There's still a lot of work to be done on the site, but its a pleasant environment and, with a view of the Midland Main (Railway) Line from your boat, not a bad place to be based. Heading out of the marina and turning right towards Leicester we were straightaway confronted with another relatively unusual experience - a lock!Pillings Flood Lock is normally left open in the summer months, but in March it was closed and so, unlike at Norbury - where we are in the middle of the 17 mile pound - our trip began with some lock work. Once through the lock we were onto the River Soar. Heading upstream, the effect of the flow on the boat's progress was immediately noticeable until we reached Barrow -on-Soar and passed through the Deep Lock and back onto a short canal section.
To the right you can see the entrance to Proctors Pleasure Park. Today its a somewhat run-down and fairly seedy caravan park with some boat moorings on which "Sunshine" was once kept, but in its hey-day it was the destination for train loads of day trippers from the surrounding towns of Derby, Leicester and Nottingham! The lock weirs on the Soar are fierce - at least to someone used to the placid waters on the canal system, but it doesn't stop boaters taking advantage of all available mooring spots. I must admit that I wouldn't very much like to keep my boat at this particular spot at Sileby Mill Lock!The locks themselves are wide and the gates and paddle gear heavy to operate and yet another contrast to our home waters. Conveniently, my heart condition means I'm temporarily banned from other than very gentle lockworking at the moment so Hil and Kris had to get stuck in! At Birstall you become aware of the approach to the city of Leicester. The first landmark is the Space Centre. Last time we were in Leicester we intended to visit it, but changed our minds when we found that we would have to queue for over an hour to get inside. If its as interesting inside as it is from the outside though it should be well worthwhile.