Canal routes & itineraries

The canal routes from Market Harborough follow the stunning Leicestershire and Northamptonshire landscape through the undiscovered heart of England.


Foxton and south

These routes involve going up the staircase flight of locks at Foxton, with the support of lock keepers. This is the most straightforward route, as once you are up the locks there are 22 miles of lock-free cruising ahead of you.


Foxton and north

These routes take you to Foxton basin and then on up the Leicester Line without going up the staircase locks themselves. Ahead is a tunnel and then a series of single, unattended locks – all amidst some of Leicestershire’s most spectacular landscapes.

Planning your route

From our canal basin in Market Harborough, you can head into historic Leicester for a city break, complete with cultural highlights and hip bars and restaurants, literally on your doorstep. You can also choose to ascend the historic Foxton Locks (with the support of the lock keepers) and take a trip through the notorious canal tunnels.

For those seeking a quieter pace of life, the tranquil countryside canal routes from Market Harborough provide ample opportunity for photography, nature walks and relaxation, with a plentiful supply of towpath pubs and restaurants.

The Canal and River Trust publishes an online map which is very useful for beginning to plan, particularly as it also features any current canal restrictions or closures. You can find it here:

CRT map


We will happily talk through your options on your first afternoon aboard, but if you want to get a head start in the planning stakes, we suggest the following:

If you prefer a more personalised route, then take a look at the Canalplan website, which enables you to enter your starting/finishing point and the length of time available in order to create a detailed itinerary which you can print out.

If you would like to travel a particular route, you will need to check that there are no canal closures or restrictions on your travel dates by checking for live updates on the Canal and River Trust website.

Booking a narrowboat from Union Wharf Marina

Our itineraries all start from the picturesque Union Wharf marina in Market Harborough. Choose and book your boat online by clicking here.