ASHBY

Canal Boat - - Arms & Dead Ends -

One of the longer of the canal sys­tem’s cul-de-sacs, the Ashby-de-laZouch Canal orig­i­nally ran for some 30 miles from Marston Junction on the Coven­try Canal to the coal­fields near Moira (it never made it to Ashby).

Clo­sures re­sult­ing from min­ing sub­si­dence have re­duced its length to 22 miles of me­an­der­ing, al­most en­tirely ru­ral canal – and a real lazy boater’s route, with no locks to work at all. It isn’t with­out in­ter­est, though: there’s Hinck­ley town, a whole se­ries of quiet coun­try vil­lages on or near the route, the Bat­tle­field Line steam rail­way run­ning along­side from Shen­ton via Market Bos­worth to Shak­er­stone, and the Bos­worth Bat­tle­field visi­tor cen­tre com­mem­o­rat­ing Henry Tu­dor’s de­feat of Richard III. And for canal in­ter­est, there are a cou­ple of aque­ducts and the short Snare­stone Tunnel pass­ing right un­der the vil­lage.

One day, you’ll be able to cruise all the way to Moira: the first few hun­dred yards have just been re­opened, more is un­der way, and there’s an iso­lated re­stored length at the far end with a trip-boat in op­er­a­tion and the his­toric Moira Fur­nace along­side it. You can al­ready ex­plore it on foot or by bike: there are trails fol­low­ing the old canal or the nearby dis­used rail­way line all the way to Moira.

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