Loldia’s Return Day 2: Barrow on Soar to Newton Harcourt

9th April
21 miles
28 locks
River Soar, Leicester Cut

Today we had a deadline. The Canal and Rivers Trust were carrying out maintenance work on a lock south of Leicester and if we didn’t get through it we’d be stuck twiddling our thumbs for a day waiting for it to open.

Firstly though we had to fill up with water and thankfully there was a tap at Barrow Boats just round the corner from where we set off. Tank full, we carried on. It was a beautiful day and the Soar was looking fabulous. We like the Soar, it reminds us of the best bits of the Nene with none of the awful Nene locks!

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We were very fortunate that through Leicester we had a lockwheeler, a lovely lady called Maggie who I know from a group on Facebook called Women of the Cut. She heard we were on out way through and offered to meet us at Birstall Lock and set ahead on her bike all the way to Gee’s lock beyond the city! From Birstall through to the centre we shared locks with another lady from the same group, Yvonne! It was a godsend to be able to cruise straight in to all the locks and I doubt we’d have made it through the stoppage in daylight without her. Thanks Maggie!
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We were lucky not to pick up anything nasty on the propeller blades through Leicester and so we were soon out of the city and off into the country side. We said bye to Maggie as we neared where she lived and carried on. We had a ‘good road’ – all the locks were in our favour, and also got help from a CRT volunteer at one of them.

As the sun began to dip below the horizon, we tied up above the stoppage at lock 23 on a mooring with spectacular views over rolling fields and hedgerows gently sloping down towards the ancient church at  Wistow.

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