LEICESTER AND RETURN FROM FOXTON
You can do this route from :
Visit the final resting place of Richard III who died in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth.
In August 1485 King Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth, and buried by the Grey Friars, a Franciscan Holy order, in their friary church. In August 2012, Leicester City Council, the University of Leicester, and the Richard III Society began a search underneath a car park in Leicester, to find King Richard III’s remains and the Grey Friars Church.
In the City of Leicester there are secure moorings at Castle Gardens . The city centre is remarkably compact with everything surprisingly close to these moorings.
Leicester is an exciting cosmopolitan city with a proud history stretching back 2000 years, and is now the final resting place of Richard III so be sure to go to the Visitor Centre.
Leicester is brimming with things to see and do, with state-of-the-art, award-winning venues including Curve, Highcross Shopping Centre and the National Space Centre, renowned museums and galleries, a range of cuisines, areas of natural beauty and ancient heritage.
A modern city, rich in arts, culture, sports and heritage, Leicester offers something of interest for all ages. Cruising north will take you towards Leicester and you can visit some of the pretty towns and villages on the way. The canal section just before Leicester is very rural, surrounded by pleasant, typical English countryside.
Visit the acclaimed model village and garden center at Wistow (www.wistow.com) – well worth a visit.
Visit the National Space Centre, and take the opportunity to explore many facets of space travel, to meet the furthest reaches of our universe face to face & to interact with both science fact & science fiction
Turning north from Debdale Wharf you will soon pass through Saddington Tunnel which is 880 yards long, lookout for the bats which naturalists enthuse about. The Tunnel was built crooked in 1797.
Just a mile or so away is the village of Saddington, the award winning pub - Queens Head in the main street has superb views over Saddington reservoir, and serves a wide range of food. Visit Saddington reservoir built to keep the canal well watered now a wildlife haven
After the tunnel you will see the small town of Fleckney, about 10 mins walk from Bridge 73. There is a takeaway, stores & a bakery, chemist & off licence here. The Old Crown west of Bridge 73 serves food.
You can moor here for the night, it is an hours cruising to here, or push on for another hour and get a few locks under your belt, and moor after Pywells Lock 21, although there are no pubs or habitation near here.
The first locks you reach are the Knibworth Locks, in fact there are 5 locks to negotiate along this stretch.
2 hours cruising to Pywells lock.
Visit the Wistow Rural Centre www.wistow.com moor up at either bridge 78 or 80 for access. Call into the tea rooms for a traditional English tea, a light snack or a 3 course lunch - children's menus also available. Then stroll around the model village and the garden centre.
Wistan Le Dale model village- take the footpath south from Ivy Bridge (78) to the church and visit this acclaimed Model Village. Open daily exc Tues, with cafe.
wellThe tunnel, bridges and locks which begin the descent into Leicester provide plenty of Canal interest.
Brocks Hill Country Park & Environment Centre is a 2 & halfmile walk north along a footpath from Clifton Bridge (85) & then via A5199 & B582, but it is well worth the effort as it make a very worthwhile day out. It is a unique environment centre built to demonstrate wind & solar power. Set in 67 acres of parkland with a cafe. Entrance is free.
The navigation follows the north westerly course of the River Sence, until you reach Kilby Bridge (87) where indications of the City of Leicester begin. there is a good pub here.- The Navigation Inn a friendly pub serving real ales & food.
About half a mile north of Kilby Bridge is the award winning Wigston Framework Knitters museum. open every Sunday.
The navigation from Blaby into Leicester runs through a linear Country park & mostly parallels the off road cycleway along an old railway track.
If you wish to visit Blaby to stock up on provisions moor up just before Blaby bridge 98 , the town is to your south, and has all the usual facilities.
Aylestone off to the right still retains the feel of a country village with narrow streets and pretty brick cottages.There are tearooms here besides the lock. The gas museum www.gasmuseum.co.uk is situated in a Victorian gatehouse in one of the city's first gasworks.
East of Packhorse Bridge 105 (fork left up Sanvey lane, then left) is the Black Horse. The Union Inn is east of Freestone bridge 106.
Moor around here for the night it is just over 7 hours to here.
The canal follows the River Sence to its junction with the Soar, sometimes they share the same bed, and because of this flooding can occur after heavy rainfall. Watch out for signs and for the enormous weir just above Freemans meadow lock where the Canal & the River Soar meet.
The Canal enters Leicester along a pleasant cutting, a variety of buildings line the canal banks and a series of ornamental bridges lead straight into the town centre by the West bridge, making this a lovely route into Leicester considering it is a large City.
There are secure moorings at Castle Gardens (on the right past Newarke Bridge 2). The city centre is remarkably compact with everything surprisingly close to these moorings.
It is 1.5 hours to here, so time to moor up and have a look around Leicester.
Belgrave House & Gardens,- 1709 Queen Anne House www.leicestermuseums.ac.uk
Abbey Pumping Station- 1891 with Victorian steam powered beams engines that used to pump the towns sewerage. Also unique public health exhibition & managers house circa World War 2. Moorings here.
Castle Gardens & Motte (where you moor) The Motte or raised mound dates from the 11th C.
Cathedral- Guildhall Lane, dating from 14th & 15th Centuries & restored in 19 C.
Eco House- Environmently friendly show house Tel 0116 285 5489. Buses from High Street.
NATIONAL SPACE CENTRE- close to Belgrave Lock 44. www.spacecentre.co.uk . A great day out for the whole family is at The National Space Centre. View the space age building as you approach from you narrowboat. The opportunity to explore many facets of space travel, to meet the furthest reaches of our universe face to face & to interact with both science fact & science fiction. Open Tues -Sun all year & Mon pm -school hols.
St Mary de castro- Founded in 1107 with excellent examples of Norman glass, stone & wood carving.
De Montfort Hall- Prime venue for touring Opera & Ballet companies & Orchestras & Soloists
Haymarket Theatre- Venue for hit shows bound for the West End. www.lhtheatre.co.uk.
Phoenix Arts Centre - Cinema & live performances of contemporary dance, mime, jazz & folk.
Golden Mile- an area centred on Belgrave Rd., to the north of the city, where the focus lies on the superb range of Asian cultural delights & cuisine. In a large city such as Leicester, there is a wide range of pubs & restaurants , these are near the canal:
The Hat & Beaver- close to the Shires shopping centre. The Northbridge Tavern- by North Lock. The Mulberry Tree , Birstall, riverside gastro pub.
Market Place - the Food hall selling fresh meat , poultry, dairy produce & fish from all over the world. Tues - Sat. The retail market with over 300 covered stalls is open also.
Jewry Wall Museum- Collection of the count's archaeology up to the Middle Ages, overlooking the Jewry Wall, which dates from 2nd C & is thought to be part of Roman Baths. Two Roman Mosaic pavements can be seen in situ.
New walk Museum & Art gallery- www.Leicestermuseums.ac.uk you will discover the mighty dinosaurs as you walk in their footprints, be on the lookout for the 'Barrow Kipper' and the Rutland dinosaur.
Newarke Houses Museum- The social history of the area from 1500 to the present day, inc the history of hosiery, costume & lace industries.
Royal Infirmary Museum- history from 1771. Wygston's House Museum of Costume.
Shires Shopping Centre- All the usual big name stores under one high, glass-arched roof plus cafes, pizzeria, etc.
St Martins Square & Loseby Lane- speciality shopping centre in the heart of the City, Food, fashion, wine & flowers amongst the street entertainers.
Richard III Visitor Centre and Tomb- In August 1485 King Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth, and buried by the Grey Friars, a Franciscan Holy order, in their friary church.
In August 2012, Leicester City Council, the University of Leicester, and the Richard III Society began a search underneath a car park in Leicester, to find King Richard III’s remains and the Grey Friars Church.
Day 4 and Day 5
It is just over 11 hours back to Debdale Wharf, so turn the boat around and make your journey home on Day 3 and Days 4/5
NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.
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