This is one of the most famous and well visited series of locks in the country. Foxton Locks and the ruins of the Inclined Plane lie in the heart of the Leiecster countryside just 3 miles from the historic villages of Kibworth Beauchamp and Kibworth Harcourt, recently featured in a television series.

There are 10 lock chambers arranged in two sets of 5 staircases with side ponds and there is a short passing area in between the two sets. The bottom lock (17) has the picturesque vehicle access bridge 61 straddling its chamber. After the bottom lock the canal veers off left under pretty Foot Bridge 62, while the Market Harborough arm goes off to the right 5 miles to the limit of navigation at the town of Market Harborough. At the start of the arm is a short section in water off to the right which leads to the remains of the Inclined Plane where there are a few long term moored boats. At the top of the inclined Plane an arm (now not in water) goes off to the left meeting the main canal two hundred yards beyond the top lock.

Half way down the locks is the award winning Canal Museum with shop. When I visited I had an interesting friendly conversation with a volunteer who was runnng the shop and entrance to the museum.

At the top there is top lock cottage with its cafe and shop and at the bottom lock a shop, cafe and bar to the left and  to the right the Foxton Locks Inn and The Old Boat House which has been renovated into a summer time and weekends bar/coffee bar together with Foxton Boat Services.

I visited the area in September on a gloriously sunny day – I had seen this coming on the forecasts so set off early from Birmingham to capture some sunlit photos of boats in locks. I parked at the long stay in the South  and walked starting at Bridge 60 down the descending towpath to the left of the locks. I must have had my head in the sand for a few weeks because I hadn’t heard that there was a water shortage in the local reservoirs and in general boats were unable to use the locks. Having cursed my bad luck I found some good luck in that a local boat was allowed to descend the locks – I met up with nb Idle Woman at Lock 10 and descended with it – the boaters were very friendly and not at all anti photogongoozler!

Here is a slideshow of photos I took on the day.

For history and more details visit the Waterscape page and/or Download the Foxton Locks Discovery Trail.

Below that is a Google Earth dynamic view of the site.

View Foxton Locks in a larger map