Foxton, Leicester and Return

~ City adventure ~

Cruising pace: 4/5

Holiday: 1 week

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Leicester guildhall

Cruise highlights

  • City centre mooring
  • Kings Lock tearooms
  • Cathedral & Richard III visitor centre
  • World-famous flight of locks at Foxton
  • Navigate River Soar weir

Hire narrowboat going through Kibworth on the Grand Union canal Leicester section

At a glance

  • 52 miles
  • 70 locks
  • 4 tunnels
  • Mix of rural and urban experiences

Suggested itinerary

Friday: 3 hours cruising

  • Comprehensive boat handling training at North Kilworth marina.
  • Cruise through Husbands Bosworth tunnel to the top of Foxton Locks.
  • Moor up and walk down the towpath to explore the canal museum and famous Inclined Plane.
  • Finish the day with a meal in the bar or restaurant at Foxton Locks Inn (0116 279 1515 to book at busy times).

Saturday: 6 hours cruising

  • Find the volunteer lock keeper and book your descent through the Foxton locks, checking the lock opening times on You can buy breakfast rolls and coffee at the top and bottom of the locks.
  • Take a left and cruise on through the stunning Leicestershire countryside, on through Saddington Tunnel.
  • Enjoy a towpath lunch before embarking on the Kibworth locks.
  • Continue on until you have an urge to find a nighttime towpath mooring – around Bowden Road Bridge 77 would be perfect.

Sunday: 6 hours cruising

  • This is a straightforward day, moving from rural landscape to skirt the south of the city of Leicester.
  • Pause for the night at Blaby, finding a mooring around Whetstone Lane Bridge 99.

Monday: 5 hours cruising

  • Enjoy your journey on through the lower reaches of Leicester.
  • Take a break for morning coffee at Kings Lock tearooms.
  • Cruising on, you will encounter the first of two weirs at Freemans Meadow lock (number 40). Keep well away, over to the opposite side.
  • Stop in the heart of Leicester at the visitor moorings to be found between footbridge 111A and Westbridge (112). From here you can walk to shops, markets, bars and restaurants and spend the afternoon in city-break mode. For those seeking culture, there are at least three museums within walking distance and the cathedral, with its homage to the recently-discovered remains of Richard III. Leicestershire’s official tourism website offers a number of Heritage Trails or to venture further afield, try the Choose How You Move website.

Tuesday: 6 hours cruising

  • Cruise up past a second weir, to Memory Lane Wharf, where you can turn and begin to retrace your steps, back past the two weirs and on out of the city.
  • Take your time meandering through our waterways and moor up at Kilby Bridge. The Navigation Inn does a good evening meal (LE18 3TE 0116 288 2280).


Wednesday: 6 hours cruising

  • Cruise back through the Leicestershire countryside, making your way through the locks at Kibworth.
  • Take the Saddington Tunnel in the afternoon.
  • Choose a picturesque tow path mooring for the night around Debdale Wharf Bridge.


Thursday: 6 hours cruising

  • At Foxton, find the volunteer lock keeper and book your ascent through the Foxton locks, checking the lock opening times on
  • Enjoy a leisurely cruise through the waterways, navigating back through Husbands Bosworth tunnel.
  • Moor up at North Kilworth Marina for the night.


  • Enjoy a final breakfast aboard, before vacating the boat by 9.30am.

Please check that your route isn’t affected by any canal closures before you travel, using the following link:

Live updates on canal closures and restrictions on the Grand Union canal (Leicester line), Market Harborough and Welford arms.