Historical journey . . .
Shackerstone Station deep in beautiful Leicestershire countryside is the northern end of the line with ample parking. As you walk to the station you pass sidings full of stored railway locomotives and carriages in various stages of restoration. Here you enter a world steeped in railway history, none more so than in the quaint station booking hall where you buy your tickets and on colder days you can enjoy the warmth of a real coal fire.
Look around the wonderful authentic example of a Victorian country station which houses a museum of rare and interesting artefacts, with a special emphasis on the area’s railway history. While you’re waiting for the next train, visit the Victorian Tea Rooms. On platform 2 there’s a souvenir shop which is stocked with interesting gifts.
Once the guard blows his whistle, the train leaves on its five mile journey heading for Shenton Station, running for most of the way alongside the Ashby Canal, meandering its way past small villages and farms to Market Bosworth Station. For anyone arriving here by road, there’s a large station car park next to the Goods Shed, off Station Road. As your train departs for Shenton Station, look out on the right for the station’s signal box (undergoing restoration) - these structures were once a regular feature every few miles on all rail lines in the UK.
The award-winning Shenton Station is the southern terminus of the line and the platform building you see once stood at Humberstone Road, Leicester, from where it was demolished and transported to Shenton and re-built, brick by brick. Opposite the platform, there is a large station car park containing a building which is the last original part of Shenton Station - this now houses a pottery business.
As you walk down the platform you will find a small refreshment room and ticket office. At this point the locomotive uncouples and runs around its train. You can have a chat with the engine crew and if you’re lucky they may let you have a quick look around inside the locomotive cab.
Close by Shenton Station is the Bosworth Battlefield site. www.bosworthbattlefield.com
Across the car park is another building that is the only remaining part of the original station, this now houses a pottery business, where you can often see the potter working.
Shackerstone Village is a walk from the station passing St. Peters Church.
Ashby Canal also runs alongside the line and is an interesting and enjoyable walk passing Congerstone Village and further down towards Market Bosworth and Shenton.
At Market Bosworth there is the canal marina for day boat hire and extensive moorings. www.bosworthmarina.co.uk
Bosworth water trust leisure park and Bosworth country park. www.bosworthwatertrust.co.uk
Whitemoors Antique Centre and Country Tea Rooms, Shenton. www.whitemoors.co.uk
Leicestershire Round footpath also runs close to the railway.