The Cuckoo Way

The Cuckoo Way is a traffic-free cycling and walking route along the 240-year-old Chesterfield Canal, crossing the counties of Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

The Cuckoo Way provides an excellent ride for everyone. The route is mostly flat, with small ascents and descents at the canal locks of only 7 to 10 metres each before resuming a flat surface.

You will love this interesting and picturesque cycling route with an abundance of flora, fauna and wildlife. Domestic animals can also be found on route as there are horses, goats and much more in neighbouring fields.

Location

The Cuckoo Way begins at Tapton Lock in Chesterfield (S41 7JB) and ends at West Stockwith (Misterton) in Doncaster (DN10 4ET).

The route passes through or near Brimington, Staveley, Killamarsh, Kiveton Park, Shireoaks, Worksop, Osberton, Ranby, Retford, Carborough, Clayworth, Wisdeton, and Drakeholes. The towpath is accessible at these points.

Let’s Pedal

The Cuckoo Way is a tranquil and beautiful cycling and walking route from Chesterfield to West Stockwith, partly along the Chesterfield Canal. You can join the route at many different points to set your own distance.

The route is clearly signposted with ‘The Cuckoo Way’ throughout its length. There are times when you must leave the towpath, cross a road and rejoin the towpath on the other side. Please take care especially with children.

Parts of the route are on the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) and others on National Cycle Network (NCN) route 6, all signposted.

Approximately 6 miles from Tapton Lock, at Staveley, you must decide to either follow the TPT to Renishaw (the former line of the Great Central Railway), or take the canal towpath which is much more difficult to cycle.  This first option is recommended for cyclists.

Approximately 10 miles from Tapton Lock, at the former Killamarsh Station, you leave the TPT. Go up the ramp on the left and over the bridge. Turn right onto Station Road where you will see signs for the Cuckoo Way and Killamarsh Greenway. Follow the signs through Killamarsh.

The route through Killamarsh is not obvious, so look closely for the Cuckoo Way and Killamarsh Greenway signage. If you become lost, go downhill to the main road (Sheffield Road) and turn right. As the road begins to rise, you will see a Cuckoo Way sign pointing along a path to the left.

After crossing Rotherham Road, you will arrive at the collapsed Norwood Tunnel. Before the tunnel, take the uphill path on the left. You may need to push your bike here.

Follow the path that goes slightly to the left to the line of the hedge. Keep going until you reach Kiveton Waters Fishery. This is a nature reserve itself and worth checking out, with events in the summer. Cross Hard Lane, going across the field until you reach the eastern end of the Norwood Tunnel. Follow the towpath for the remaining 32 miles to West Stockwith on the Trent.

Some parts of the towpath are quite narrow, some are muddy after wet weather. A Brompton-style or road bike would be hard work. A mountain bike or a cyclocross bike is recommended.

If you are looking for a shorter route, the Pools Brook to Rother Valley route includes part of this trail on its way to both of these country parks.

Route Distance

FromToDistance (Miles)Distance (Km)
Taptop Lock Visitor CentreKiveton Park Station1422.5
Kiveton Park StationWest Stockwith31.350.4

Refreshments

You will find refreshments available at or near:

Tapton Lock Visitor Centre, Kiveton Park (public house opposite the train station), Shireoaks (sandwich shop), Worksop (public house on the canal), Worksop town centre, Retford, West Stockwith.

Facilities

Toilets are located at:

Tapton Lock Visitor Centre; Worksop (S80 1DJ).

Cycle Hire not available at this location.

Tourist information available at:

Tapton Lock Visitor Centre.

How to get here

By Car

Tapton Lock Visitor Centre is off the Tesco roundabout on the A61 in Chesterfield.

Car Parking

On street parking is available at the villages and towns along the route.

By Cycle

The Cuckoo Way is part of the Trans Pennine Trail and National Cycle Network (NCN) route 6 from Shireoaks to Worksop.

By Train

Chesterfield, Kiveton Park, Worksop, Gainsborough.

Summary

  • Distance (miles): 45.3
  • Distance (km): 72.8
  • Start: Tapton Lock, Chesterfield
  • Finish: West Stockwith, Doncaster
  • Type: Canal Towpath
  • Surface: Pavement, gravel, earth
  • Sat Nav: S41 7JB, DN10 4ET
Chesterfield
-1°
overcast clouds
humidity: 92%
wind: 1m/s SW
5°
Wed
6°
Thu
7°
Fri
7°
Sat
Weather from OpenWeatherMap

Features

  • Car Park
  • Free Entry
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets
  • Tourist Information
  • Cycle Hire
  • Picnic Site

Cycle Hire

Cycle Hire

Not available at this location.

Opening Times

Open all year round except for any temporary closures due to works.

Downloads

No downloads available.

Cyclist Reviews

3
3.0 rating
3 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
5 star0%
4 star0%
3 star100%
2 star0%
1 star0%

A trail of two halves

3.0 rating
25th July 2019

We have completed the full route.
From chesterfield (almost the spire) to just past Worksop is a good surface and ideal for any rider really.
The rest of the route to west stockwith is quite wild
Riding up and down over mole hills and over grass is quite painful for 20 odd miles
We averaged about 4mph if that.
Definitely not one for cycling with kids or amateurs
We completed it in three stages due to this reason
However amazing unspoilt scenery especially around wiseton
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Stephen Foster

Good route, not well-signposted

3.0 rating
28th September 2018

I haven’t cycled the whole route. I rode from Worksop to Chesterfield. But then I missed about a bit in the middle as I couldn’t find the correct route – there’s a severe lack of signposts. I got lost near Killamarsh and ended up riding down the road – it’s a good job I didn’t have my kids with me that day. The kids have ridden some parts of the Cuckoo Way such as the Trans Pennine Trail from Rother Valley Country Park to Pools Brook Country Park, and from Pools Brook to Chesterfield on the Chesterfield Canal towpath. Lots of fun to ride, no vehicles allowed (if you can find the full route) and lots of interesting sights to see during the ride.
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The information provided on this page is believed to be correct and is given in good faith. Please be aware that it may have changed since our research. Use of the information on this page is at your risk, we cannot accept any liability for any problems or incidents arising. The maps are based on the postcodes of the centres. The postcode provided for Sat Nav is the nearest postcode to the start of the trail or car park and is therefore not 100% accurate to the entrance of the location. Postcodes are provided as a guide only. We recommend that you confirm the location and other details before travelling.

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