The A to Z Canal (or not), Ostrich Burgers and Baileys

Having more or less accidentally turned onto the Ashby Canal, one is immediately struck by how different it is to the rather built and industrial Coventry Canal. Built to carry coal from the Ashby Coal Fields to the wider world, it never actually reached Ashby de la Zouch. Ah well. But it winds its way through delightfully rural Leicestershire rarely coming close to “civilisation”, without locks or lift bridges to disturb the peace. Even the nearby railway is the Battlefield Line which only has traffic at weekends, high days and holidays. Never far from Bosworth Field, the weather was so sunny (if occasionally a little chilly) that we got so blissed out for a couple of days that photographs were forgotten.

We realized it was almost exactly a decade since we’d last travelled this route, with additional crew Emma, Jake  & Louis. So here’s  a few pictures from then – looks like it might have been chilly…

The Crew - 2008Ashby Canal 2008

We rather like Market Bosworth: it’s a pretty village with most of the shops you could want. The only snag is that it’s a mile or more from the canal up quite a steep hill; at least one’s carrying the shopping downhill.

Market BosworthMarket Bosworth

Market BosworthBattlefield Line - Market Bosworth

On the way, you pass this rather unusual cottage and garden, and if you pick the right day, a nice old saddle tank engine.

Cousin JackAshby Canal - End of the Road

Back in the present, this chap’s clearly a Show of Hands or Steve Knightley fan.

Snarestone Service PointSnarestone Service Point

Tuesday morning we reached the end. The useable canal used to finish at Snarestone, where the local enthusiasts maintain a base. Nowadays you can boat another half mile or so, but unless you’re a good bit shorter than Song & Dance you than have to reverse all the way back. Too hard! Anyway it looks a little different from how we remember it a decade ago. That said, our principle memory was of a permanently moored narrowboat occupied by a couple and three huge German Shepherd dogs. Since then we’ve seen a few other similar households where multiple huge dogs would seem to take up more room than exists in a narrowboat. The boats must have Tardis technology.

Turning round, we went back a little way through Snarestone Tunnel (the village is built on top of the canal), and had a surprisingly excellent lunch at The Globe Inn: it’s the first time we’ve seen Ostrich Burgers on the menu. One had to try one.

Motte & Bailey

Later that afternoon, the cook was staring at the map and said “What’s a Motte-and-Bailey look like?”. Like that…

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