There was unforecast rain in the night, and this morning it was still pretty drizzly. There was almost no wind though. The first lock was just around the corner, so I walked to set it while Adrian brought the boat. It was just before 8am.
We remembered very little of today's route, although we did recall the back gardens of South Wigston. We particularly liked the one with an illuminated Beck's sign, and a hot tub where the big ice cream cone is.
At Dunn's Lock, Adrian spotted some blackberries (which seem to have been in short supply so far). We managed to pick a decent number, which will undoubtedly soon find their way into a blackberry and apple crumble.
Lots of the route is very countrified and attractive. The tea rooms at King's Lock has never been open when we've passed, and today was no exception. At Aylestone Mill Lock, there's only one working top paddle. A boat hadn't long come up so it just needed topping up a few inches, yet still took an age. Filling from empty must be hours. The final lock of the day was Freeman's Meadow Lock with its huge weir, overlooked by Leicester City's King Power Stadium.
We were aiming for a mooring at Castle Gardens in Leicester, but the pontoons there were full. So we carried on through West Bridge to the newly installed moorings at Friar's Mill. It's a little further away from the city centre, but actually more sunny and quiet.
It was 1pm when we arrived, so once Adrian had finished a phone call we headed off into town. It's rather nice, with a selection of quaint little streets of shops, but also a big shopping centre with John Lewis and lots of other big names. We started with a good lunch at a cafe, sitting outside in the unforecast sunshine. Then we went to the Cathedral, to see the tomb of King Richard III. It's modern, but also quite simple. The Cathedral itself is small and quite intimate.
After doing a few bits of shopping, we dropped our stuff back at the boat and then headed across West Bridge to where there's a convenient large Tesco, to stock up the fridge.
8 miles, 12 locks. (80 miles, 57 locks)