News and advice for Boaters

News and advice for Boaters – Sept 2017

Boaters travelling north on the Ashby Canal from the direction of Marston Junction, please note you can pick up an information leaflet/canal guide from the yellow box on a post near the Limekilns Water point, just before bridge 15.  (You will need a CRT “Watermate” key to unlock the box.)  Or you can refer to the new sign on the towpath nearby for mileages and a list of attractions. Smartphone users can scan the QR code on the sign to access this website and the downloadable version of the canal guide.

Though it is just about possible to cruise the 22mile length of canal from Marston Junction to Snarestone in a long day, this is not recommended.  Allow at least a day and a half each way. If you want to take in all the sights, and enjoy the peaceful countryside, allow much longer.  The canal was built saucer shaped, and is often shallow at the sides and on the inside of bends, so you need to adjust your boat speed accordingly and try to keep to the main channel which is in the centre.

You may wish to download and print our brief cruising guide from this website – just click on the yellow button on the right.

Facilities for boaters can be found at Trinity Marina, Hinckley;  Ashby Boat Company, Stioke Golding Wharf;   Ashby Canal Centre, Stoke Golding;   Bosworth Marina, Market Bosworth.

Market Bosworth’s lovely town centre is a longish uphill walk from the visitor moorings, but it is a good spot to restock the boat’s food cupboard, as there are no shops beyond here.  Arriva’s Leicester  bus service turns round near the marina, soyou could use this to get into Market Bosworth if you don’t fancy the walk,

The canal from Carlton northwards to Snarestone is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Boaters are requested to take special care to protect the area’s flora and fauna.   CRT Information signs are posted at Carlton, and there is an interpretation board by Bridge 61 at Snarestone.

The canal northwards from Shackerstone, through Gopsall woods, is one of the most beautiful stretches of the waterway, and should not be missed.  Moorings are available just south of the tunnel for Snarestone village and pub. Note, however, there is no shop in the village.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Boaters wishing to access the newly restored length of canal from the Pumping Station to Bridge 62 are advised that the winding hole beyond the new bridge 62 is limited to boats of 16 metres or less  (approx 52 feet).  Longer boats must be prepared to reverse for a considerable distance.  Otherwise, please turn boats round at the full-size winding hole just before the water point and sanitary station.  Swing Bridge 61A, which marks the end of CRT waters,  is  kept locked and bolted.   Volunteers, when on duty at our Snarestone site, will be happy to give advice.  Please inquire at the little kiosk, if open.   We have some new volunteers for the 2017 season, but they are just that – they are not paid, and are there in their own time, so we regret we cannot guarantee that there will be someone available.

If you are working the bridge yourself, a CRT “Watermate” key is needed for the padlock, which is on the off-side of the bridge near ground level. Please remember to re-lock, and bolt, the bridge after use.  Remember, boats over 16m (approx 52ft)  will not be able to turn round on this stretch, so check the boat length before proceeding, or be prepared to test your boating skill by reversing for a long distance!

Our little shop and information kiosk should be open on most days.   From September onwards, the shop will be closed Sundays and Mondays),  (Hours vary according to the availability of volunteers.)

new  caretaker Michael Wooding with ACA chairman Peter Oakden.    Michael and Krystina arrived in NB “Draco” in May to look after our shop and information kiosk at Snarestone.

Postcards, gifts, navigation plaques, pens, souvenir mugs, tea-towels, loo-blue, etc., are on sale, and locally made ice cream from nearby Gopsall Farm.          We also have a stock of beautiful specially photographed canal-scene greetings cards.  You can also get a souvenir navigation certificate if you have travelled the length of the canal. Our adjacent bric-a-brac emporium has lots of bargains.  All proceeds help the ACA’s funds and go towards the care and restoration of the AshbyCanal.

Membership forms are also available should you wish to join the Association.

Moorings beyond the swing-bridge 61A are limited to 48 hours, thereafter £10 per day. Boaters are welcome to enjoy this pleasant stretch.  However, please note that these waters are governed by Leicestershire County Council regulations, which require boats to have a CRT licence, comply with boat safety regulations, and be insured.   Concessions for moorers are available for ACA and AWCC club members – please enquire.  For details of slipway access, etc, please click on the slipway and moorings  button at the top of his page.

Measham village, which can, tantalisingly, be seen in the distance from the canal terminus, is not yet reachable by boat. (The restoration effort continues…..  we’ll get back there eventually !) You could walk or cycle into Measham where there are cafes, pub, a good Co-op, a Tesco Local shop, newsagents, butchers, mueum, etc. but it will talk about half an hour, and you are advised to ask our caretaker for directions.  The lane into Measham is fairly quiet but narrow, and you need to take care,

An off -line nature reserve is alongside the canal at Snarestone – providing a protected habitat for submerged and floating plants and aquatic creatures.  23 aquatic species were recorded last year in this small reserve.  The offside of the newly restored length is rich in wild flowers in the summer, and lots of different bird species have been spotted. Herons and  buzzards can frequently be seen, and a kingfisher has been spotted nearby.