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Grand Union Canal – Leicester Line

The Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal runs from Norton Junction on the main line of the Grand Union Canal to the River Soar Navigation at West Bridge in Leicester.

Grand Union Canal Map – Leicester Line

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Birstall Lock

Facts & Stats

41.2 miles


The length of the Leicester line that is navigable.

41 locks

From Norton Junction to the River Soar

There are arms to:

  • Welford (1.6 miles – 2.6 km – 1 lock – joins at Welford Junction)
  • Market Harborough (5.5 miles – 7.7 km – no locks – joins at Foxton Junction).

By amalgamating various canal companies, the Grand Union Canal was formed to link London with the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire coalfields and Birmingham under single ownership. The Leicester Line provided a link from the Grand Junction Canal to the River Soar, which connected to the River Trent.

At Foxton Locks, the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust leases the reconstructed lift boiler house, from which it operates the Foxton Canal Museum. 


Waterway notes

Navigation authority


Useful info

Download IWA Leicestershire Branch’s Guide to the Leicester Line (PDF, revised in 2019)

Local Events

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Sustainable Boating

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

Waterways Heritage at Risk

Britain’s canals and rivers are a unique, living heritage. But that heritage is at risk – from urban development, lack of protection, loss of skills and knowledge and climate change.

You can help Save Waterways Heritage.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.