A fine but chilly morning as we left Welford and set off towards Foxton Locks some 8.5 miles away. We passed through Husband Bosworth Tunnel en route (1166 yards).
We booked in with the lock-keeper at 1.25pm and joined just two other boats queuing to descend. At 2.10pm we moved into the top lock and 70 minutes later we’d reached the bottom of the ten locks (two staircases of five locks with a small crossover pound between the two).
These locks all have side pounds and there are two sets of ground paddle mechanisms at each lock, one painted red, and one white, and you are instructed to open them in that order. The red mechanism for the bottom lock of the first staircase as you descend is situated beside the sixth lock and is easy to overlook.
Beside the locks you can see what remains of the Foxton Inclined Plane. In the early 1900’s this mechanism was created to bypass the locks and would carry boats in two big cast iron troughs to the top of the hill in 12 minutes as opposite to the 70 minutes via the locks. It only operated for ten years and was considered a bit of a white elephant as it came too late in the lifetime of the canals. http://www.fipt.org.uk/lift.html
This site is very popular with sightseers and it was nice to walk back to the site in the early evening when everyone had gone home. We moored up along the Market Harborough Arm, close to the pretty Leicestershire village of Foxton
9.5 miles, 10 locks, 1 tunnel