account arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right closecontact-us emailFacebookheart instagramjoin linkedin phonepinterestplaysearch twitteryoutube

Leek Branch, Caldon Canal

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit the terminus of the Leek Branch of the Caldon Canal by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location because although it is popular, many boats turn in Tunnel Pool without navigating the last ¾ mile. There is a generous winding hole ½ mile beyond Leek Tunnel but the last part up to the feeder is almost completely ignored.  Unfortunately it is only possible to turn a 45ft boat at the current terminus but there are moorings and Leek is only a short walk away.  A photo of your boat at the Churnet aqueduct would be the best proof of your visit, but the final winding hole will be accepted if you are unable to get to the end. 

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


About the Caldon Canal

The Caldon Canal is a branch of the Trent and Mersey Canal that starts at Etruria Junction on the summit level in Stoke-on-Trent.  The main line was authorised by an Act in 1776 and the complete canal with 16 locks through to Froghall was finished two years later.  Its secondary purpose was, however, to supply water to the Trent and Mersey summit.  Two reservoirs were built; the feeder from Knypersley joins below Stockton Brook locks with Stanley supplying the Caldon summit level.

After problems with an inadequate water supply disrupting traffic both on the Caldon and the Trent and Mersey summit in the summer, a large reservoir at Rudyard was proposed with an extension of the summit level from Endon to Hazelhurst to connect with a feeder.  The Leek authorities and local landowners objected initially to the plans, and they were not agreed until a branch canal to Leek was included.  The alterations were completed in 1801.  The original locks at Endon were replaced with a triple staircase at Hazelhurst with the Leek Arm junction at the top.  Since the staircase impeded the flow of boats, a new junction with three separate locks was built at Hollinhurst, with an aqueduct at Hazelhurst, forty years later. This final alteration gives us the unusual ‘canal flyover’ and is one of only six places in the UK where one navigation crosses another.  The Leek Arm starts at Hazelhurst junction and runs for 2¾ miles to the Rudyard feeder.  The canal originally turned right here, over the River Churnet, in to Leek Basin.  This last ½ mile was closed in 1957 and built over.

[The photo shows IWA volunteers working by the western portal to Leek Tunnel  –  by Alison Smedley]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: ST13 5RE

What3words /// canal.chuck.oiled

Boat Dimensions

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

  • Length: 71′ 6″ (21.8 m)
  • Beam: 7′ (2.1 m)
  • Height: 5′ 10”(1.7 m)
  • Draught: 3′ 11″ (1.2 m)

Canoeing, hire boats and trip boats

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

You can explore the Leek Arm and the Caldon Canal main line with Joshua Day Boat Hire, based at Denford, near Hazlehurst Junction.

Stoke on Trent Boat Club has a slipway at Endon.  There are no trip boats in the immediate vicinity.


Also see…

The attractive market town of Leek is known for its many independent craft and antique shops.

Challenge Location

Leek Branch

Canal Terminus, Caldon Canal

Discover more nearby

Related activities

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Sustainable Boating

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

Waterways Heritage at Risk

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk – from urban development, lack of protection, loss of skills and knowledge and climate change.

You can help Save Waterways Heritage.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.