Sutton Cheney Photo Walk
This photo walk is in Leicestershire and will take you on a 3 mile circular route from Sutton Cheney Wharf.
You will encounter a nice mix of scenery as it includes a walk along the Ashby Canal, through a wood and along a disused railway line giving plenty of varied photo opportunities.
The Sutton Cheney photo walk is just under 3 miles and pretty level so is suitable for most people.
Sometimes the canal tow path gets muddy so I suggest you wear good sturdy boots. I have included links to some of the places you will pass on this walk. The links provide more detailed information about what they have to offer.
There is a great canal side cafe well worth a visit at the end of your walk
Sutton Cheney to Bosworth Battlefield Centre
The walk starts at Sutton Cheney Wharf where you can park your car.
You will encounter varied photographic subject matter on this photo walk. Scenery includes a walk along the Ashby Canal, through a wood and along a disused railway line providing plenty of varied photo opportunities
Once parked up in the car park (currently £1 but prices may alter), walk past the cafe and straight onto the trail.
The first section starts off skirting the edge of a field along the Ashby Canal. After a short walk you enter the first wooded section known as Ambion Wood.
There are a great deal of varied photo opportunities here.
In the spring it is full of blossom, summer brings a carpet of woodland flowers and the autumn has many different types of fungi.
Following the trail through the wood brings you out into a field.
Bosworth Battlefield Centre to Shenton Railway Station
Cross the field and you will find yourself at the Battle of Bosworth Visitor Centre. The whole area is rich in history with much information available on the famous battle of 1485.
The Battle of Bosworth Visitor Centre has a museum and another cafe.
Carry on up the small hill known as Ambion Hill and follow the path up towards the giant flag pole. You will come to the display commemorating the 1485 Battle of Bosworth.
The memorial is a huge sundial formed from a Pike style weapon hoisting a replica crown of King Richard III. Surrounding the sundial is a ring of red and white roses.
At the side of this flies a giant flag bearing Richards colours.
The battle of Bosworth took place in 1485 and was the last major battle of the English civil war called the ‘War of the Roses’. This battle ended the Plantagenet line and heralded the start of the Tudor Dynasty.
There has been much interest since the discovery and reburial of Richards body.
The actual battle site location has been a matter of conjecture for a long time.
A couple of years ago, the exact site was found a few miles away. Richard IIIs standard flies over the memorial and from this point you can look across the countryside to the battlefield. The exact location is not disclosed to avoid trophy hunters disturbing the site.
Archaeological research is ongoing and will be for many years.
From the sun-dial continue along the trail down the side of the field. Along this section you will encounter several displays with audio and visual information about key players and their role in the battle.
This is the steepest and roughest part of the walk. Follow the path along the edge of the field. You will soon see Shenton railway station appear. Shenton is the southern terminus of the Battlefield Railway. Walk through two swing gates and you will arrive at the railway station.
Shenton Railway Station to the Ashby Canal
Shenton railway station is one end of the ‘Battlefield Line’ steam railway which runs north to Shackerstone.
In 1873 the Midland and London North Western railway companies opened the Ashby and Nuneaton Joint Railway. Passenger services ended in 1931 and the line was finally closed to all traffic in 1964.
The line is now run as a preserved heritage railway between Shenton and Shackerstone. The railway is home to a small number of steam and heritage diesel locomotives.
Turning left at Shenton station the walk carries along the disused track bed.
Along this section are several pools to the side of the main walk. Some have bird spotting cabins where you can stop to sit and watch the birds.
As you walk along this disused section of railway, you see many apple trees – what are the chances these have grown from apple cores thrown out of passing train windows all those years ago?
When the blossom comes out it is a beautiful scene.
After approximately 3/4 mile you come to a derelict railway bridge that takes you over the Ashby canal.
Cross the bridge and walk down the side of the railway embankment to join the Ashby Canal tow path.
Ashby Canal back to Sutton Cheney
The Ashby canal is 31 miles long and connected the Leicestershire mining districts with the Coventry Canal in Warwickshire.
The Ashby Canal opened in 1804 and remained profitable through to the 1890s. Today the canal is popular with leisure boaters and you will see many holiday canal boats on its waters.
Walk under the bridge along the canal for the last section of the walk.
This section is about 1 mile long and brings you back to the Wharf cafe at Sutton Cheney. A note of caution for this section. The tow path can get pretty muddy, particularly as you get nearer to Sutton Cheney, so it pays to have good footwear.
Once back at Sutton Cheney you will no doubt be ready for a well earned drink or snack in the cafe.
This photo walk presents many options to photographers. You walk through varying types of scenery and pass by two local attractions. You will find much of interest to photograph whatever your preferred photographic inclinations are.
History and nature feature heavily throughout this walk. Ambion Wood provides plenty of opportunity for macro photography. Many Fungi and wildflower species are found in the undergrowth. Just remember not to stray off the edges of the pathway.
Shenton railway station and the Battlefield Line provide interest for those who enjoy railway photography. Preserved railways are good sources of material suitable for black and white photography.
The pools alongside the disused railway are a haven for wildlife. Many different species of bird, insect and flower can be found here.
The Ashby canal is busy with recreational narrowboats. The canal and colourful boats provide plenty of opportunities to get colourful abstract reflections. Wildlife is abundant alongside the canal. Those who enjoy wildlife photography have plenty of interesting subject matter.
Throughout the walk you will see many different types of flower and plant species. Nature photographers in particular will find plenty of interest to photograph.
I hope you have enjoyed my description of this walk and the sights and photo opportunities that are offered. Whatever your particular niche or preferred style of photography, I am sure you will find something of interest.
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