Festival on a Boat 1st & 2nd Sept 2018

Every year the small village of Shackerstone hosts a family festival with lost of things to do, including Craft, Medieval re-enactments and food stalls along-side much much more.

The event usually draws up to 15000 people every year and this year there is even more. Why not stay on a Luxury Narrowboat and enjoy the festival that runs from 1st and 2nd September 2018.

To find out more about the festival please go to or click on http://www.shackerstonefestival.co.uk/

To find out more about our luxury Narrowboat click on midlandmallard.com/

Canals Online

Moira Canal Festival 19th – 20th May 2018

In 1804 the Ashby Canal was completed and served the coalfields in Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Running from Bedworth on the Coventry canal to Moira further north, the lock free Ashby canal ran a distance of around 30 miles but in 1944 the Moira section was closed and a further closure of the section from Snarestone was also closed in 1966. The section at Moira based within the national forest later received funding and was restored back to its original glory in 2000, this included the restoration of bridge 62 and further winding holes were introduced.

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The Moira canal festival is held every year to raise funds for the further restoration of the Ashby canal and this year hopes to entertain the public with live music, medieval re-enactments, Narrowboat exhibitions, Morris dancing, children’s crafts and a memorial flypast.

Opening hours are from 10:00 – 17:00 and admission prices are £5 for adults and £2.50 for children with free car parking available. Further reading and link to the official website can be found here. 

To visit the Moira canal festival Follow the festival signs to the Moira Furnace Museum, Furnace Lane, Moira, DE12 6AT.

Why not spend that weekend living on a Narrowboat? We offer luxury canal boat holidays on the Ashby canal based at Bosworth Marina a stones throw from the festival. All prices and further information can be found on our website by clicking here…

 

Spring Me a Cup Of Tea Please!

Midland Mallard Radios.
Midland Mallard Radios.

This spring Midland Mallard are introducing a new product to enable better communication between the captain and group members whilst steering the boat.

Having listened to your suggestion in 2017 we are introducing two way radios to help you speak with your group.  Long gone are the days when you are desperate for a coffee but your group are relaxing at the Bow of the boat whilst you steer them about,  Canal boat journeys around the Ashby canal will no longer be a waiting game for the Skipper,  you can now contact them instantly,  that’s right there will be a constant flow of drinks for the Captain!

Order your cup of tea or coffee at the click of a button or send your helpers out to look for mooring spaces in advance with the Motorola H20 waterproof two way radios.

The new system will be in operation from the Spring of 2018 and on-wards and we are awaiting your feedback.  Why not book for this spring and be the first to test them out?

Click on the following link to contact us 

The Ashby Canal is one of the most beautiful canals in the country and spring is one of the best times to see it in its full glory so why not book your Canal Boat Holiday with us!

Best regards!

Midland Mallard

Canal Boat Hire Prices for 2018

2017 has been a great year with lots of happy customers enjoying their holiday on the Ashby canal with Midland Mallard.  But it’s not time to say goodbye to 2017 just yet!  With Just a few slots still available there is still time to book a break in September or October 2017.  Please see our contact us page to make an inquiry or click on the availability button to see what dates are still available.

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Its Not Time to Say Goodbye to 2017 Just Yet

However, if you wish to book a weeks holiday or just a short break in 2018 our prices are now available on the prices page on our website.  Returning customers can enjoy a 10% discount on all dates for 2018 when booking direct through us!

If its you first time booking with us then you may want to read our FAQ page with lots of useful information regarding steering the boats and what you can expect to see on the stunning Ashby Canal!

Kindest regards

Justin Forbes – Midland Mallard.

 

 

Pictures from the Rail Ale Festival Market Bosworth

The rail ale festival which took place at the weekend was a great success with lots to see and do.  Our visitors Angela and Gary from London had a great time at the festival enjoying the plethora of ales, music and comedy.

There were lots of traction engines as always again this year some of which are shown below…

We are taking bookings for next year so be sure not to miss out on this family festival in 2018.

Thanks for viewing canal boat holidays on the Ashby canal in the Midlands.

Midland Mallard

The Midlands Canal Network

About The Midlands!

The Midlands Geography

The Midlands is an area centrally located within England, part of the UK.  It currently has no designated administrative area , it therefore, lacks any strict definition. However, it is generally considered to include the counties of Derbyshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire.  Being as far inland as it is possible to be, the Midlands generally has a temperate climate with generally calm winds and warm summers.

History of the Midlands

The Midlands is considered to be the historical heartland of the Industrial revolution which came about during the period between 1760 and 1820. Incidentally, this period coincides exactly with the reign of King George III.  During this period, hand held tools and the human workforce began to be replaced by steam driven machines which were more reliable and could work around the clock. Machines based around the James Watt steam engine were changed to incorporate a circular motion thus replacing the piston motion engines of the past.  This enabled industry to create production line systems.  Due to these changes, and due to the large number of factories making textiles and popular products of the time, this made the Midlands a significant contributor at the cutting edge of the industrial revolution.

The Midlands Canal Network

The midlands canal network first came into being in the 18th century and was “Cut” to provide transport for the growing pottery industries around Staffordshire and the West Midlands.  It was created to provide a more efficient and faster route for commercial goods to be transported. The Midlands Canal Network formed a major navigational highway through the period of Industrial revolution.  Canal boats were mainly pulled by horses which travelled on the “Tow Path” built next to the canals.  Horses were later replaced by on-board mechanised systems, which again were brought about by changes in the James Watts Steam engine.  Some of the steam powered boats can still be seen today making their way up and down the Midlands Canals but are mainly kept under wraps and reserved for special boating events.  Most of the canal boats are now powered by even more efficient propulsion methods such as Diesel engines and even hybrid petrol engines using silent electric motors.  Later, around 1840, the steam powered train network came into being and began to threaten the very existence of the canal network as transport times were quicker. By 1850, nearly two thirds of the produce previously carried by canal was now being transported by rail.

Things to see and do on the Midlands Canal Network

There are many relics of the industrial revolution to observe throughout  the Midlands Canal Network.  There are many things to do whilst navigating the Midlands canal network not least of all the pubs and restaurants that festoon the tow paths.  Ironically, what had become the bane of the Midlands Canal network inadvertently became it saving grace.  As the steam engines rolled on to become the highway of its day , the canal network was allowed to rest and mature. Where once stood a dirty trodden towpath may now contain a woodland. Where once upon a time industry had created pollution, there are unspoilt waters containing large fish. In fact, the water now houses some very weird and wonderful creatures indeed.  For example, during the 1990’s, children watching T.V programmes like the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (As it was called in the UK) went out and purchased Terrapins from their local pet shops.  Once the children became bored of the turtles and moved onto something more adult, those turtles were discarded into the Canal Network and, survive in parts, to be the size of dinner plates. This is why the Midlands Canal network is worth exploration and why we hope you will enjoy the freedom and adventure that it will bring to you.

Heating a Narrowboat

Most boat owners know how hard it can be living aboard a narrowboat especially in Winter. However, with central heating and various heating systems on board these days life on board a narrowboat should be a cosy affair.

In this short clip by our old friend David, or Mr CC as he prefers to be know by these days, David explains the different types of heating available and their individual merits.

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

Book a Canal Boat Holiday for 2017

Welcome On Board!                                                                         

book-nowThank you for choosing your holiday with Midland Mallard. No matter which boat you’ve hired or the length of your trip, we’re sure that you’ll have a fantastic time cruising the cut around this largely rural and beautiful part of the country.

Based at the new luxury marina at Market Bosworth, MidlandMallard canal boat holidays will be hiring out a new Narrowboat which will be available from the beginning of the year. Your stay with us will allow you to cruise the Ashby canal network in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside in luxury.

You may even wish to stay in and around the historic town of Market Bosworth, the final battle scene for King Richard iii which is just a few short minutes from the Marina. The Ashby canal actually runs through the old battle lines and there is a visitor centre which is also free. Why not check out the Historic railway or just meander through the countryside which is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and boasts a great many species of wildlife.

However you wish to spend your time holidays won’t be the same again having spent time relaxing and enjoying the scenery around the beautiful Midlands countryside with Midland Mallard Canal Boat Holidays on the Ashby Canal.

We aim to make your visit to the historic Ashby canal network a peaceful and interesting affair so we will be kitting out your boat with all the mod cons including a canal navigation app provided free with every boat hire and WIFI. This app provided on a 7″ tablet will ensure you miss nothing whilst steering the boat down the Midlands canal network.

There are many places to visit on the canal network including some lovely pubs and cafes or if you wish to just relax and watch the hills roll by you can!

ashby-canal-pic1

Canal Boat Holidays on the Ashby Canal with MidlandMallard will fill you with joyful satisfaction and not least of all knowledge of our historic waterways!

Please feel free to ask any questions you wish by using our comments section below..

Happy holidays!

Things to see and do on the Ashby Canal.

There are lots of things to see and do on the Ashby Canal.

The canal is named Ashby-de-la-Zouch, however it is more commonly know as the Ashby. The Ashby winds it’s way peacefully through the countryside for almost the whole of its LOCK FREE 22-mile length, it is perfect for first time boaters. With hedgerows and reeds adding to a green landscape. It is rich in wildlife which includes Herons, Kingfishers, Moorhens and large fish. In Dec 2013 a large Pike weighing 32 lbs was discovered lurking in the waters. Other course fish include bream, roach and chub.

From Snarestone to Carlton Bridge, the canal is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, supporting aquatic plant life and several varieties of dragonfly.

This unspoilt canal is also a gateway into medieval times. The ridge and furrow patterns created by medieval farmers can still be seen and the canal line touches the western edge of Bosworth Field, where Richard III met his match at the hands of Henry Tudor in 1485. The hawthorn bushes at Stoke Golding are said to be where Richard’s crown was discovered following the battle.

Click image below for more history anf info about the Ashby Canal Network..

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Ashby Canal Map