The Market Harborough Canal Arm in England.
A walk along The Market Harborough Canal Arm towpath from Foxton to Market Harborough and returning across countryside partly alongside the Leicester Canal.
The five mile long Market Harborough Canal Arm leaves the Leicester canal Section at the bottom of Foxton Locks
and wanders through the countryside to arrive at Market Harborough. And we do mean "wanders" - it follows the contours and is nearly as bendy as the
older Oxford Canal
. There are some lovely bridges along the Market Harborough Arm however the canal does not have any locks. The towpath for the length of the Arm is in excellent condition and fine for both walkers and cyclists. Rather than walk there and back along the canal it is possible to go across country to make a really
nice circular walk - which includes a brief visit into Lubenham to see it's church and some very old buildings.
About The Market Harborough Canal Arm, Harborough, Leicestershire, England.
Completed in 1809 the original idea was to continue the Arm from Market Harborough on through to Northampton - it never happened. The following walk goes from Foxton Lock-keepers cottage on the Leicester Canal on down the lock-flight then heads of along the Arm to Market Harborough -
returning back across country to Foxton. There is just a little bit of hill climbing around Lubenham and its a total walking distance of around 10 miles.
From the Gumley Road car park a path takes you the short
distance down to the Leicester Canal at bridge 60 - cross the bridge onto the towpath and turn right towards the Foxton Lock Flight and Foxton Toplock. Obviously you may well spend some time wandering around the
Foxton Inclined plane
area but once ready for the walk go to the bottom of the lock flight and the canal junction - the Leicester
Canal goes off half left and the Arm goes off to the right - you need to be on the Arm's far towpath and you can get to this by crossing over Rainbow bridge (62).
There is nothing complicated about this towpath walk to Market Harborough - just a case of experiencing the lovely English countryside and enjoying the old bridges and buildings you pass on the way.
Gumley Roadbridge no.60
Foxton Locks Cottage at Toplock
Foxton Locks Upper Arm
Foxton Locks engine/pumphouse
Foxton Locks - Lock no.14
Staircase locks at Foxton
Foxton Locks Flight
Site of Inclined Plane - Foxton Locks
Bridge 61 Foxton
Foxton Locks - Bridge 62 - Rainbow Bridge
Foxton Locks - junction
Feeder Arm Bridge at Foxton
Foxton Locks - Swingbridge
Junction and the swingbridge
The Market Harborough Arm
missing bridge on the canal arm?
Blackhorse Bridge 3
Market Harborough Canal Arm Towpath
You can divert off the canal at Bridge 3 to take a look at Foxton's nice old church of St. Andrew's (photo above) - also a little further along the towpath just past Bridge 8 (Gallows Hill bridge) remember to look back from where the canal bends to the right for an excellent view of warehouses and also a nice high brick chimney.
When you reach Bowden Hall Bridge it's worth just popping up to the road where there are some really nice old buildings/warehouses as well as the Hall itself. The canal does bend around quite a lot and manages to make a quite tight twist just after Bridge 14 (Wooden Stepbridge) as it gets more into Market Harborough. Just after this really tight bend on the canal and where it straightens up take note of a footpath on the right - you will use this later.
Clarkes Bridge 5
Clarkes Bridge no.5
Foxton Stepbridge 6
Foxton Stepbridge no.6
Johnsons Bridge 7
Market Harborough Canal Arm
Market Harborough Arm
Gallows Hill Bridge just visible
Gallows Hill Bridge no.8
Gallows Hill Bridge and Pipe
Site of a wharf
Market Harborough Arm
Sedgeleys Bridge no.9
Bowden Hall Bridge 10
Bowden Hall canal area
Bowden Hall Bridge
Approaching Saunts Bridge 11
Saunts Bridge 11
Saunts Bridge 11
Uncle Tom's Bridge 12
Uncle Tom's Bridge
Turnover Bridge 13
The canal basin at Market Harborough is really nice - all the warehouses and old buildings have been renovated and are now being used as a mixture of flats, small shops and so on - there is quite a bit of seating and it is a great spot especially if the sun is out.
Market Harborough Arm - Step bridge
Approaching Market Harborough
Union Wharf Basin
End of the Market Harborough Arm
Market Harborough Arm basin
Foxton - Market Harborough
All Saints Church at Lubenham
The walk continues by returning back along the Market Harborugh Arm and then taking the previously noted path leaving the towpath between fences on the left which quickly brings you onto Logan Crescent. Turn right then take the next right onto Knoll Street which you follow to the bottom of the hill. Turn left along Gardiner Street and follow the road along looking out for a signposted footpath on the right which goes between a brick wall and fence. This brings you onto Brookfield Road, turn right and shortly turn left into Hill Gardens then go right along The Pastures at the top of which you will find the start of a footpath. Follow the path alongside houses and then to a field - go almost straight ahead across the field aiming for a single oak tree and a marker post - from here there are orange marker posts showing the route.
Tower House at Lubenham
Old stables at Lubenham
Tower House - Stables
Heading across fields to Foxton
military site? now disused
Continue across the next field to a road - turn right and cross the road - very shortly take a path leaving on the left. This marked path crosses fields and eventually joins a small road on the edge of Lubenham. Turn left and follow the road round to the church. Walk through the churchyard and out onto Rushes Lane at the far side - turn right and then stay on this lane as it passes several old
buildings and eventually reaches a main road. Cross the main road onto the road opposite (The Green) and then go left and looking out for and taking a footpath on the right. Follow the footpath and when it splits take the left fork - continue across the fields and eventually through a small wooded area to reach Foxton Road by a small farm. Cross the road and take the footpath opposite. This path crosses fields and arrives at Holme's Farm. The path continues across
several small fields but when we walk it these were all enclosed with electric fences - far easier to go right along the track and then shortly take the track on the left. Just before reaching the pond go right across fields and follow the marker posts - when you come to a clump of trees (marked on the map as the site
of a dis-used camp) in a dip the path splits - take the left fork and then continue across more fields to eventually arrive back at the Leicester canal by Bridge 60 at the top of Foxton Staircase Locks.