Foxton Locks and the Grand Union Canal Day Walk
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This relatively easy 11 mile (17.5km) walk in southeast Leicestershire takes in stretches of the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal and Foxton Locks, an engineering marvel of the 19th Century.
Starting in Kibworth Beauchamp, we head cross country, along stretches of the Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal and the rolling Leicestershire countryside.
The highlight of the walk is Foxton Locks - a staircase of ten locks built between 1810-1814 to raise the canal by 75ft (23m). It takes a boat an average of 45 minutes to negotiate all ten locks, displacing 25,000 gallons (113,650 litres) of water for the entire passage.
Because the flight of locks were so narrow, it created something of a bottleneck, and eventually in 1900, a mechanical boat lift known as the Foxton Inclined Plane was built to enable boats to be transported up and down much more quickly. Now a Grade II listed 'building', the flight of locks at Foxton is always busy with narrowboats, but the incline plane was decommissioned after only 10 years of service and its machinery and workings sold for scrap in the 1920s.
We will have some time to explore the locks, and the plan is to have lunch by the canal at the Foxton Locks Inn.
After lunch we’ll make our way back to the starting point at Kibworth.
What to bring
Although summer, the weather may still be unpredictable. Please ensure you have adequate layers to keep warm and waterproofs to keep you dry. Although a good proportion of the route is on canal towpaths, it may be a little wet and muddy underfoot and we do need to cross a few open fields. Good walking boots and gaiters are recommended.
Food & drink
The plan is to stop at the Foxton Locks Inn for lunch. It has a more limited menu for punters sitting outside on the picnic tables by the canal (Let's hope the weather is kind to us!). For more information on the pub and its food go to the Foxton Locks Inn website.
Of course you can always bring a packed lunch if you'd prefer and there are plenty of nice spots to sit by the canal.