Foxton Locks

Another gorgeous day today and we decided we all needed to be out, mainly i think to stave off a serious nosedive in sense of well being in me and stage nerves in the girls 😕 Couple of jobs to do first; Maddy helped break down the boxes and clean out the rabbits and Fran, who had already provided cups of tea and made everyone warmed croissants, made all the sandwiches for a picnic and i just helped her get a few other bits of it together.

So then we set off and made it over to Foxton Locks in Leicestershire, where max actually took the girls last year on a day when i needed some space. it is a rather fantastic string of 15 locks in a row, on a stretch of canal that links Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton and Peterborough, among other places. The lock designs are Brunel ones, with pools off to one side i’ve never really seen before – rather clever.

There was a nice little museum, a bit basic but being upgraded and clearly run by enthusiasts. Weren’t really saupposed to take pics except of this bit, which was a mocked up narrow boat to play in.

Plenty of info about; talked about the industrial revolution, ‘legging’ canal boats, the birth and death of the canal system, how it is being revitalised, fuels, Victorians and then, having looked at a model of the ex “inclined plane” which used a counterweighted system to lift still floating barges up and down a slope of ground, they had a go at their own.


At this point we realised that the model of the inclined plane was actually of a place behind the building we were in and that it had been dismantled and scrapped in ages past; however, bits of it had been uncovered and there is now a large scale restoration ongoing, apparently to be finished in about 4 years. So we went out the back and climed about on the ruins, looking and being awed by the sheer scale of the thing.






We’ve made a bit of a family promise to go back and watch the restoration and then do a holiday on a narrowboat that means we can use it when it is done :) The engineers in the family got extremely excited – and the historians liked it too :)


We decided this sounded like a wrestling move :)




I took a good few photos of my gorgeous children… but failed to get any of Fran, except her bottom, because she wiggles about too much.

Edit: Oh no, i found one, look :)


And it was cold, so we needed some of these…


This is what it looks like to stand at the top of 15 locks.


This is what Amelie looks like, shortly before being silly next to an empty lock and nearly falling in, thereby getting a thick ear and managing to momentarily dislocate the top of my finger…


And then we went to Granny and Gramptys for tea, which was lovely.

And DaddyBean installed the Flickr/Wordpress widget for me, so you can expect far more photos from now on :) Thank you DaddyBean.

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  1. Sarah says

    Commented on the photos cos I saw them before this but it really does look like a lovely day. Photos of the girls are great :) I would love to do a canalboat holiday one day too.

  2. Michelle says

    Now that looks like a seriously fun day! We used to do narrowboat holidays when I was a kid. 3 generations stuck on one boat. Not always the easiest combination! A few strong personalities in my family.

  3. says

    Looks like a fun day. Oh to be somewhere where there is a hilll big enough for staircase of locks :-)

    We were on a canal bost holiday when I was about 13 or so, we were goign down this (rather smaller) staircase in Chester, there was another boat as well working them, goign up I think. They managed to empty the lock chamber I was in – the boat was resting on the bottom. It was entertainign when the water was let back in rather to fast.

  4. Lin says

    Your girls are so alike. The photos of them are beautiful too. Looks like a really good day out.

  5. Kirsty says

    we’re thinking of a canal boat holiday this year as we can do it on my mum and dads timesharey thing. Looks like a lovely day.

  6. Catherine says

    Lovely photos of lovely girls. They are amazingly alike, I have two who are clones of each other and one completely different! The locks look like a great day out – must investigate further.

  7. CobyJo says

    Ooh thats brought so many happy memories back for me :-)

    Foxton Locks was one of my parents favourite Sunday afternoon jaunts. I used to love running as fast as I could down the hill.

    Visiting the Locks on a summers evening having a pint at the bottom was pure bliss, when I was older of course 😉

    I must take my kids there ( I don’t live so near as I used to) they are sure to enjoy it as much as yours obviously have.

    Lovely photos by the way.

    CJ x

  8. Roslyn says

    We’ve been saying for years about doing a holiday like that. I’m loving this weather atm and how it’s getting us out and about again.

  9. says

    Looks like you all had a great day! I had a friend a couple of years ago who lived on a narrowboat with her husband and toddler. It seemed a bit cramped though. Never thought about a narrowboat holiday, suppose it would be a cheaper alternative to a cruise :-)

  10. Michelle says

    This might be a nice follow-on story. (I haven’t read it so don’t know if it’s any good or not). “No More School” by Meg Harper. Synopsis: Ten-year-old Flora, who lives on a narrowboat with her mum, hates school so much it makes her ill. Her best friend Zoe maintains that school isn’t that bad, but Flora wants to be home-schooled like her neighbour, Tan. Will Flora’s wild plan to share Tan’s tutoring succeed?

  11. Michelle says

    No, actually there must be better narrowboat stories than that. Probably best not to present the possibility that school can make you feel ill.

  12. Michelle says

    rofl, It’s just that, in my more optimistic moments (Ha) I worry about being killed in an accident or dying of some awful incurable disease in which case she would have to go to school and go to childminder afterwards (I used to run away from my childminder when I was little). So I try (has to be admitted, not successfully) not to be too overtly negative about school. Just in case.

    See. You think you’ve got problems.

  13. site admin says

    Lol – as i think just about every commenter on here could tell you, i am EXACTLY like that!

  14. Katherine says

    I remember Foxton Locks from Sunday afternoons and school trips too! Must take the children next time we’re in Leicestershire. They visiting places that I visited as a child.

    Looks like you had a lovely day!