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11th August 2022
Standedge Tunnel is the longest, highest and deepest tunnel here in the UK. Situated beneath the Pennines, Standedge Tunnel is 5,210 meters in length and tunnels for over 3 miles. The tunnel originally took 16 years to construct and cuts through solid rock. Positioned at number four on the 7 wonders of the waterway, it’s a renowned narrowboat hotspot for avid boaters and a must-see for first-time boaters.
Originally opened in 1811, Standedge Tunnel took builders 17 years to dig and 16 years to construct – with 50 fatalities in the process. The tunnel was formerly used by boaters to pilot their boats through the underground warren before closing in the winter of 1916 due to competition from the railways. Having been disused for many years, an ambitious restoration referred to as the ‘impossible restoration’ saw the reopening of Standedge Tunnel in 2001. Currently, Standedge tunnel is looked after by the Canal & River Trust and volunteers. It remains a popular hotspot, attracting boaters from across the globe eager to make the cruise journey from Yorkshire to Lancashire through the infamous tunnel and the Pennines.
This Lancashire and Yorkshire cruise is popular for novice and experienced boaters alike. Starting the journey at Anderton Marina, the Pennine Ring is made up of three canal routes. You will sail along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in pure tranquillity with views of wooded valleys, stunning moorland and Pennine stone villages. While making your way towards Huddersfield, you are greeted with many of the city’s leafy green parks where you can stretch your legs, discover Victoria Tower or climb up Castle Hill. As you glide along Huddersfield Narrow Canal, you’ll pass Standedge Tunnel. If you wish to visit this wonder of the waterway, the passage requires pre-booking with Standedge Visitor Centre. This route has a total of 227 locks and takes an average of 6.5 cruising hours per day.
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