How to get there -
Start point is at The Priest House Hotel, Kings Mills, Castle Donington, DE74 2RR.
Get a map with driving directions to start
(enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site -
The Priest House Hotel, Kings Mills, Castle Donington, DE74 2RR. Wise to phone the hotel first on 0845 072 7502 to ensure that they don't have an event which would close the grounds (such as a wedding). They seem really helpful to canoeists and allow use of their car park - you need to go to reception to get the barrier code when you want to leave.
In summary, this is a nice round trip of a little over 11 miles starting down the Trent to the junction with the Trent and Mersey canal, back up the canal, drop down to the river again, and a short distance down the river to the start point. Mostly peaceful except for the noise of Donington Park racecourse and East Midlands Airport planes! Beautiful stretch of canal.
The Trent was high when we did this trip so the first 5 miles was completed rather quickly. It passes the site of the dismantled Castle Donington Power Station, which now has a big M & S warehouse on it, soon arriving at the crossroad junction between the Trent, the River Derwent, and the Trent & Mersey canal. Turn left up the canal here and start counting the locks. Pass up through Shardlow - a couple of nice pubs in this area - and along the canal for about 4.5 miles. After the 4th lock followed by a small bridge, keep a lookout for Cliff Wood on your right. Shortly before the Wood you will see a gap in the hedge on the left side canal towpath. This has a sign for a fishing club on it and denotes a footpath back down to the river, along the edge of a field. Easy launch when we were there, although a few nettles about. Left down the river and back to the hotel car park. Just before the hotel is the broken Kings Mills weir, with a little bit of fast flowing water - avoid the intact part of the weir on the right. Not sure what this would be like in lower water but you can inspect it before you set off on your trip.
Hope you enjoy it.