ASHBY CANAL FROM COVENTRY A LOCK FREE TRANQUIL CRUISE

 

Route Info | Boats | Map overview of route | Cruising Notes | Maps & Guides | Links | Pub Guide

 

You can do this route from :
Coventry Marina

This lock free route takes you along the beautifully tranquil and rural Ashby Canal to its terminus at Snarestone.

Take in the site of the Battle of Bosworth, and Heritage Visitor Centre, and the attractive village of Stoke Golding, where Henry V11 was crowned in 1485.

Coventry itself is worth a visit, being about 15-20 minutes walk from the canal basin.

A short walk from the canal basin is Coventry Transport Museum, which is reputedly the largest display of British made transport in the world, with over 200 cars, 90 motorbikes and 230 cycles on display.

Coventry Cathedral was built in 1962 to replace the old Cathedral, which was destroyed in 1940.

Route Info

Route Facts & Figures

Cruising Days : 4.00

Cruising Time : 23.00 hours

Total Distance : 59.00 miles

Number of Locks : 0

Number of Tunnels : 4

Number of Aqueducts : 0

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Read our cruising notes.

 

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Cruising Notes

Day 1

Coventry itself is worth a visit, being about 15-20 minutes walk from the canal basin.

A short walk from the canal basin is Coventry Transport Museum, reputedly the largest display of British made transport in the world, with over 200 cars, 90 motorbikes and 230 cycles on view.

Coventry Cathedral was built in 1962 to replace the old cathedral which was destroyed in 1940.

From the restored canal basin at Coventry, with its canal architecture, cruise past Cash's Hundred Houses, an elegant row of weavers' houses, where the looms were kept on the top floor, to Hawkesbury Junction.

It is about 2 hours to here, and you can moor up and take some liquid refreshment at the Greyhound, which is canalside at Hawkesbury Junction, or at Sutton Stop.

The pub dates from the 1800's and is full of character. It is very photogenic beside the Junction, which is where the Oxford Canal can be entered through a lock, with only 6" difference in height.

Tomorrow you will be heading north along the Coventry Canal, so don't turn right onto the Oxford Canal.

It is 2 hours cruising to here.

Day 2

Today you will cruise to Market Bosworth a small 18th century town about a mile east of the wharf.

From Hawkesbury Junction cruise up the Coventry canal past Hawkesbury Junction, a disused engine house, and note the lovely bridge by the pub.

Soon the Ashby canal is seen to your right, at Marston Junction, turn here and soon the surroundings alter dramatically as you are surrounded by green fields, farms & trees, you will feel miles away from civilisation.
There are moorings at Bulking road bridge, or Limekiln bridge, or at Hinckley Wharf by bridge 16, the only town on the Ashby canal. The town centre of Hinckley is within walking distance and offers many different shops and eateries and of course pubs. There is a large Brewers Fayre pub & restaurant by the lovely Trinity marina.
From bridge 16 it is a short walk to the local store with a cash point. Hinckley boasts having the first stocking machine in 1640, but visit the 'bleeding' tombstone at St Marys Church, and Great Meeting Chapel (1722) and museum . The old Norman castle has only a bailey and part of the moat remaining.
South of bridge 16 is a greyhound stadium. The Concordia Theatre offers performances all year round. The Hinckley & District Museum has been established in a row of thatched cottages once used for framework knitting, and the museum now houses displays from prehistoric to the current period.

The section of canal running through the Hinckley district is designated as a conservation area, and, as with the rest of the canal there are lots of birds and wildlife to be seen with the towpaths regularly used by walkers, cyclists and anglers alike.

Following on from Hinckley you pass the small villages of Wykin and Higham on the Hill and there are a couple of pubs at the latter- The Odd fellows Arms & The Fox Inn. Higham is 1 mile west of bridges 21 & 23. Running alongside the canal here are the remains of a loop railway built in the 1870's to carry coal , but it was abandoned in 1900 having never had a train run on its tracks. This is a short section with a few bridges carrying the country lanes over the canal, then you are on the outskirts of the village of Stoke Golding, which proudly boasts to be the “Birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty”. This is the site of the Battle of Bosworth where in 1485 The War of the Rosesfinally ended with King Richard III being defeated by Henry Tudor, who was crowned King Henry VII, the coronation being held here, in Stoke Golding.

Stoke Golding itself is to the right of Bridge 25, but there are good moorings by bridges 27/28. It is a stunning village, it has an impressive Grade 1 listed Saxon church, the window sills of the Church still show grooves, which legend has it were caused by the soldiers sharpening their swords on the eve of the battle. There is a village shop where you can pick up supplies for your journey, and it's well worth having a walk around the village which is full of beautiful buildings from times past. This is also the home of the Ashby Canal Centre (marina) who have done a lot in the restoration of the northern section of the Ashby Canal. The White Swan & George & Dragon Pubs are in the village.

Heading north out of Stoke Golding you pass Dadlington, another small village with an 18th century Inn- The Dog & Hedgehog , and then you find yourself in the busy Sutton Cheney Wharf. There is a trip boat here, and a café- Cafe Canalside that opens 9-5, and it is just a short walk from here to the Battlefield Visitor Centre which has interactive displays about the battle. There is also another café here and a shop. You can take a walk through the woods along the battle trails, or why not take a ride on a steam train on the Battlefield Line Railway from Shenton to Shackerstone and walk back along the towpath, around a 5 mile walk.

There are also moorings at Shenton where you can also walk to the battlefield. Shenton station is here and old steam & diesel trains run along the Battlefield Line of 9 miles between Shackerstone & Shenton via Market Bosworth during the season.

After leaving the battlefield the canal crosses the road using the only aqueduct on the entire canal, the lovely little brick built Shenton Aqueduct. Next along the journey is Market Bosworth to your left which is a good place to stop for the night, a mile walk from the canal takes you to the town centre where there are shops, a café, and several pubs. A market is held every Wednesday. Market Bosworth is a beautiful, well preserved town with many historical buildings and some lovely places to eat, largely clustered around the old cobbled market place, a conservation area.This is the last chance to stock up on supplies till the end of the canal, so make sure to get everything you need before continuing on.

It is 7 hours cruising to here

Day 3

Just to the west of bridge 42 is Bosworth water Trust, a large leisure park with a 20 acre lake for water pursuits. Craft & wetsuits for hire.

The canal continues to meander through open fields passing Congerstone village to Shackerstone which is the home of the Battlefield Line Railway. There is a tearoom at the station and a wonderful railway museum packed with exhibits and memorabilia from the days of steam. The wooded section beyond Bridge 53 marks the start of Gopsall Park. The hall here was demolished in 1951, however Gopsall Wharf by Bridge 58 was the last site used for loading coal and transporting it to the paper mills along the Grand Union Canal. The Rising Sun Pub is in the village.
Snarestone is the home of the Snarestone Tunnel, which is quite short at 228 metres and is only suitable for one way traffic as there is a kink in it, there are moorings at the entrance which are convenient for visiting one of the two pubs in the village, including the Globe Pub which is in the quiet village of Snarestone. The tunnel leaves us with just a half mile cruise to the end of the canal which finishes suddenly in the middle of the countryside.

Beyond here work is in progress to restore the northern section of the canal.
Turn around at the terminus and begin the return journey, stopping at Stoke Golding for your last night, there are good moorings between Bridges 27 and 28 and an attractive canalside picnic area. At bridge 25 there is an excellent farm shop selling home produced meat & vegetables.

In Stoke Golding is one of the finest and most beautiful churches in Leicestershire , full of original 13th and 14th century work.
There are 2 pubs in the High street.
It is 7 hours cruising to here

Day 4
Day 5
Cruise back to Coventry Basin, where you should spend the night as you need to be back there by 8.30am, so it saves you from getting up too early!!
It is 7 hours cruising back to Coventry marina

 

NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.

Boats

The following boats operate on this route (subject to availability)

Calder Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Dee Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 2 People).

Dove Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Frome Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Hope Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Taw Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 4 People).

Thames Valley (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Weaver Valley 10 (Sleeps a maximum of 10 People).

Weaver Valley 6 (Sleeps a maximum of 6 People).

Maps and Guides

Pub Guide

Sorry, we have no pub guide for this route currently.

 

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The information above is provided in good faith to assist you with planning your canal boat holiday. Information accuracy cannot be guaranteed, however, if you do see something that needs updating, please don't hesitate to contact us.