Explorer cruise of highest, deepest, longest tunnel

March 2017 - By Peter Underwood

There is no shortage of boaters who fancy stretching their boundaries and tackling the many locks leading to and from the Standedge Tunnel – but are a little nervous of the sheer amount of work and the unknown.

Now the Huddersfield Canal Society and Canal & River Trust have decided to emulate the long-established 'explorer' cruises around the more remote waters of the Birmingham Canal Navigations and established the first Pennine Explorer Cruise.

It runs from June 23rd to July 1st, starting at Portland Basin, Ashton-under-Lyne aznd visiting Stalybridge, Mossley, Diggle, Marsden, Slaithwaite, Milnsbridge and Huddersfield before finishing at Mirfield.
Described as a “Roving Rally” it will allow boaters to enjoy the scenery of the rugged Pennine canal with mutual help with locks and assistance from volunteer lock-winders. A programme of evening events is also promised.

Alan Stopher, Chair of the Huddersfield Canal Society, said “Sixteen years on from its reopening the Huddersfield Narrow Canal has already provided a memorable cruise for many. We also know it has a place on many boaters’ cruising wish lists.

“To encourage use by those who have yet to visit this waterway gem we’re teaming up with the Canal & River Trust and the Calder Navigation Society to welcome boaters from afar to sample these Pennine waterways for themselves”.

Waterway Manager David Baldacchino said: “We think the cruise is a great idea. So many people have worked so hard to return this stretch back to navigation and we want as many people as possible to come and enjoy the fantastic beauty that this great trans-pennine link has to offer.

“The canal offers some of the best sights and scenes and who wouldn’t want to go through the highest, longest and deepest canal.”

Places are limited by the capacity of Standedge Tunnel, so early expressions of interest are essential. Boaters should email Huddersfield Canal Society at bob@huddersfieldcanal.com to express interest.

First come, first served! Not all boats fit the canal, the controlling dimensions and other information are available here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/279.pdf

Those who will fit the shorter wider locks of the Huddersfield Broad and Calder and Hebble canals can continue to complete a circuit. Full length narrowboats can turn at Huddersfield and take their time on the return journey.

Photo: Boat gathering at Diggle Summit by Ian Bradbury.

User login