The Leicester Ring

The Leicester Ring is a great two week cruise for most boaters and covers some beautiful East Midlands countryside using a wide mixture of narrow canal, broad canal and river navigations. There are famous canal towns and lots of lock flights, tunnels, aqueducts and canal heritage to keep all the crew interested.

Hillmorton Locks on a quiet day!

Hillmorton Locks on a quiet day!

  • The Trent & Mersey Canal runs eastwards from the popular Fradley Junction into fairly flat countryside close to the River Trent through Burton on Trent and the interesting canal port of Shardlow to the Trent which must then be followed downstream for about 2 miles to Trent Lock.
  • The Grand Union Leicester Section is mostly rural and follows the course of the very attractive River Soar for much of the way from the River Trent to Leicester, take care around the weirs when levels are high. It was built as a broad waterway but there are flights of narrow  locks at Foxton and Watford, an economy measure when funds were running low.
  • The North Oxford Canal is followed from near the waterways centre of Braunston through the busiest locks on the system at Hillmorton near Rugby to the sharp and interesting Hawkesbury Junction, traditionally known as ‘Sutton Stop’.
  • The Coventry Canal was once busy with coal traffic from the many pits which lined the route, all long closed and mostly lost to view unless you know where to look. The lock free Ashby Canal is well worth a detour to spend a peaceful few days.
the Leicester Ring Map
the Leicester Ring Map

The Leicester Ring – Junctions, locks and lengths

bullet  Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood, 23 locks, 41 miles to …

bullet  G. U. Leicester section at Trent Lock, 66 locks, 59 miles to …

bullet  Grand Union Canal at Norton Junction, 6 locks, 4 miles to …

bullet  Oxford Canal at Braunston, 4 locks, 23 miles to …

bullet  Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction, 13 locks, 33 miles to Great Haywood.

Foxton locks
Foxton locks

Boat Hire from family firms on or around The Leicester Ring

Aqua Narrowboats (UK) Ltd.

Enjoy a relaxing holiday on six berth narrowboat. Thoughtfully designed for both families or groups. Staffordshire base ideally situated to explore the Shire Counties.

Ashby Boat Company Ltd

Friendly helpful company located on the tranquil Ashby canal. Their fleet has been inspected by The "Visit Britain Quality Assurance Scheme" Short break /Weekly & Day hire.

Grand Union Narrowboats

Small family run company. 2,4 & 6 berth four star graded narrowboats for weekly hire on the Grand Union and Oxford canals. Experience the Northamptonshire countryside at its finest.

Midland Mallard

A new boat hire company on the beautiful lock free Ashby Canal, perfect for first time or novice Boaters. Get back to nature and relax in Luxury.

Napton Narrowboats

From our new base at Autherley Junction, Napton Narrowboats family-run fleet now gives you the widest choice of boats and cruising routes.

Rose Narrowboats

Are a family firm with a fleet of 20 luxury narrowboats for weekly or shortbreak rental in the heart of the Midlands canal system.
On-line brochure here now.

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