Situated around two thirds of the way along the 20 mile lock free top pound of the Grand Union Leicester line, North Kilworth provides the ideal cruising base from which to explore this peaceful and much underrated section of the canal network.
Travelling north, it takes around two and a half hours to reach the top of Foxton Locks, just under 7 miles away.
It's a pleasant cruise for a day's outing with plenty to see and do at Foxton. With more time to spare, drop down through the Foxton staircase (always worth it) and turn right onto the Harborough arm and explore bustling Market Harborough, 5 miles distant and just a couple of hours lock free cruising away.
Interactive Map of the Grand Union Leicester Line
Alternatively, go left and Debdale Wharf Marina is just 30 minutes away. The sister marina to North Kilworth, we've reserved a number of complimentary visitor moorings especially for you - the perfect spot to spend the night before making the return journey or heading onwards towards Leicester.
Five miles on you'll reach Kibworth Top Lock, with plenty of quiet places to moor along the way if this is as far as you want to go. After Kibworth the canal starts its decent towards Leicester. Wistow soon appears on the left with its acclaimed model village and garden center (www.wistow.com) - well worth a visit.
There's another 12 miles and 15 locks to go before the canal's junction with the River Soar in Leicester. Opinions vary on the merits of lingering in the city, but it has lots to offer and there are good secure moorings available at Castle Gardens.
Heading south from North Kilworth Marina it's less than a mile to the canal's junction with the Welford Arm. A short hop to Welford Wharf, but worth it if only for lunch in the Wharf Inn. Carrying on south, the canal meanders gently through peaceful countryside. There are plenty of secluded moorings to be had right up to Yelvertoft - just over 8 miles away and the first village within easy walking distance of the canal. From here there's only another couple of miles until you reach Crick - well known for it's annual boat show. There's easy mooring here within walking distance of the main village and a choice of eateries including The Moorings right by Bridge 12.
Onwards through the Crick tunnel (wear a hat - it's wet in here!) to Watford Locks, 3 miles distant. Less of a tourist draw than Foxton, but impressive nonetheless. Watford Gap services are just around the corner - perhaps not on everyone's must see list, but there aren't many other motorway service stations you can moor up at in a narrowboat! Another 2 miles without any further locks brings you to the Norton Junction and the Grand Union Main Line.