As originally planned, Market Harborough was to be served by the main line of the Leicestershire & Northamptonsire Union Canal on its way from Leicester to the River Nene. But plans changed (several times, in fact): the L& N Union got no further south than Market Harborough, and later, when the through route was created, it was via a different canal, the (original) Grand Union. This led south from a junction at Foxton, leaving the Foxton to Market Harborough length as a backwater. It fact, its status as a dead end was one reason the Inland Waterways Association chose it for the first ever National Rally of Boats in 1950, so the moored craft wouldn’t get in the way of any through freight traffic.
It’s a contour canal, meandering as it holds the level with no locks in its five miles. But to make up for the lack of locks, there are a couple of swingbridges, one by Foxton Junction and one (carrying a minor road) in Foxton village.
Apart from Foxton (handy for pubs), the arm is rural until the last half mile into Harborough. There’s a boatyard at the basin, and a ten minute walk into the market town.