Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks, Gumley Road, Foxton, Leicestershire, LE16 7RA.

When Foxton Locks were completed in 1814, canal trade was booming. The locks became a bottleneck with loads of boats wanting to use them at the same time. To solve the problem, a boat lift was built which carried boats up and down the steep hill in giant tanks of water.

Visit Foxton Locks to discover the full story and find out why the lift was only open for ten years.


Foxton Locks is the perfect place to see and understand engineering at its best. These grand constructions changed this landscape forever.

KS1 KS2 Build a Canal

This workshop looks at how and why canals were built over 200 years ago, some of the problems faced by the canal engineers and the main cargoes that were carried by boat. Children also have the opportunity to dress up in canal costume.

KS1 KS2 Guided Locks Trail

What a unique site! Staircase locks and the remains of a boat lift, it’s the perfect location to capture history in action. Our education volunteers combine first-hand observation of the working staircase locks with historical enquiry into the lives of the navvies who built the locks and boat lift. Schools can enjoy the interpretation trail, taking in the story of Foxton Locks, with a horse sculpture, stable building and lock keeper's cottage.

KS1 KS2 Floating and Sinking

This workshop will help children develop a clearer understanding of the factors affecting whether something sinks or floats.

KS1 KS2 Stay SAFE Near Water

All our visits include learning about water safety and how to respect the canal environment.

Learning Resources

Use the following resources to support learning on your visit and back in the classroom:

Life on the English Waterways

All About Canals

Find out more about Foxton Locks.


Free facilities for teachers include pre-visits, risk assessments and downloadable trails.

Practicalities include toilets in upper and lower car parks, outdoor picnic area, shop, café, restaurant, pub, canal museum, stable building, and interpretive trail.

Coaches need to park in the pay & display car parks.

Don't forget a boat trip!

Book direct with Vagabond Boat Trips.

T: 0116 2792285


Visits to Foxton Locks are FREE!