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Hi All

 

Route one.  Fradley to Bugsworth and return

Route two. Leicester ring

Timings are nearly identical for the two.

 

I have covered Route one before....but for Route 2 I have not done the east side of the Leicester ring.

We are going with friends (2 separate boats) who have never been on a NB before.

 

Question 1 - Would an inexperienced boater struggle with the Trent/Soar?

Question 2 - Which route would be most enjoyable for someone new to the waterways. (Thinking variety, scenery etc) or phrased differently.....which would you recommend if you were taking friends for the first time?

 

Personally I like the idea of the LR as being on 2 boats we can share locks, which would be more sociable than all the single locks upto Bugsworth.....

Also (and I know there has been dredging recently) the macc can be difficult to find a mooring from what I remember.....even harder with 2 boats.

Just looking for opinions that's all. (not interested in places to visit.....as want to spend the time on the boat)

 

 

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Assuming you are boating this summer I would do the Leicester Ring.

 

It offers a great deal of variety, and if rainfall is at normal levels, the Trent and Soar are easily manageable by those with little or no river experience. 

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Yes, sorry....we leave in 3 weeks.  Hope the nice weather due over the next 2 weeks hangs around a couple weeks longer.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

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Worth also pointing out that I am aware the Crick boat show is on over the bank holiday weekend.  I anticipate we will hit Crick around late Tuesday after the BH Monday. 

Is that area to be avoided so soon after the show due to traffic?

Edited by kawaton

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7 minutes ago, kawaton said:

Worth also pointing out that I am aware the Crick boat show is on over the bank holiday weekend.  I anticipate we will hit Crick around late Tuesday after the BH Monday. 

Is that area to be avoided so soon after the show due to traffic?

 

Forgot to say the LR will take you past my mooring on the Coventry Canal, give us a wave as you go past

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Yes, I know your house......I walk past it quite regularly as live just up the road. :)

I will say Hi one of these days..... :)

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9 minutes ago, kawaton said:

Yes, I know your house......I walk past it quite regularly as live just up the road. :)

I will say Hi one of these days..... :)

 

Yes, do say Hi, always nice to chat to fellow forumites.

 

I don't recall anyone looking the spitting image of Side James walking past though... 🤔

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1 hour ago, kawaton said:

Worth also pointing out that I am aware the Crick boat show is on over the bank holiday weekend.  I anticipate we will hit Crick around late Tuesday after the BH Monday. 

Is that area to be avoided so soon after the show due to traffic?

Yes, most likely. We passed a couple of weeks after the show one year and the place was still full of boats! 

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There's more locks on the Leicester ring but over half of them are wide so it's maybe a six and two threes time wise, especially when you factor in festival traffic. 

 

The scale of narrow canals is much easier for newcomers to get to grips with, but with the ring you certainly do have a lot of variety so as a novice you get a bit of everything which might appeal. 

 

The Macclesfield isn't great for mooring but neither is the North Oxford.

 

I don't know which I would choose between Harecastle or Braunston as my first tunnel experience...

 

I think if I was taking a friend with no experience I would do the out and back to Bugsworth, though personally I would rather do the ring.   

 

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5 hours ago, kawaton said:

Hi All

 

Route one.  Fradley to Bugsworth and return

Route two. Leicester ring

Timings are nearly identical for the two.

 

I have covered Route one before....but for Route 2 I have not done the east side of the Leicester ring.

We are going with friends (2 separate boats) who have never been on a NB before.

 

Question 1 - Would an inexperienced boater struggle with the Trent/Soar?

Question 2 - Which route would be most enjoyable for someone new to the waterways. (Thinking variety, scenery etc) or phrased differently.....which would you recommend if you were taking friends for the first time?

 

Personally I like the idea of the LR as being on 2 boats we can share locks, which would be more sociable than all the single locks upto Bugsworth.....

Also (and I know there has been dredging recently) the macc can be difficult to find a mooring from what I remember.....even harder with 2 boats.

Just looking for opinions that's all. (not interested in places to visit.....as want to spend the time on the boat)

 

 

I normally avoid such questions - invariably some other folks come on and demolish my thoughts - or the OP putting an extra requirement which demolishes my thoughts...

I think for Q1 and Q2, those rivers are really indistinguishable from a canal, albeit a bit wider (unless in flood...) There can be a hairy (psychologically)  moment when you turn into the Trent - you think "wide" and "river" and panic. Just a few extra revs and 'what was the panic'..

You sound like a hirer - push on boating 'cos it's costing money to stop anywhere.  Leicester is worth a half day break. The market is multi ethnic and groaning with fruit and veg: The Parish church Cathedral worth a quick look as are the roman remains and alms houses. If you're unfamiliar with the City - have a look. Ignore the shopping bit and enjoy the history - It's all on the doorstep of the moorings (that's a plus). If I can get to a 'site' within a quick walk from a mooring - then it gets my vote. Indeed places that I though would be 'ugh' suddenly seem interesting. Especially as I'm not likely to visit them by car or train (we love Oxford and Brum for that reason). You don't have to stop anywhere else!

The broad locks are boring on your own. Breast up or work out a good scheme where you slide in effortlessly together can give great satisfaction in 'canalmanship' if you want to.  

Edited by OldGoat

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Where are you starting from? The Leicester ring is interesting. You have to decide which way round to go. If there has been no heavy rain before you leave I would want to get the river sections done early in the cruise. So I guess if starting  from the Fradley area head down to the Trent and then up the Soar. The broad locks on the T&M are easier to do down hill. The downside of this is that there some pounds which may be a bit low between Kings and Kilby locks. If you have time divert into Market Harborough - excellent butcher, fish monger and bakers and a new Co-op about helf way between the wharf and the town centre.

Stop in Leicester - there are moorings at Friars Mill which are not in the guide books - they are secure and have water. You will get to them before you get to Castle Gardens. There are small supermarkets on the straight mile. There is a useful Aldi in Aylestone its on the left just after the lock its set back a bit from the canal on the offside - you have to climb a couple of fences to get to it'

Wave at our boat as you go past it at Sileby Mill - its the one with an Owl painted on it.

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We're about to do the Leicester ring starting in a week or so. Because of Crick we'll be getting that part out of the way first since we'd otherwise be coming through during the boat show.

 

Is mooring in Leicester still as bad as posts on the forum from 2012 suggest? I've seen more recent posts that claim it's much improved.

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Leicester is fine, if Castle Gardens are full there are now new moorings on the off side a few hundred yards later.

 

But I have moored on the towpath side, on the mile, without problems.

 

If you are not tense about things you will be OK. Leicester is no worse than most other city mooring.

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23 hours ago, George and Dragon said:

We're about to do the Leicester ring starting in a week or so. Because of Crick we'll be getting that part out of the way first since we'd otherwise be coming through during the boat show.

 

Is mooring in Leicester still as bad as posts on the forum from 2012 suggest? I've seen more recent posts that claim it's much improved.

The moorings at Friars Mill are fine and have water. Birstall is a useful place for supplies.

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Another which one question.

 

Which is the better option....?

 

Going north through Watford flight/Crick on Tuesday 29th (midday)

or

Going south through Crick/Watford Flight/Braunston Early Wednesday 30th?

 

My thought was traffic would be worse going south on the Wednesday as most people would be going in that direction if leaving the show, whereas going north on Tuesday afternoon would result in meeting other boats going south and so not creating too much of a delay at the Watford flight.

Edited by kawaton

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I'd certainly expect there to be more traffic away from Crick in either direction on Tuesday/Wednesday. 

Our trip has had to be postponed so we're likely to be avoiding travelling through Braunston the weekend of 23/24 June for the same reasons.

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5 hours ago, kawaton said:

Another which one question.

 

Which is the better option....?

 

Going north through Watford flight/Crick on Tuesday 29th (midday)

or

Going south through Crick/Watford Flight/Braunston Early Wednesday 30th?

 

My thought was traffic would be worse going south on the Wednesday as most people would be going in that direction if leaving the show, whereas going north on Tuesday afternoon would result in meeting other boats going south and so not creating too much of a delay at the Watford flight.

There is usually a volunteer lockie on duty at Watford during the day. They normally operate the flight with so many boats maybe 4 or 5 in one direction and then change over. The flight isn't locked at night these days. At both Watford and Foxton its important to go and find the lockie when you arrive and sign in. You will then be told where you are in the queue if there is one. I think that you would probably be better going north than south as the Leicester locks are easier going down hill but do watch the weather forecasts - if there is heavy rain the Soar and Trent do flood. You can get an indication of what is happening to river levels on this web site http://www.gaugemap.co.uk/#!Map

You are looking for the levels at Syston on the Wreake ( the Wreake goes up and down very quickly so a level is not easy to predict and yes you do travel a short distance on it), Pillings Lock on the Soar (1.1m or lower) and Shardlow on the Trent (1.3m or lower). It is worth signing up for email notifications of stoppaged with CRT as they usually send out a notice when the rivers are in flood. My level figures are a guide only from my local experience there are other factors which can affect the rivers.

  • Greenie 1

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