Cromford canal tripboat scoops certificate of excellence

Cromford Canal.
Cromford Canal.

A popular tourist attraction which has pulled in more than 25,000 visitors in just four seasons has earned a certificate of excellence from a leading online travel company.

Cromford Canal’s tripboat Birdswood has received the honour from TripAdvisor as the number one attraction among nine in the area.

This boat was built in 1938 and in its early days carried coal from Birmingham to London.

Now a key attraction for visitors to Cromford Canal, the boat was converted to electric power to avoid polluting the nature reserve on which it sails.

Birchwood will be pulled by a horse this Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29, as part of the Derwent Valley World Heritage Discovery Days. Horsedrawn boat rides are a a rare occurrence so early booking is recommended.

On Wednesday, November 1, the boat will be lifted out of the water for its bi-annual inspection by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who inspect it before they can issue a renewal licence. During this operation all the internals are taken out and the hull is cleaned both inside and out in readiness for the Santa Specials in December.

Birdswood is operated by the Friends of Cromford Canal, a charitable organisation launched in 2002 to restore the canal from its present terminus at Langley Mill to link up with the restored isolated section from Ambergate to Cromford.

The intention is that this will be a fully navigable waterway, bringing tourists from all parts of the country to the World Heritage site which is the Derwent Valley. Experience elsewhere has show that canal restoration helps the local economy by bringing visitors to the area, provides economic development opportunities and creates additional jobs.

Restoration of Cromford Canal will provide an improved environment for wildlife in the area.

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