Shardlow - Trent & Mersey Canal - River Derwent - Great Wilne Loop

A short walk on the outskirts of England's most interesting inland port. Incorporating the first lock on the Trent and Mersey Canal, The River Derwent, just before it meets the River Trent, and a chance to see lots of varied wildlife and historic architecture.

Technical sheet

A Shardlow and Great Wilne walk posted on 12/02/23 by Earthman. Last update : 21/02/23
  • Walking
    Activity: Walking
  • ↔
    Distance: 3.46 km
  • ◔
    Calculated time: 1h00 
  • ▲
    Difficulty: Easy

  • ∞
    Return to departure point: Yes
  • ↗
    Vertical gain: + 4 m
  • ↘
    Vertical drop: - 4 m

  • ▲
    Highest point: 36 m
  • ▼
    Lowest point: 30 m
Trent & Mersey Canal


Start : Car Park on Wilne Lane off the B5010 at Shardlow. OS Grid Ref: SK 444 304.
what3words reference: flops.durations.penny

(S/E) Leave the car park using the wheelchair stile at the Eastern end of the car park.

Turn left and follow the track until you see the canal ahead (0.1 miles). Take the flood bank path to where it meets the Trent & Mersey Canal tow-path.

Turn right and follow the tow-path for about 0.6 miles, where you will come to the Derwent Mouth Lock. This is lock number 1 of the Trent & Mersey Canal. Nearby is the confluence of the Rivers Derwent and Trent.

(1) Carefully cross the canal using the purpose-made walkway built into the upper lock gate. If this gate is open then you will need to take even greater care in crossing the lower gate. Follow the path in a Northerly direction traversing several stiles and passing between two pools.

At 0.8 miles bear North-North-West for 155m (170 yards) to where you will come to the River Derwent.

(2) Follow the riverside path up stream until you come to a metal foot bridge which spans the river (at 1.3 miles).

(3) With the bridge behind you head left (South West) along the path for 400m (440 yards), to where you will find a gate and metal stile.

(4) Carefully traverse the stile (South), which can be a challenge, and step down onto Wilne Lane. Follow Wilne Lane in a Southerly direction through Great Wilne, where the lane zigzags first right and then left (1.83 miles)

Continue South-Westerly until you come to Shardlow and a canal bridge (2.08 miles).

Cross over the bridge and take the pedestrian entrance, on the left, back into the car park. (S/E)


  1. S/E : km 0 - alt. 34 m - Car Park - Shardlow
  2. 1 : km 1.08 - alt. 36 m - Derwent Mouth Lock
  3. 2 : km 1.47 - alt. 34 m - River Derwent
  4. 3 : km 2.08 - alt. 31 m - Footbridge Spanning the River Derwent
  5. 4 : km 2.5 - alt. 34 m - Metal Stile
  6. S/E : km 3.46 - alt. 34 m - Car Park - Shardlow

Useful Information

Start : Car Park on Wilne Lane off the B5010 at Shardlow. OS Grid Ref: SK 444 304.
what3words reference: flops.durations.penny

Parking : Free Car Park on Wilne Lane off the B5010 at Shardlow. OS Grid Ref: SK444304.
what3words reference: flops.durations.penny

Local transport : Shardlow can be reached by Public Transport from Derby, and other local towns and Cities.

Terrain : Care is needed when crossing roads and the canal. Undulating country walk, footpaths, roads, lanes, lock gates and stiles. Can be muddy. For your safety, at all times keep to designated pathways.

Refreshments : There are Public Houses near to the Canal Bridge, providing food, drink etc.

Always stay careful and alert while following a route. Visorando and the author of this walk cannot be held responsible in the event of an accident during this route.

During the walk or to do/see around

Narrow boat experience :
When you get to the Derwent Mouth Lock you may be able to watch a narrow boat or two making their way up into the canal, or down into the river. You might even get a chance to help out, but take care as some boaters prefer to do it themselves. However, many a boater is glad of some assistance in pushing the big lock gates open or closed.

Shardlow village :
Shardlow is a village in Derbyshire, England about 6 miles (9.7 km) southeast of Derby and 11 miles (18 km) southwest of Nottingham. An important late 18th-century river port for the trans-shipment of goods to and from the River Trent to the Trent and Mersey Canal, during its heyday from the 1770s to the 1840s it became referred to as "Rural Rotterdam" and "Little Liverpool". Today Shardlow is considered Britain's most complete surviving example of a canal village, with over 50 Grade II listed buildings and many surviving public houses within the designated Shardlow Wharf Conservation Area.

Reviews and comments

3.7 / 5
Based on 1 review

Clarity of route description
4 / 5
Clarity of route map
4 / 5
Walk interest
3 / 5
le Thu 23 Feb 2023 03:16:02 EST

If that's the first walk you have posted, then I'm impressed !

le Thu 23 Feb 2023 02:59:33 EST

Hi Esman, thanks for your comments. This is the first walk I have submitted to Visorando so it's a new experience for me. I think Visorando is great and the app has a very cool appearance. I must remember to stress the need for walkers to take a map and compass on their walks to save any confusion. Maps can be printed easily, and a compass costs just a few pounds. Alternatively, a decent smart phone can be very useful for easy walks. Thanks again, Earthman

le Tue 21 Feb 2023 03:32:31 EST

Hi Esman,

Thank you for taking the time to give those feedback. 🙌🏼

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the description for other walkers ?

Just to let you know, on Visorando the walks are kindly shared by walkers like you and me. Even if there are quality guidelines to follow, each person gives her time to describe the walk and depending on the person's interest, the walk interest and content will be different. Feel free to add some insight for others if you wish or even share your favourite walks with others too. 😉

Enjoy your walks. 🥾

le Mon 20 Feb 2023 08:15:17 EST

Overall rating: 3.7 / 5

Date of walk: 16/02/23
Clarity of route description: ★★★★☆ Good
Clarity of route map: ★★★★☆ Good
Walk interest: ★★★☆☆ Average

First time I've used one of these walks, so these remarks may sound a little basic. First, the directions tell you to turn in a certain compasss direction, rather than left or sharp left. We hadn't a compass with us but luckily the sun was shining. The directions deficit was also apparent when the next landmark, stile etc., was not in sight and there were alternative paths. Ok, we sorted them out, but it was disconcerting. Finally, the walk did not include the local architectural sights, which is one of the principal reasons for visiting that location. The inclusion would have given a climax to the walk without increasing the distance very much, and the pubs could then have been included ! Incidentally, The New Inn was great for lunch.

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