Great Central (Steam) Railway & Grand Union Canal day walk

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15.5 miles (25km)7 hours

The Great Central Railway is the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway. It’s the only place in the world where full size steam engines can be seen passing each other – just as it was when steam ruled the rails.

We'll be getting on the Steam Train at 10am sharp for the trip from Loughborough to the outskirts of Leicester (The Leicester North Station, between Beaumont Leas and Birstall) about a 30min ride, the 10am train is the griddle car, because quite frankly Lewis fancies the breakfast.

After a jolly good ride on the train, we'll find ourselves in Birstall where we'll need to start the 16mile walk back.  We'll join the Grand Union Canal at Watermead Country Park, in fact for most of the route we'll follow this stretch of canal making the walk fairly flat and there are plenty of pubs along route to choose from for a swift pint and a bite to eat.

The route will divert off the canal at Mounsorrell so we can head towards Swithland Reservoir, where hopefully we'll see the Steam Trains in operation from the sidelines (calling all Train Spotters) whilst heading north to Quorndon (at this point, 11 miles in, if you're feeling it, there may be an opportunity to get the train back from Quorn and Woodhouse Station by steam train again).

The last leg of this linear route re-joins the Grand Union Canal to bring us back to Loughborough Central Station where we started.



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