We had plenty of locks to do today and there was supposed to be chance of showers later so we ... left later than we normally would! We were hoping that one of the other boats on the moorings would be heading off but the only one that showed signs of life were going north. We headed off down the Mile Straight, that actually isn't a mile at all.
Looking down the Mile Straight back towards our mooring in Leicester.
We were soon at Freeman's Meadow Lock where an old industrial site has been converted to housing and on the other side is the King Power Stadium of Leicester City.
King Power Stadium, Leicester City.
The next lock followed quickly and was St Mary's Mill Lock. Soon after this on the towpath side is Aylestone Meadows Nature Reserve. This is an area that has always been important for transport but is now the largest green space with in the city. There is a pack horse bridge, river, canal and railways too. There has been a mill at St Mary's since the Doomsday Book and in 1790's, when the River Soar had a change in levels for navigation it was converted from a flour mill to a Hosiery Mill. On the other side of the canal is the gas works and after this was built the mill became a rubber factory. We were disappointed that the National Gas Museum was closed this week, plus it is not open on Monday and Tuesday anyway, only open afternoons too, as it is the sort of thing we like to see round.
The mill at St. Mary's Mill Lock.
Soon after we say goodbye to the Soar as it disappears off to the west and we transfer our allegiance to the River Sence as we head east.
The tow path bridge over the last entry of the Soar into the Navigation. From now on we are on a pure canal and the depth shows it, and the drop in speed too.
King's Lock, Grand Union Leicester Branch. By now we had passed several boats heading north that had left Kilby Bridge at 0700 to allow them to get right through Leicester without stopping. We also met another boat that did the Leicester Ring every year and moored on the towpath opposite the secure moorings at the Castle Park and never had trouble there.
As we approached Bush Lock we saw a metre long grass snake swimming along. Whilst I got my camera the snake obligingly stopped by the tow path.
The promised rain came with two locks to go falling softly so we didn't get really wet. We got to Kilby Bridge and filled with water before moving across to the visitor moorings and settled in for the night.