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Reading in Berkshire

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The Ashby Canal - A Canal Boat Holidays information article.

Marina(s) : Rugby | Gayton | Union Wharf

Length: 22 miles
Locks : 0 (Lock Free)
Tunnels: 1
Aqueducts: 4

Linked to: Coventry Canal

The Ashby Canal, or sometimes known as the ‘Moira Cut’, is 22 miles of unspoilt, lock free tranquillity and which is linked to the Coventry Canal at Marston Junction in Bedworth In 1794 an Act of Parliament was passed authorising the building of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Canal. The canal was opened throughout by 1804 and was originally constructed to carry coal from the pits in Moira and Measham area.


The Moira Furnace is operated by Moira Furnace Museum Trust and is an impressive iron making blast furnace built by the Earl of Moira in 1804. Now fully restored its houses a new industrial history exhibition, lime kilns, group of small workshops, a Tea Room and craft workshops

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park is a brilliant day out for all the family where you can re live a turning point in British history. Bosworth is a site of national historic significance, being the location of one of the three most important battles. The Battle of Bosworth. took place in 1485, and infamous as the place where King Richard III lost his life and crown to Henry Tudor.

The Bosworth Water Trust offers visitors a host of water activities and fun water sports. The 50acre site has 20 acres of for boating, fishing and windsurfing where you can hire a pedalo or take lessons in sailing, windsurfing or canoeing. The site also has a well stocked shop and a bar and cafe and if the kids are looking for an adventure let them go wild in the pirate adventure playground.

The Conkers National Forest Visitor Centre is located The Heart of the National Forest and is a unique mix of indoor and outdoor experiences. Indoors there are four discovery zones which include an Enchanted Forest Adventure Play area, a simulated Tree Top Walk with a moving bridge and journey through the skies to the caves beyond and the Fairy Labyrinth and Adventure Activity Days.

Shackerstone is home to the The Battlefield Line Railway who run steam trains from Shackerstone Station, via Market Bosworth, to Shenton, the site of the famous medieval Battle of Bosworth in 1485. You can board a steam train and take a ride along side the Ashby Canal to the Bosworth Battlefield Country Park.


Bedworth is a former mining town which it formed an important part of the 19th century silk ribbon weaving industry. The town is proud of its parks and green spaces having won several Britain in bloom competitions. There is a busy covered market with good independent retailers and plenty of places to eat and drink. The author George Eliot, Mary Anne Evans,lived in Bedworth between 1819 and 1841. The house where she lived Griff House still stands and is now a popular pub.

Market Bosworth is a very pleasant market town lying in the heart of Leicestershire and is surrounded by rolling countryside. The town is a pleasant place to visit and offers an award winning fish and chip shop, an excellent tea shop and many old pubs and coaching inns. Richard III stayed the night at the White Boar Inn in Market Bosworth, preceding the Battle of Bosworth

The market in Hinckley was once awarded UK Outdoor Market of the Year and it is well worth a visit if you need to stock up fresh provisions. Visit the Hinckley and District Museum which is housed in a row of restored thatched cottages dating from the mid seventeenth century. Find out about the history of the Hinckley area from pre historic to medieval times. Situated at the edge of the National Forest there are plenty of walking routes through beautiful countryside.

The village of Measham is located close to the Staffordshire and Derbyshire boarders just south of Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Visit the museum which houses a collection of Measham Ware which was traditionally associated with the canal people.

Although the Ashby Canal was named after the town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Ashby-de-la-Zouch is a very important ancient market town and is the second largest town in North West Leicestershire. In the 19th century its main industries were ribbon manufacture, coal mining and brickmaking but it was also an important spa town.

Visit the ruins of the Castle and explore the secret kitchen tunnel used during the siege, climb the 24 metre high Hastings Tower and enjoy superb views over the surrounding countryside.


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The beautiful canals of England and Wales wind their way through a variety of interesting and distinctive locations offering you the chance to stop off and investigate further at a mooring of your choice or to simply continue cruising onto the next destination.
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