Misterton - Retford - Misterton

This is a nice ciruclar trip which was orginally organised by the Canoe Camping Club, taking four leisurely days and three nights camping. Check on availablilty of camping at Misterton, Clayworth, Hallcroft fisheries and the King William pub at Scaftworth near Bawtry

Start at Coopers Bridge, Misterton. Heading west and following the Chesterfield Canal until you reach the marina at Clayworth, about 13 km. Things to look for are the fields to the north, hiding the low lying river Idle and the short tunnel at Drakeholes, suitable for a lunch stop. There are two locks to portage or go through. Check on camping at the marina in Clayworth, two good pubs for evening meals and a small post office with a small shop attached.

On the second day we canoed into Retford and over the short aqueduct, portaging on the right down to the river Idle. you can get some shopping in at the supermarket by the town lock. This part of the canal passes by several small villages and again, two locks. There is an excellent cafe just before the town lock in Retford. The river Idle has some current here, with some small weirs which are easily shot and you very quickly get to Hallcroft Fisheries, on the left after the footbridge. You can camp here, but there is along walk to the toilets. This day was about 12 km.

The third day is solely on the river, though at times the levees can restrict your views of the surrounding countryside. The river is very winding, though the water is very clear and we did line down the canoes down a small weir, due to lack of water and obstructions on the weir itself. There are not many places to stop on this section of the river, though it may be possible to stop at Mattersey where there is a pub. This trip is about 19 km.and we camped at the King William pub in Scaftworth which had an excellent bar menu.

The final day of our trip was continuing down the river Idle back to Misterton. The river now loses a lot of its current and is again surround by high levees on some sides, though you can make out the first days journey and where the tunnel is at Drakeholes by looking south up to the small rise in the ground. you can make out the line of the first day of canoeing on the Chesterfield canal. Being flat, this part of the route can be very wind affected, either slowing your speed to a crawl or zipping you along if it is behind your back. This is a very solitary day of canoeing, no villages or towns to speak of after Bawtry, but a great sense of isolation and being on your own.. Get out at Misterton, about 17km.


Coopers Bridge, Misterton, start Going through a lock Drakeholes tunnel 140m later
Clayworth Marina, camp DIY toilets Reed beds Heron
Hallcroft Fisheries One man and his dog Lining the weir Abandoned river craft.
Checking the route Pig roast at Scaftworth Laden canoe Finish at Misterton