South Derbyshire’s heritage developed around and gave rise to the canals, rivers and reservoirs that weave their way through the landscape. Explore them by walking the towpaths, take a trip on a canal boat, go canoeing, sailing or experience the tranquillity of a day’s fishing.
The Trent & Mersey Canal, engineered by James Brindley, was Britain’s first long-distance canal, created to transport pottery and other goods from the centre of the country to the west coast and via the River Trent, to the east coast. Its 93-mile length incorporates 76 locks, the traditional canal town of Shardlow, the famous Anderton Boat Lift, Harecastle Tunnel and the lengthy lock flight known as Heartbreak Hill.
The River Trent, one of England’s major rivers, was another vital commercial link, stretching from Biddulph in Staffordshire to Hull on the east coast. Used for navigation since Roman times it still carries a considerable amount of commercial traffic and more latterly, leisure craft.