The Huddersfield Narrow and Broad canals represent the shortest route across the Pennine hills and significantly reduced commercial carrying times between the trading centres of Lancashire and Yorkshire and hence the ports of Liverpool and Hull.
Get there by road
The Canals are easily accessible from the motorway and road network. For Ashton, come off the M60 at Junction 23 and follow the brown signs for Portland Basin (A635). For Huddersfield, come off the M62 at Junction 24 and take the A629 South. If you are coming from the M1, come off at Junction 38 and follow the A637, A624 and A629 northwesterly for Huddersfield.
The West Side
On the West side, the Narrow Canal climbs the Tame valley from Ashton-u-Lyne in the West to the Standedge Tunnel entrance at Diggle, passing through the towns of Stalybridge, Mossley, Greenfield and Uppermill. Of course it also emerges from the Tunnel at Diggle and descends the Tame valley to Ashton depending on which way you’re going!
Voted one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’, Standedge Tunnel runs for 5.2km, 194m below the moors and at 196m above sea level you can boat no higher on the network! Thanks, in part, to the Society’s campaigning, boaters can now navigate the Tunnel themselves with the guidance of a Canal & River Trust chaperone.
Emerging from the Tunnel, the Narrow Canal descends to Huddersfield and the Broad Canal along the Colne Valley passing the towns of Marsden, Slaithwaite and Milnsbridge and vice versa.