The Chesterfield Canal passes from the River Trent across Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and into Derbyshire. This was one of the first canals to be constructed in England and because it was not connected directly with any other canal and was relatively short, the operators of the boats didn’t live aboard, allowing for more cargo and prompting the development of a unique style of boat only to be found along what was then called the “cuckoo dyke” by locals.
The canal is no longer navigable for it’s entire length and several miles are missing entirely but the canal towpath is still in place making for an obvious long distance footpath, aptly called the Cuckoo Way. I like to walk the entire route every few years, usually taking three days to cover the 46 miles. This year I opted to take four days and because of adverse weather, had to split that into two two-day sessions; not ideal but the older I get, the more of a “fair-weather walker” I’m becoming. I’m not going to add all my photos to this post; I’ll just show the first and the last. But if you want a virtual tour of the whole 46 miles, you can click on the slideshow and sit back and see what I saw as I walked from west to east along the whole route.
Crossing the River Rother in Chesterfield
West Stockwith Basin with the lock to the River Trent just opening
It’s not just the fictional planet of Tatooine that has two suns.
Castlerigg stone circle with the Helvellyn range in the background. I’ve just come back from a couple of days in the Lake District when I only took this single photo and the thirty metre walk to get it was by far my longest walk. How come? Well I was hobbling around, wincing at every footstep and with a hot-water bottle permanently strapped to my lower back. Yes, I’ve done something to my back and I’m feeling very sorry for myself. I hope you enjoy the view. Me, I’m going to spend the next day or two sulking big time.
I was faced with a hard choice this morning. I looked out of the window at the frost-covered lawn and the ice-encrusted puddles lit by the bright sun. Hardly a breath of wind stirred and I thought to myself that it would be hard to imagine a better day to go winter walking. Then Julie asked the question: do you want to go Shopping today or should I drop you off on the way to Sheffield so you can walk home? What a quandary. Several hours plodding around a shopping mall or several hours out walking in this wonderful weather. I pondered the choice for at least a millisecond then opted for the walk.
Leaving Canterbury, we were treated to a wonderful sunset, complete with a river to catch the light and an interesting silhouetted skyline.
I enjoy winter walking. But it does have its drawbacks.
Crossing the border from Yorkshire into Nottinghamshire with the sun low in the south-west sky behind me.