Rural & Industrial landscapes

The River Soar is almost exclusively a Leicestershire waterway. Rising in Fosse Meadows near to Frolesworth and travelling almost due north to join with the Trent just over the Nottinghamshire border at Trent Lock. 

From Kings Lock to the south of Leicester the river has been made navigable to extend the Grand Union Canal to Nottingham. As such most of the Soar is managed by The Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways).
There are 21 locks on the 32.4 mile navigable section of the river.

History & Heritage

The Soar was historically widened to facilitate the expansion of Leicester by reducing the flood risk. Later the creation of the navigation further encouraged the enlargement of Leicester by providing vital transport links to cater for the thriving hosiery and shoe trades. Raw materials such as coal were brought to the navigation at Loughborough from Charnwood Forest. The power in the flowing river was also harnessed at various sites to provide power for the mills and industries. 

The remnants of this heritage can be seen at close quarters from a canoe or kayak as you pass through the industrial heart of Leicester and to a lesser extent, Loughborough.

Recreation & Enjoyment

The natural and man made nature of the Soar Valley provide a fantastic opportunity for paddlers to explore Leicestershire. 
A three day tour of the whole river or half or full day circular loops are possible. The Canal & River Trust have worked in partnership with local paddlers to signpost and assist the passage of canoes. 

This website aims to help you plan a trip or encourage you to come and take a look at this waterway, which offers a mix of industrial and rural landscapes with plenty to interest visitors.

Let us know when and where you have paddled on the Soar

Projects like this need feedback from users to improve and evolve. The Tour has had fantastic support from Canal & River Trust but they too need to know that there are paddlers out on the rivers and canals making use of the various facilities.

If you have spotted an error or inaccuracy in the mapping or web site please get in touch so we can keep the site up to date and relevant.