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The ashby canal

Canal before restoration and now
The original canal was constructed around 1800 and existing in close proximity to active coalmines meant the Ashby Canal was constantly affected by mining subsidence which eventually led to its closure. Now the canal is partially restored with further plans to join up to the existing Ashby Canal underway. See Ashby Canal Trust

Lime kilns

Lime Kilns - Moira Furnace
Seven lime kilns were built in phases between 1804 and 1837 to burn limestone brought down from Ticknall and Breedon by tramway and canal, to turn it into quicklime. The kilns have been sensitively repaired and panels explain how quicklime was made and used to improve the soil quality for local farmers and to make mortar for building.

Playground and woodland

Moira Furnace - Woods and Playground

At the front of the site near the woodland is a superb adventure play complex catering for all ages. A board walk trail through the woods is designed for visitors with disabilities to enjoy.

Moira furnace is in the national forest

The National Forest is one of England’s most ambitious environmental projects.  Across parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, 200 square miles are being transformed, blending ancient woodland with new planting to create a new national Forest.  There is a wealth of choice for great days out or short breaks with bustling attractions, gentle walking and brilliant activities. 

In less than twenty years, one of the least wooded parts of the country has been transformed. Around 8 million trees have been planted, trebling the woodland cover and creating habitats for wildlife and a beautiful landscape for people to enjoy. The ultimate goal is for woodland to cover around a third of the Forest area and to link the ancient forests of Charnwood and Needwood.Scene in the National Forest

The gentle undulating landscape is perfect for walking, cycling and horse-riding. And through the creation of new habitats, The National Forest is an ideal location for bird and wildlife watching.

From watersports to wildlife watching, cycling to craft centres and loads of wet weather options too, The National Forest really does have something for everyone.  And in this ever-changing landscape as the Forest grows, one thing is guaranteed, there is always something new to see.

For more information on the wealth of things to do and see in The National Forest visit the website:, email or call 01283 551 211.

Cycling and walking

There are numous opportunities for walking in the area and you can unload your bike here and ride on our all-purpose trails to

Donisthorpe Country Park

Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail

National Forest

Hicks Lodge Cylcle Centre

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