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Langley Mill Basin, Erewash Canal

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge


Eastwood, Nottinghamshire

Visit Langley Mill Basin, where the Erewash Canal joins the Cromford Canal, by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location because few boats venture all the way up the Erewash Canal from Trent Lock.  The trip up to Langley Mill is 11 ½ miles with 15 locks and a photo of your boat in the Great Northern Basin will be a good proof of your visit.

Complete our challenge by visiting 20 locations from our list, you will receive our exclusive plaque and goody bag.


About the Erewash Canal

The Erewash Canal runs north from Trent Lock at the junction of the River Trent and the River Soar Navigation.  After an Act was passed in 1776 authorising the construction of the Soar Navigation from the River Trent to Loughborough, a group of local landowners and businessmen started to look at linking the Derbyshire coalfields to the Trent.  Work began the following year and the Erewash Canal was completed in 1779.

The Canal was successful from the start with coal, quarry stone, bricks and metal products being the major traffics.  At Langley Mill, the Cromford Canal joined in 1794 and the Nottingham Canal made a connection two years later just above the last lock of the Cromford.  This became known as the Great Northern Basin.  The canal was bought as a going concern by the Grand Union Canal Company in 1932 as part of their expansion schemes.  It was due to Stanton Iron Works that the canal remained viable for so long with bombshells being carried during World War II but the last regular commercial carrying was in 1952.

In 1968 the Erewash Canal Preservation & Development Association was formed in response to a threat by the British Waterways Board to close the canal.  In just five years following its formation the Association not only saved the canal but also restored Langley Bridge Lock and the Great Northern Basin with the swing bridge over the stub of the Nottingham Canal. The reopening was celebrated with a boat rally at Langley Mill in 1973.

[The photo shows a boat leaving Langley Mill Basin  –  by Debbie Mullier]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: NG16 3RY

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Boat Dimensions

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Erewash Canal is:

Length: 80′ 4″ (24.5 m)
Beam: 13′ 5” (4.1 m)
Draught: 4′ (1.22 m)
Height: 7′ 4” (2.23 m)

Although the locks are over 14’ wide, wide-beam boats are restricted by several bridges with low arches.

Canoeing, Hire Boats and Trip Boats

Canoeing is encouraged on the Erewash Canal with a Canal & River Trust licence or British Canoeing membership.

There is a slipway at Trent Lock Scout Activity Centre at the southern end of the Erewash Canal: [email protected]

Also see…

Bennerley Viaduct is a listed example of a wrought iron lattice work structure which crosses the Erewash Valley and can be seen from Stenson’s Lock 71.  It was built as a lightweight structure due to coal mining in the area.

Challenge Location

Langley Mill Basin

Erewash Canal

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