59 miles, 45 locks and 1 tunnel
Market Harborough Arm, Foxton Locks, Grand Union Leicester Arm, Leicester, River Soar, River Trent, Nottingham
Two very contrasting rivers. The Trent is much wider and imposing than the scenic meandering course of the River Soar and its manual locks.
The five mile cruise down the Market Harborough arm takes us to the bottom of Foxton locks, one of the steepest lock flights on the system, where we can spend some time exploring the locks and the remains of the inclined plane boat lift. Leaving the locks we wind our way through the hills on our way to Saddington tunnel (880 ysrds long). We dip in and out of the River Soar and pass through the occasional lock as we approach the ancient city of Leicester. The canal cuts through the center of this city with evidence of the Roman settlement just a stones throw from the towpath.
Leaving the city, we enjoy a pleasant cruise through Watermead Country Park with its high reed banks and park land. Loughborough is our next big town before we head back into rural seclusion, with just an occasional lock to break our journey. Charming villages, such as Normanton and Ratcliffe are visible in the distance over the willow lined banks of the river.
We leave the River Soar and join the River Trent, which winds its way through flat countryside past the picturesque Barton Island. Leaving the river we join the Beeston Cut and make our way through the vibrant city of Nottingham to our final mooring within sight of the castle.