Your floating hotel
on the Canals and Rivers of the UK
Our guide to the waterways of the UK in detail.
The Grand Union Canal
This canal falls into two very different sections.
The Old Union.
Going from Norton Junction on the Grand Union canal near Braunston through to Market Harborough this section of the canal is one of the most rural in the UK, and has some spectacular features.
All the narrow locks are collected into two flights. The seven at Watford, four of which form one staircase. Unfortunately they are some what spoiled by the noise of the adjacent M1 since road, canal, railway and now the M1 all squeeze through 'Watford Gap' in the hills. . However this is not the case with the other great flight. This is at Foxton and consists of two staircase flights each of five locks with a passing place in between the two flights. It is the longest staircase in the UK, and with the well presented remains of the adjacent inclined plane, attracts thousands of people each year to visit this lovely place in the Leicestershire countryside.
In between the two flights there are two of the longer tunnels of the canals; Crick, 1,528 yards and Husband Bosworth, 1,166 yards. The rest of the 20 mile summit pound winds slowly through the countryside. Very few villages even come near the canal, only one main road crosses it. It provides at least a full days uninterrupted cruise through gently rolling classic English countryside.
Half way along the summit it is also possible to turn off the main line and travel to Welford along the mile long feeder branch with one lock on it. A delightful little excursion providing the chance to stretch your legs and explore this village and its great reservoirs.
One end of this canal is at Norton junction, just a junction between two canals with no community. The other end is on the edge of the busy little market town of Market Harborough. A place of great historical significance in the story of the restoration of the canals, and today the location for pleasant moorings.
This is a great canal to cruise because it contains both some beautiful relaxing countryside with the attractions of the lock flights and the tunnels to provide that extra interest.
The old Leicester to Northampton junction canal.
This canal provides a broad connection, 14 ft wide locks from the foot of Foxton down to Leicester. A key feature being overhanging trees and great banks of reeds.
The first few miles are on the level with the tunnel at Saddington to provide interest. Then eleven locks, generally well spread out lower the canal down to Kilby Bridge which marks the outskirts of Leicester. This stretch is very rural.
The last day you go down another 14 locks. The canal is generally still very rural in character but the suburbs of Leicester are not far away. The final mooring is on protected moorings right in the heart of Leicester.
In 2012 we will be cruising on this canal in cruise.
Some pictures of this canal?
Norton to Foxton / Foxton to Leicester / Foxton to Market Harborough / Welford Arm
More information from Reed Boats about this canal.
A history of this canal.
Find our information about other canals on the canal index page.
If you have any questions then do ring us on 07977 229103
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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