account arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right closecontact-us emailFacebookheart instagramjoin linkedin phonepinterestplaysearch twitteryoutube

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

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.

The Foxton Inclined Plane Trust leases the reconstructed lift boiler house, from which it operates the Foxton Canal Museum. Work covering visitor facilities and improving site around the Inclined Plane was completed at a cost of £2,000,000, partly funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.4 million.  

Members of the Foxton Inclined Plane Trust, with substantial help from WRG, have continued to work on site clearance, laying hedges and other amenity works, with the aim of promoting eventual full restoration of the historic inclined plane. The small museum between the locks and the site of the Plane has proved to be a vital asset in promoting its restoration and educating visitors about Foxton and canals in general.

Waterway notes

Navigation authority


Useful info

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

HS2: River Soar

The River Soar would be affected by the HS2 proposals where the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Viaduct passes close to Redhill Marina.