Seal launch, Rally Park - Mark Dawson

The City Circuit

Distance: 0.35 miles (560 meters)
Can be extended by 2 miles
Time to complete: 30 minutes upwards Difficulty: Moderate (shooting weir or slide)
Portages: 2
Weirs: 2
Gauge readings: 2158 (.15 - .45m)  
Start: Soar Lane, Leicester
Map reference: SK579048
Post Code:  LE3 5AW

PaddlePoints Link to route in PaddlePoints

The City Circuit is in the heart of Leicester within a stone's throw of the Highcross Shopping Centre. A short and playful training loop developed in partnership with the City Council when Rally Park was remodelled and opened up to the riverside. Since then more development has taken place at Friars’ Mill on the opposite bank from Evans Weir. The long weir with a raised footpath bridge over the top is also known as Kirby & West Weir due to the close proximity of Leicester’s main deliverers of bottled milk before the supermarkets took over. In 2019 Their buildings were demolished to make way for housing. The photo shows one launch option, which is to use the plastic reinforced boat launch as a fast seal launch. Steps next to this provide a more sedate entry on to the water; lining boats down the slide. From the launch paddle a short distance down to the side weir on the right. Climb the grass bank before the weir and re-launch onto the canal and paddle back towards Leicester under Soar Lane Bridge, which has a wooden barrier to keep boats away from the remains of a railway lift bridge (pictured on the Soar Tour home page).

Sluice on Evans Weir

SOT shooting Evans Weir - Mark Dawson

Evans Weir starts just after the corner from the bridge. With reasonable flow, this is an interesting shoot, best done at an angle to the direction of the flow (unlike the Sit On Top in the picture!) To extend your time between portages and drops, you can continue past the weir turning south down the Mile Straight and continuing just past the Leicester Rowing Club by Freemans Lock and returning to shoot or portage Evans Weir for another circuit or home.

Better angle on weir - Angela Cartwright

It is hoped, that with agreement between the Canal & River Trust and Environment Agency, a portage down the left-hand side of the weir could be facilitated, making use of the now dysfunctional sluices that just collect unsightly debris and jetsam.

More information on
Watermead Park