27 miles and 23 locks, 3 tunnels, Husbands Bosworth 1166 yards, Crick Tunnel 1528 yards and Braunston Tunnel much longer at 2042 yards.
Familiar territory now. It takes about an hour to get through the Foxton Staircase of locks which are always manned by volunteers to help. Different to a flight of locks, Staircase locks go directly out of one lock into the next, with only 1 gate separating the chambers. With side pounds to take water it’s a very clever way of negotiating a hill and saving water.
It’s a very pleasant trip along the grand Union Leicester Section of canal, following the contours and winding it’s way past Yelvertoft Marina (where we collected our second boat “Eliza Jane” in 2014), and on to Crick where the Annual Crick Boat Show is held late in May. Then into Crick Tunnel.
Not long before Watford Staircase Locks. If you’ve ever been up the M1 and passed Watford Gap Services you wouldn’t know that right next to the Motorway is the most scenic of canals and the Watford Staircase. More volunteers to help and another booking system for boats to maximise water saving. Just before the locks we pass under the M1, it’s weird how its quite quiet under the motorway.
Norton Junction next and onto the Grand Union Canal Main Line. Left for London, if you fancy it. We swing sharp right towards Braunston Tunnel, straight out of the tunnel into the Braunston Lock Flight, made up of 6 wide locks. Always busy here and a chance to share locks and halve the workload.
Braunston is a great place to be for a couple of days, very popular with boaters but generally somewhere to moor up. Braunston Marina and the picturesque junction with the North Oxford Canal is a good opportunity for classic canal photos.