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Most famous for its incomparable Castle, Warwick offers much, from its racecourse to the beautiful Priory Park. There is certainly enough here to fill a couple of days.

Warwick Castle is well worth a visit, and is possibly the finest medieval castle in the country. It is open all year, except Christmas. See the Kingmaker Exhibition, which uses wax sculpture to recreate the preparations for battle in 1471, as well as the dungeons, ghost tower, and sumptuous state rooms.

This route is a long route with a lot of cruising every day

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Recommended Holiday
Duration : 11 nights.

Total Cruising Days : 8.00 to 12.00
(Partial or full days)

Total Cruising Time : 52.50 hours

Total Distance : 97.00 miles

Number of Locks : 96

Number of Tunnels : 6

Number of Aqueducts : 0

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Read our cruising notes.


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Cruising Notes

Day 1

Situated just North of Foxton Locks, Debdale Wharf provides an ideal cruising base from which to explore this peaceful and much underrated section of the canal network.

Travelling south, it takes just 20 minutes to reach the bottom of Foxton Locks with plenty to see and do at Foxton. To the left is the Harborough arm with bustling Market Harborough 5 miles distant and just a couple of hours lock free cruising away.

Walk along the tow path until you find the friendly British waterways lock-keepers by the Locks. They will take a note of your boat name & tell you roughly how long the wait will be to go through the locks, but there is plenty to do whilst you wait, it takes 45 minutes to go through the flight, see here for opening times https://www.foxtonlocks.org.uk/

Foxton is the site of a steam powered Inclined Plane, which replaced ten locks and lifted narrow boats 75 feet. It was opened in 1900 but suffered from mechanical and structural problems. The locks were reopened in 1908 and now work beautifully. Whilst here visit the Foxton Museum and gift shop. The well stocked canalside shop offers you groceries, hardware as well as the traditional “roses and Castles” canalware, made and hand-painted on site.

Stop for a cream tea in the canal side cafe or a well deserved pint in the Foxton Locks Inn. Spend a couple of hours watching the colourful narrow boats passing through the staircase locks. British Waterways organise events based on Foxton Locks

Cruising time from Debdale to top of Foxton Locks - 2 hours

Day 2

Cruise from Foxton towards the Watford Locks to the South.

The Canal weaves its way through an remote but attractive stretch. There are no villages on the canal here, Husbands Bosworth being hidden by the tunnel.
Look out over the vale of Welland and to the nearby Laughton Hills. Slow down, cruise on and watch mile after mile beautiful and unspoilt contryside unfold
Enjoy an easy cruise as the canal meanders through unspoilt surroundings passing through theHusband Bosworth Tunnel. The Tunnel is 1166 yards long and was opened in 1813. Stop and moor for a while, stroll into Husband Bosworth for a pub, newsagents and general store. The Bell Inn here serves Real Ale & food daily

North Kilworth is off to your right, with a couple of pubs- The White Lion & the Swan Inn.

Kilworth Wharf Marina – overnight mooring maps & gifts

At the Welford Junction you can if you wish take a slight detour up the Welford Arm an overnight mooring makes a pleasant stay with the facilities of the village close by.

There is even a local on your doorstep – The Wharf Inn, with large well kept gardens by the River Avon. Some open air theatre functions during August. Nearby are the Welford & Sulby reservoirs – a public footpath from the village crosses the causeway between the two reservoirs that supply the canal & provides good views of the wildfowl on both.
The Battle of Naesy 1645 was fought 2 miles east of Welford. Here Fairfax's New Model Army routed the Royalists under King Charles I, ensuring the end of the Civil War.

Gently continue your journey passing the Hemplow Hills to your left, and open fields of grazing sheep.

2 Miles east of Bridge 31 is Stanford Hall, a William & Mary brick mansion built in the late 17th Century. On display also here is a replica on an experimental flying machine built in 1898. Teas, shop & craft centre. Open pm Easter -Sept.

The next stretch of the canal wanders southwards in a series of loops through wonderful rural scenery with not much signs of habitation.
Yelvertoft is a delightful village to stop for a while and there are moorings between bridges 19 and 20. The local is is the Knightly Arms which serves real ales & home cooked food. You can stock up on supplies here as there is a stores, off licence & butcher.

Moor up at bridge 12 & visit Edwards of Crick, a restaurant & coffee house offering a wide ranging menu. Stroll into the village of Crick, home of one of Britain’s largest annual boat show held each year in May and have a pint and a meal at one of the local pubs . There is an intriguing second hand shop here open Wed Fri & Sat that is worth a visit (14.00-18.00)

Moor here for the night it is around 7 hrs to here

Day 3

Crick Tunnel is 1528 yards long, & has no tow path so if you wish to walk it you will have to go over the top. Meet the lock-keepers at the Watford Locks and they will cheerfully help you on your way through their complex set of locks. Watford Locks raise the canal to it summit level of 412 feet. Four of these locks form a staircase, with a one up one down procedure. The new Inn is Canalside at Buckby Top lock & has moorings.

The small village of Watford is not to be confused with the large town of Watford in Hertfordshire. Moor up at Bridge number 6 for a true taste of the Orient at the Thai Garden, Restaurant in Station Road.

Once through the Watford Locks continue towards the Norton Junction were we meet the Oxford Canal.(You soon will find that the M1 motorway swings away from you, but if you want 24 hr provisions you can moor up by Bridge 6 which is right beside The Watford Gap motorway services.)At Norton Junction you can then go down the Grand Union towards London, or we recommend that you head west towards Braunston.

From Norton Junction to Braunston the canal runs westward through hills and wooded country, then into a wooded cutting whichs leads to Braunston Tunnel.
Off to the north on your right you will pass the small village of Welton on a hill. At Bridge 6 ¾ mile from the Canal you can find a 400 yr old pub – The White Horse Inn.

Braunston Tunnel was opened in 1796 & is 2042 yards long.

Long rows of moored craft flank the canal, but there is usually plenty of places to moor, as it is worth strolling into Braunston as there are a fine selection of old buildings here. The British Waterways office in the Stop House, was originally the Toll office between the Oxford and the Grand Union canal. It is worth stocking up on supplies here. By lock 3 there is a haunted pub- the Admiral Nelson. In Braunston itself there is the Wheatsheaf which also has a Chinese & Thai takeaway. The Millhouse Hotel has a canalside garden, and the Old plough in the High street dates from 1672. The village has stores & a takeaway.

It is a good place to moor for the night, it is 7 hours to here.

At Braunston Turn, turn right onto the Grand Union Canal.

The village of Flecknoe is by bridge 102 off to your left, where The Old Olive Bush, a nice pub about a mile from the canal, is in the village.

The Oxford Canal and Grand Union, part ways just before the village of Napton on the Hill. The Grand Union veers off to the north, so turn right here, and soon you will encounter the Calcutt Locks - 3 locks quite close together.

By Bridge 21 is The Boat Inn, a pleasant old pub serving real Ale.
Moor here for the night

It is 8.5 hours to here

Day 4

The canal passes the villages of Stockton and Long Itchington, then descends through the Stockton Locks (8 locks), and the 2 locks at Itchington.

The local quarries produced blue lias, a local stone, and huge fossils have been found in the blue lias clay.

At Bridge 23 is The Blue Lias Inn, with The Two Boats Inn, canalside.

Just after this bridge, past the Kayes Arm Junction, is Shop Lock No. 12,

At Bascote, the only staircase locks you will encounter are reached. These are just 2 staircase, followed by 2 other locks. This is the last rural stretch before you reach Leamington Spa.

The canal descends through the quiet Fosse Locks, to the village of Radford Semele, which is an outlying village of Royal Leamington Spa.

You can moor up by Radford Bottom Lock, and walk to the village of Radford Semele, to your left.

The canal now heads westerly, through the suburbs of Leamington, getting to within half a mile or so of the town centre.

There are plentiful visitor moorings in Leamington, the Old High Street is just a minutes walk from the moorings, next to the Aga factory by Bridge 40, which has a few convenience stores, and several Indian restaurants.

The walk into the centre, goes past the old Pump Rooms that gave the town its name. Passing over the River Leam, you will reach the beautiful main shopping street, called the Parade. There are many restaurants in Leamington, and every taste and budget is catered for. There are even more pubs to enjoy, and if walking through pleasant parkland is appealing, then stop at Jefferson Gardens next to the Pump Rooms, for a good picnic spot where there are some impressive plants and flowers on show.

The gap, in between Leamington and Warwick, is almost indiscernible, but the difference in the two towns could not be mistaken. Where Leamington has wide straight roads, and white buildings in the spa style, Warwick’s twisting roads, old buildings of every type and shape, and more olde world feel, is a pleasant contrast.

You will need to turn around at Saltisford, then moor up for the night at Coventry Road Bridge No. 49.

Most famous for its incomparable Castle, Warwick offers much, from its racecourse to the beautiful Priory Park.

The historic centre of Warwick lies a ten minute walk from the canal to the south, and is well worth getting off the boat for, and you can moor up by Bridge 49.

Warwick Castle is well worth a visit, and is possibly the finest medieval castle in the country. It is open all year, except Christmas. See the Kingmaker Exhibition, which uses wax sculpture to recreate the preparations for battle in 1471, as well as the dungeons, ghost tower, and sumptuous state rooms.

Warwick itself, is a lovely little town with some Tudor buildings.

You can get all your provisions here, if you need to stock up.

The Warwick County Museum in the Market Hall, houses a tapestry of Warwickshire dating from 1588.

The Lord Leycester Hospital is a superbly preserved group of C14th timber framed buildings.

It is 8 hours to here

Days 5 6 7 8
It is 26 hours crusing back to Debdale Wharf, so 3 full days of over 8.5 hours per day should do it, and make sure you can get through the Foxton Locks in opening hours.


NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.


The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)

Artful Dodger (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.


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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.