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The Odyssey 2019: Day 4

Posted by alexgrehyauthor on 26 July, 2019

Monday 27th May

Leicester to Loughborough

Fair bit of dereliction on the way out of Leicester…

We set off bright and early (by our standards!) and enjoyed a good trip through Leicester, which has come up in the world since we were last here in 2014. There were several new mooring sites and now that we know about them, we’ll explore them next time we’re in the city.

There was a LOT of trash in the water by Belgrave Lock – I’m not sure why, we speculated that it might be the flow from the river and the adjacent weir. It was a shame as the rest of the city’s water had been pretty clean.

The exit from Leicester is quite abrupt –  a litle way past Belgrave Lock, we joined a bendy river section surrounded by waterparks and meads. I remember coming the other way in 2014 and the transition from bucolic river to trashy city was unwelcome; it works much better going the other way!

There are regular locks, though there was very little traffic on the river. The one exception was at Cossington Lock, where there was a little queue. We met another boating friend there, Maggie from nb Forever Young. Although we follow each other on social media, it was still a lovely surpirse to see her. We couldn’t linger – we were on a schedule and it hard started to rain, hard! It as one of those waterproofs on, waterproofs off sort of day, with

Though some of the buildings have kept their original facades/features

the weather changing at a moment’s notice so that we never seemed to be wearing the right clothes at the right time. The wind remained troublesome, but the river itself was passive which was a relief The Soar is a moody old river which requires very little provocation to go into flood.

Do keep a keen watch on the meandering river sections – I was surprised to find two pedal bikes mounted on canoe floats cheerfully pedaling upstream on the wrong side of the river. There is a base nearby which hires them out – we were lucky to only meet two!

I think we were both a bit anxious to get on – we had a target for the weekend and the prospect of a long drive home afterwards. I had a cunning plan for retrieving my car and was pleased to see two volockies at Barrow Deep Lock, which meant that I could leave Richard to it and head off to the train station. It was a bit further than I thought, and access to the station from the canal was a bit more convoluted that I expected, nonetheless, I was just in time to catch the hourly train back to Leicester and the local connection to Market Harborough. It was then a cheap cab ride back to the car at North Kilworth Wharf.

I arrived in Loughborough a whisker after Richard had moored up – perfect timing! He’d moored on the 14-day towpath moorings to the right of the junction (turn left for Loughborough Wharf and the short-term, but secure moorings). This was exactly where she needed to be for the engineer, so we’d accomplished our goal for the weekend. As always, we found it hard to leave the boat, but we were soon packed up and on our way.


Attractive new mooring pontoons away from the bustle of the city centre

This old brick chimney had a “crown” supporting several cables that were anchoored to the ground – they didnt look like structural supports so we don’t know what they’re for – interesting!


Another new mooring facility in a short arm above Lime Kiln Lock

A very confident heron keeping an eye on our locking technique – he stayed nearby for the whole show 🙂

Shiny new mooring rings above Belgrave lock – Leicester now has a fine choice of new moorings…

National Space Centre – such an incongruous sight.

Below Belgrave Lock you’re suddenly out of the city and back to the green as the river passes through the Watermead Country Park

The meandering River Soar…

A very stern gongoozler…

Threatening skies…






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