Luxury Narrow Boat Holidays on the Erewash Canal
Hire A Canal Boat offer luxury narrow boat hire and canal holidays along the Erewash Canal for more information on hiring a canal narrow boat or to check availability follow this link.
The journey and the history of the Erewash Canal
The Erewash Canal is about 12 miles in length, running from the Erewash Valley (the River Trent at Trent Lock) to Langley Mill and is a ‘wide canal’.
The northerly journey of this canal holiday passes through 15 locks rising around 110 feet. The canal passes through or close to the towns of Long Eaton, Sandiacre, ,Stapleford, and past Trowell, Ilkeston, Cossall, Awsworth, Eastwood and ultimately reaches Langley Mill and the Great Northern Basin. Here, it joined the Nottingham and Cromford Canals though both of these are now abandoned.
‘King Coal’ was the driving force behind the creation of the Erewash Canal. Permission to build the waterway was obtained through an Act of Parliament in 1777. John Varley was appointed the Chief Engineer and John and James Pinkerton the main contractors. The canal was completed two years later in 1779 at a cost of £21,000 (this would equate to £2,25m in today’s figures though you can only begin to imagine how many millions this would actually cost to achieve now). It was a serious commercial success from the start with its main focus on coal, with Eastwood Colliery being the most high profile mine close to the canal. It was in fact eventually served by two canals (Erewash and Nottingham) and two railway lines.
In fact, the canal's ongoing commercial success kept it in operation far longer than many of its contemporaries in the face of a changing industrial landscape and overburdening competition from the railways. When the Grand Union Canal Company took over the running of the Erewash in 1932, it was still a going concern.
Today, despite efforts in 1968 by British Waterways to close it, the Erewash Canal is fully open and is actively used by pleasure boaters on narrow boat holidays. At present, the section of canal running through Long Eaton is frequented by recreational craft though the factories which stand next to the canal along the Northern march of the town are no longer associated with the waterway and fencing separates them from it.
However, these factories only block the western bank of the canal. The eastern bank, between the Erewash flood plain and the railway lines, has an active community cycle path, which follows the course of the canal to Ripley.
The canal is also regularly restocked with fish by local angling clubs and members are often seen indulging in their chosen sport.
Two fine pubs, The Steamboat and The Trent Lock Navigation plus The Lock House Tearooms welcome you to the Erewash Canal at the ‘Trent End’. Both fine establishments for a quick drink on your narrow boat holiday!