Boating holiday routes: Cruising The Ashby Canal


The perfect choice for first time boaters or experienced boaters wanting a gentle holiday as the Ashby Canal is lock-free, enabling boaters to relax and enjoy the pretty scenery.  At 22 miles long, the unspoilt Ashby Canal passes through rural countryside with plenty of wildlife to keep you company.  The length of the Ashby Canal can be explored in a short break holiday over a weekend, or midweek break.

Cruising along the scenic Ashby Canal

Heading north from the base is a good option for those interested in history. Around an hour from our base on the Ashby Canal you can reach Sutton Cheney. Only a 20 minute walk from here you can visit the place where Richard III died at the hands of Henry Tudor and follow the Bosworth Battlefield Circular Trail.  Alternatively, a little further on, you can moor up at the Shenton Aqueduct. From here it is a 15 minute woodland walk to the Battle of Bosworth site.

The pretty town of Market Bosworth can easily be reached from the Ashby Canal, a good place to stop for dinner as there are a few pubs and an Indian and Chinese restaurant. Further along the canal, a 4 hour cruise from the base is the village of Shackerstone. Shackerstone is the home of the railway society; from here you can take a ride on a steam train and visit railway museum and Victorian tea room souvenir shop. If you do decide to go North from the base do remember to bring food provisions with you as there are only one or two farm stores along the canal, and the co-op at Market Bosworth (2.5 hours cruising).

To extend your short break once you’ve journeyed the length of the Ashby canal, cruise south past the base and off the Ashby Canal onto the Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury junction where you will encounter your first lock. From here you could cruise into the centre of Coventry and experience the city’s quirky bars and restaurants. If you fancy a challenge, why not cruise up to Atherstone and tackle the flight of 11 locks.

Coventry Canal Basin

Options for week long breaks or 10 night breaks from our base on the Ashby Canal are plentiful; choose from several out-and-back routes such as cruising to the popular canal-side village of Braunston and back. Alternatively, have a go at the Warwickshire ring and cruise through Warwick, Leamington Spa and into Gas Street Basin in the centre of Birmingham before returning to the base meandering through peaceful countryside.

*The Ashby Canal can also be explored from our nearby bases at Rugby, Harborough Magna and Braunston. There are locks (not many!) on these routes.