Etiquette at Foxton Swing Bridge

The swing road bridge at Foxton is a heavy beast. It is also awkward because the bridge control panel is on the opposite side to the tow path.

This means that other boaters will be eternally grateful if you allow them to pass through without stopping. Even if you were just about to close the darn thing.

Similarly, if you see someone already struggling to open the bridge then bear in mind that two sets of biceps are better than one, so do hop over and give them a hand.


If you do need to offer your support to another struggling boater, bearing in mind the following insider tips:

  • If a CRT key appears to be stuck in the console, try opening and closing the yellow gate barriers and the bridge itself. The console will not release any key unless all the barriers have clicked “home.”
  • If the bridge simply does not want to open, check the yellow gate barriers have clicked shut across the road.
  • If the bridge still does not want to open, maintain pressure on the bridge for an extended period. It will often resist opening, and then eventually give up and creek into action.
  • If this still doesn’t work, recruit more muscle power. The driver of the boat can temporarily come over to help you push, as long as they hop off before the road has properly had a chance to move away from the tow path.

If you are new to narrowboating, you might also be interested to read some of our Boat Operation Beginner Guides before you arrive at Union Wharf for your holiday.

It is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the Canal and River Trust’s Boaters’ Handbook , a general guide to inland boating.

We offer all kinds of narrowboats, fromĀ Day Boats to Boutique Narrowboats and boats suitable for families. All our hires involve full training and we welcome complete beginners. As part of that training we will always explain how to use any waterways features that you’ll encounter by navigating from Market Harborough.