Grand Union, Leicester Arm and Rivers Soar & Trent

After the rough ride on the tideway at the beginning of June 2022 we were looking forward to some gentle cruising. Initially up the well-worn path of the Grand Union through Uxbridge, Watford and Berkhamsted to the Tring Summit and the drop through the Marsworth flight and the well spaced locks beyond to Milton Keynes. The climb up through Stoke Bruerne and Blisworth Tunnel to the former Royal Ordnance Depot at Weedon Bec and the turn North on the Leicester Arm at Norton Junction.

We were not disappointed, good cruising weather with temperatures in the low 20s Centigrade most days. We had experienced the Watford staircase rise and the iconic Foxton 10 lock staircase on our journey to The Fens in 2019. We then turned right onto the Market Harborough Arm for a two day detour for services, shopping and a couple of nice meals.

Familiar scenery continued as we cruised into Leicester and, this not being the weekend of the Riverside Festival which we had experienced on our previous visit, tied up on the visitor moorings at Castle Gardens. Then on to Loughborough and 'our' mooring near the station by Nottingham Road bridge. Pins didn't hold well so moved down to The Boat pub, which had bollards and CCTV while Pam headed back home for a couple of days.

Next stop was Nottingham, where we realised we had not been to see the castle during our previous time there, quite a climb up to the top of the hill but the views were worth it. We were still retracing our steps from the Wash Cruise, down the River Soar and then the Trent through Newark and down to Cromwell Lock and the beginning of the tidal Trent for the next stage of our trip.


The former Weedon Bec Royal Ordnance canal basin

Foxton locks

Part way down the two sets of five staircase locks at Foxton


View from the terrace at the top of the castle mount in Nottingham