shireoaks Station
  • Finish Point: Kiveton Park Station
  • Distance: 3.5 Miles

GPX Route Map

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Walk Description

This section of the Chesterfield Canal is often cited as the most beautiful and historic stretch of canal in the whole country. It features the oldest staircase flights of locks, built in the early 1770’s and has 20 locks in a mile stretch, the most of any open canal.

It is worth a walk at any time of the year, but it is particularly impressive in the spring when the surrounding woods are carpeted with flowers.

The canal here laid derelict for nearly a century until 2002/3 when an incredible project restored all 23 Grade ll listed locks in 54 weeks. This walking route includes other listed structures including six bridges, an aqueduct and two milestones.

The walk starts at Shireoaks Station, twenty meters from the Canal. The first lock that you come to is Boundary Lock, built in 1998 to offset the effects of subsidence. Just before the next bridge, you cross the Ryton aqueduct before reaching Cinderhill Lock, the first of the Turnerwood flight of seven locks. After a mile you will reach the delightful Turnerwood Basin.

Next comes the fifteen locks of the Thorpe flight, including two double and two treble staircases – these are where one lock goes straight into the next. After the final set of locks, Thorpe Top Treble, there is a final flat mile and a half. This section includes Pudding Dyke weir before you arrive at Kiveton Park.

On the way you will pass the wharf where they loaded stone from Anston Quarry, used to build the House of Parliament, before it was shipped down the canals in the 1840’s.

Should you want to walk through the woods, it is possible to cross the canal at Pudding Dyke Bridge, turning right through Old Meadow Wood and Hawk’s Wood before returning to the towpath via Devil’s Hole Bridge.

This is a linear walk, on completion, you can either retrace your steps or return to the start on the train.

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