Day out at Foxton Locks, Leicestershire

Foxton Locks is a beautiful and truly unique spot to visit on a day out with the family, close to Market Harborough in Leicestershire.

Foxton Locks is such a unique and beautiful place to visit
Foxton Locks is such a unique and beautiful place to visit

What is Foxton Locks?

Foxton Locks is a series of locks on the Grand Union Canal which is made up of two staircases, each of five locks, dating back to the 1900s.

Managed by the Canal & River Trust, it is the UK’s longest and steepest locks and a truly unique place to visit.

What is there to do at Foxton Locks?

The Canal and River Trust have produced this amazing guide for families on things to do at Foxton Locks, with a lovely map of the walking routes.

Foxton Locks is a stunning place to visit for all the family.

There really is so much to do at Foxton Locks for all the family
There really is so much to do at Foxton Locks for all the family

There are beautiful walks, including accessible routes across the canal (see the map for access), which are also suitable for cycling.

When we visited, the museum was closed, but there is The Canal Museum which is a lovely place to learn about the history of the area and those who worked on the locks. The website currently says it is due to open in June 2021, with adult £3, and children free.

Lily loved walking along the canals
Lily loved walking along the canals

The highlight for Lily was definitely helping with the locks as the boats were coming through. Those working on the locks were so friendly and were happily telling her bits of information – such a special way to learn about how these locks work and to try it herself too!

The staff on the locks were so friendly - Lily had great fun!
The staff on the locks were so friendly – Lily had great fun!

Even on a beautiful spring Saturday, it wasn’t overly busy and was a beautiful way to spend a few hours. We really had a fantastic time.

Are there places to eat and drink?

There are plenty of places to eat and drink, whether you’re looking for an ice cream, a snack, soft drink, a pub garden or a family meal, with some beautiful spots overlooking the canal, watching the boats go by.

Foxton Locks – helping on the locks by the Foxton Locks Inn

There’s the Cottage Cafe for snacks at the Top Lock, then the Foxton Locks Inn and Bridge 61 by the bottom lock, sitting alongside the canal.

We enjoyed a hot lunch sitting outside the Bridge 61 and it was a beautiful spot – the team were so welcoming and very friendly!

There are also plenty of spots for a picnic when you’re there too, particularly alongside the locks, and picnic benches by the Top Lock – just remember to take your rubbish with you.

Such a great place to learn about the locks
Such a great place to learn about the locks

Is there parking at Foxton Locks and how much is it?

Yes, there is parking at Foxton Locks. The postcode is LE16 7RA and cost £3.50 for up to 4 hours in the short stay car park – just remember to take cash with you!

Are there toilets at Foxton Locks?

There are toilets at Foxton Locks in both the top and bottom car parks.

Helping the canal boats get through the locks was definitely a highlight
Helping the canal boats get through the locks was definitely a highlight

What else is there to do nearby?

We visited Foxton Locks while camping at Brook Meadow. After a few hours at Foxton Locks, we visited West Lodge Farm Park (10 miles).

For families, you can also visit Mini Meadows Farm (10 miles away) as well as the market town of Market Harborough (4 miles) or Leicester City (15 miles)

Conclusion

We had a beautiful few hours at Foxton Locks and really do recommend it.

Foxton Locks is such a special and unique place to explore - the canal boats were so beautiful too
Foxton Locks is such a special and unique place to explore – the canal boats were so beautiful too

Even on a sunny weekend, there was plenty of space to explore and Lily loved learning about the locks first hand – especially helping to open them for the boats coming through!

We really do recommend it and will be visiting again.

Learning about the locks, dating back to 1900
Learning about the locks, dating back to 1900

Find out more about Foxton Locks here

We also recommend downloading these beautiful regional guides from the Canal & River Trust for more on days out in your area

Get ready to push, Lily!!
Get ready to push, Lily!!

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