Although it is named for Ashby-de-la-Zouch, the canal never reached the town. It winds peacefully through the countryside for almost the whole of its 22-mile length. Hedgerows and reeds add to a green landscape, rich in wildlife, including herons, kingfishers and moorhens.
Coarse fish species include bream, roach, chub and pike. From Snarestone to Carlton Bridge, the canal is 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.