Routes and itineraries along the Grand Union Canal

The marinas near Foxton Locks are perfectly placed for you to enjoy a variety of routes, whether you are looking for a romantic weekend or a longer cruising holiday. From this starting point you can head into historic Leicester for a city break, complete with cultural highlights and hip bars and restaurants, literally on your doorstep.

For those seeking a quieter pace of life, the tranquil countryside of the Leicestershire canals provides ample opportunity for photography, nature walks and relaxation, with a plentiful supply of towpath pubs and restaurants.


Planning your route

The Canal and River Trust publishes an online map which is very useful for beginning to plan, particularly as it also features any current canal restrictions or closures. You can find it here:

CRT map

All the maps you will need are on board your Boutique Narrowboat and we will happily talk through your options on your first afternoon aboard, but if you want to get a head start in the planning stakes, we suggest the following:

  • Nicholson Waterways Guide 3 – Birmingham and the Heart of England
  • Nicholson Waterways Guide 1 – Grand Union, Oxford and the South East

If you prefer a more personalised route, then take a look at the Canalplan website, which enables you to enter your starting/finishing point and the length of time available in order to create a detailed itinerary which you an print out:


Starting point – from Union Wharf Marina

Union Wharf Marina is based in the canal basin at Market Harborough. The postcode is LE16 7UW and you can check out full directions via Google Maps here:

Directions to Union Wharf Marina

When you arrive at Union Wharf, park up and come to the reception to check in. Once you’ve unloaded your car you can then park in our car park for full peace of mind while you enjoy your holiday.

Routes from Union Wharf, market Harborough

Union Wharf Marina ends the Harborough Arm of the Grand Union Canal (Leicester.) It takes around 2.5 hours to reach Foxton Locks and from there many choose to ascend the locks to the south. Alternatively, you can stop in the canal basin at the bottom of Foxton Locks to explore on foot, and then journey on through the rural landscape northwards. 


Through Foxton Locks then south

Foxton, Watford, Braunston and Rugby 7 days

Foxton, Welford and return 4 days

Foxton, Welford and return 3 days


Bypass Foxton Locks then north

Foxton, Wistow and return 4 days

Foxton, Kibworth and return 3 days

Foxton Leicester and return 7 days


If you would like to travel a particular route, you will need to check that there are no canal closures or restrictions on your travel dates by checking for live updates on the Canal and River Trust website.