Leicester Section completly changed

Published: Saturday, 08 April 2017

OUR log shows it was 12 years since we last came down from the North to cruise the Leicester Section, and as we again visited it last year, I found it had completely changed, writes Charles Bamforth.

That first time the entire section was most secluded, and we were able to moor for a few 14 days duration (yes, we are continuous cruisers) and found some really isolated moorings where we were able to run our generator without bothering anyone.

Only two 'visitors'

We had moored just a couple of miles away from Foxton at a very pleasant spot with little traffic and virtually no 'visitors' peering into our windows, in fact for two days there were just two dog walkers that we came to know quite well. (So much for the 315 visitors per mile per day!)

Looking at the log we discovered we had previously had good moorings on rings at Sparford Bridge (41), so up Foxton Flight on our own gave the impression the section between the two flights would be deserted, but oh dear!

More boats

But what a difference from the last time! The further we travelled the more moored boats we encountered, and found to our regret that instead of having the moorings to ourselves there were three others already there, so no generator.

It soon became apparent that with the opening of a new large marina plus the extension at Crick Marina, (the picture is of the marina from Crack's Hill) that not only were there more continuous cruisers but many boats out of the marinas filling the moorings, so we 'upped sticks' and made for what was previously our favourite mooring with rings by Bridge 27, with a handy wood over the bridge for the dogs.  But alas that too had just a few spaces, and as boats came and went, we could not get far enough away for our generator not to bother them, but stuck it a couple of days before again we 'upped sticks'.

'Out of the marina'

But what a difference to the past, for wherever there were decent moorings, there were boats, and talking to the owners it was soon clear that most were just having a few days 'out of the marina'.

Eventually we dropped down Watford Flight, then at last, just by the M1 service station at Watford Gap there were empty moorings! Obviously the M1 was not to boaters liking.  So there we were for the required 14 days, being well stocked, and a handy services right next door and our generator giving us power. And absolutely no visitors peering in the windows!

Sleeping by the motorway? No problem, just took out the hearing aid!