Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre
Waters Road, Marsden, United Kingdom
Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre Marsden Reviews
Standedge Tunnel & Visitor Centre Apr 04, 2017
We walked on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal (HNC) from Huddersfield to the East Portal of the Standedge Tunnel. This marked the end of our walk so we stopped at its cafe for refreshments and a well deserved sit down! There is also a gift and souvenir shop along with the usual visitor facilities.
Afterwards we had a look round the exhibits at its visitors centre and learnt more about the history of the tunnel and its restorations The visitor centre offers boat trips during the season (usually from April to October) into the tunnel. There is an option to book a trip all the way through (which we plan to do on a future visit).
Standedge Tunnel is unique; the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in the country. Boaters need to book their passage in advance with Canal and River Trust. Visitors and walkers however have an opportunity to take a boat trip into the tunnel.
Benjamin Outram was the appointed engineer for the HNC and was commissioned to design a tunnel which would transverse beneath the Pennine Moors between Huddersfield and Oldham. Construction of the tunnel began in 1794 but Outram left the project several years later. The tunnel construction has had its issues which led to asking Thomas Telford to advise on construction and planning. The careful application of Telford's plan led to the completion of the construction in 1811.
The last commercial boats traversed through the 1920s and the tunnel fell in disrepair after the canal officially closed in 1944. Following the restoration the tunnel along with the canal re-opened in May 2001.
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Hidden Magic Jan 01, 2014
You can drive round and park in the visitor centre, or catch the train out from Huddersfield and have a very pleasant walk along the canal to get to the tunnel. Open most of the year round, there is a Visitor Centre with an outdoor play area for children, and down by the tunnel there is a little cafe where you can sit outside on the canal side. They do boat trips into the tunnel for approximately half an hour; they can't go the whole way through as it takes about 3 hours. Personally I'm quite happy sitting with my cup of tea watching the birds and enjoying the sunshine - the tunnel looks quite eerie on the pictures!
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