Out on the Towpath

Now that we have some warmer weather and longer hours of daylight in prospect it’s time to get out on our bikes, and to get away from the traffic, the fumes and the noise, what better place than the tranquility of our local canal towpaths.

We are lucky to have the Trent and Mersey Canal just a few miles South of Derby and it’s towpath is accessible from Sinfin, Chellaston, Stenson, Findern and Wllington.  The best route out of Derby would normally be to follow the Riverside Path (NCN 6) through Alavston Park, but due to the construction of a new road between Sinfin and Chellaston there is a temporary closure of the approach path close to Swarkestone. The new road is crossing Sinfin Moor Lane and  the area will become the new Infinity Business Park eventually.  Diversions are signed through the Chellaston housing complex.

The quality of canal towpaths can vary considerably but from Swarkeston to Weston-upon-Trent it is good in all weathers, but from Swarkstone to Stenson is not surfaced and therefore not recommended in wet conditions.   Willington to Stenson via Findern is quite good enough.

At Weston you can leave the canal, cross the River Trent and cycle all the way into Leicestershire without traffic or any serious hills.

Stenson is a good place for food and drinks.  The cafe in the old lock keeper’s cottage closes at 5pm, but the Bubble Inn is open normal pub hours.

When you need a rest, stop at one of the locks and do a little gongoozelling.  Gongoozellors are folk who hang around watching the boaters work their way through the locks.

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