After thundery showers last night came a “brisk” northerly. You could tell it was from the north, the temperature dropped dramatically. I think we can safely say that autumn has arrived.
Not ideal cruising conditions, but we’d a Tesco delivery to meet at Little Moor Bridge, and we wanted to get through Loughborough today. So we were off at 09:30, and moored waiting for the groceries at 09:45.
Tescoman was prompt, and we were on the move again by just after 11, cupboards filled.
The canal reaches a T junction at Chain Bridge, the through route turning right. To the left is Loughborough Wharf, now redeveloped with student accommodation surrounding pontoon moorings. This was the terminus of the River Soar Navigation (Loughborough Canal), completed in 1778 and running the 9 miles from Trent Junction. Behind us the Leicester Canal was completed in 1794, followed swiftly by the 40 mile link to the Grand Junction Canal at Norton Junction. This was constructed to take advantage of this new coal carrying route from the Nottingham pits, but was built to narrow gauge, limiting it’s potential.
We pulled up at Bishop’s Meadow Lock for water and the usual facilities, then dropped down the lock onto the river proper for the first time in over a week.
Bishop’s Meadow Lock
The reach from here to Zouch is one of the prettiest on the river, passing Normanton On Soar with the spire of St James Church visible from quite a distance.
St. James, Normanton On Soar
Soar Boat Club
This section has always been notorious for flooding there are warning lights at Bishop’s Meadow and Normanton.
Emergency moorings/gull perch.
There’s a short cut leading to Zouch Lock, after passing two weirs and ducking under the busy A6006.
It was in Zouch Lock that I lost my mobile 4 years ago. Still no sign of it.
Zouch Lock, Mags well bundled up against the wind.
There follows a couple of miles of more beautiful river cruising, with flood meadows on the right (east) and wooded banks on the left hiding the A6.
We pulled over just short of Kegworth Deep Lock, in a pleasant spot, marred slightly by aircraft heading for East Midlands Airport 2 miles away.
Mo, we’re “day tripping” with family from Kegworth to Beeston and back on Sunday, so we’re bound to cross paths at some point…..
Locks 3, miles 7¼