The Sheffield


Tinsley Canal

Our Cruising Route

The Sheffield and Tinsley Canal was built early in the 19th century and was first navigated in February 1819. It stretches from the basin canal terminus (now known as Victoria Quays) following a similar route to the Don river via, Attercliffe and Don Valley Moorings before reaching Tinsley and a flight of 12 locks prior to merging with the river Don.

This section of waterway is just under 4 miles long, and was originally a commercial waterway, the last commercial vessel left Sheffield many years ago, but it remains busy with leisure boats traversing its length throughout the year. Steeped in a rich industrial history it is also a vibrant city space for walkers, cyclists and fishermen all attracted to both its industrial past and the green views.

Originally the workboats would have negotiated 12 locks, a railway holt swing bridge, an aqueduct and 15 stone arched bridges to get from the river Don to the canal terminus then directly in the heart of the City. Today its original features have diminished to the lock flight, the aqueduct and 2 stone bridges, but if you look hard enough you can still catch glimpses of the past.

The legislation required to build the canal was granted during the Napoleonic wars when the importance of Sheffield industry was recognised as a vital part of the war effort. Alas the war was over by the time the canal was constructed, however its importance of the industry running along the canal was recognised in other conflicts and was targeted in both world wars, with a little luck and some additional defences it survived intact for us to use today.