Marine Cruises canal holidays on the Leicester (East Midlands) Ring

Canal Holidays on the Leicester Ring

leicsRingThe Leicester Ring makes is an exciting canal holiday route, a wonderful mixture of narrow and wide canals and river navigations with lots of locks, tunnels and places to explore.

To cruise the Leicester Ring from our Kings Bromley Marina base in a week would mean long daily cruising hours and is only recommended for experienced boaters who just want to boat! Taking two weeks means you can take your time and possibly explore the lock free Ashby Canal or the Erewash Canal or perhaps spend some time in Braunston or Coventry. You can travel in either direction around the ring, we describe the clockwise journey.


From our Kings Bromley base you head east to the southern end of the Canal where it meets the River Trent. En route you can visit Burton upon Trent with its Brewery Museum and the fascinating old canal town of Shardlow.

Lock down and head onto the wide River Trent for a short run downstream to the unusual waterways crossroad near Trent Lock. Here the Trent goes straight on to Nottingham, eventually to join the North Sea via the River Humber. The interesting Erewash Canal is on the left, well worth exploring if you have time, but you turn right onto the River Soar.

The River Soar winds through pleasant countryside, alongside the restored Great Central Railway, to join the Leicester section of the GU in Leicester. You climb through Foxton locks, with the remains of an inclined plane, to the amazingly secluded summit level which winds lazily along 22 miles of Leicestershire countryside at a height of 412 feet above sea level, through haunted tunnels and past the Market Harborough Arm before descending again to join the mainline of the Grand Union Canal below Watford Locks.

After a few miles you pass the busy canal town of Braunston, the ‘centre of the canals’ to many, then head north up the northern Oxford Canal with it’s beautiful cast iron bridges to Hawkesbury Junction and the Coventry Canal. The Coventry Canal eventually takes you back to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction, with our Kings Bromley Marina base now just a few hours distant.



Leicester Ring facts…

Canals Trent & Mersey Canal, River Soar, Grand Union Leicester section, Grand Union Canal, Oxford Canal, Coventry Canal.
Length 99 miles
Time to cruise about 65 hours
Locks 152
Junctions Trent & Mersey/River Trent/Rivers Soar at Trent Lock, Leicester section at Leicester, Grand Union at Norton Junction, Oxford Canal at Braunston, Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction, Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction.