The Pennine Explorer cruise reaches Tunnel End, Marsden, in June 2017.

Help celebrate 21 years of reopened canal

BOATERS from far and wide are invited to enjoy an exciting cruise in 2022 across the Pennine hills exploring the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and travelling through Standedge Tunnel, a wonder of the waterways. Organised by the Huddersfield Canal Society and Canal & River Trust, the ‘Summer Pennine Explorer Cruise’ takes place from June 25 to July 3 to help celebrate the 21st anniversary of the reopening of the canal, its ‘Coming of Age’.

The Pennine Explorer cruise reaches Tunnel End, Marsden, in June 2017.
The Pennine Explorer cruise reaches Tunnel End, Marsden, in June 2017.


Aimed at those boaters that have not previously navigated the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, trust volunteer lock keepers and fellow boaters will be on hand along the way, to offer extra peace of mind and support for first timers and enable boaters to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the rugged Pennine canal. A programme of evening events will add to the fun.

Starting at Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne on June 25, the eight-day cruise will visit Stalybridge, Mossley, Uppermill, Diggle, Marsden, Slaithwaite, Milnsbridge and Huddersfield, with an optional final day on the Huddersfield Broad Canal for those with suitable sized boats. Huddersfield Canal Society chairman Alan Stopher, said: “Twenty-one 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. Our first Pennine Explorer cruise in 2017 was a great success, so much so that we’ve decided to run another. “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.”

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Steve Smith, regional operations manager at the Canal & River Trust said: “It’s great to be working with Huddersfield Canal Society to help encourage more people to explore this amazing waterway.

“This is a brilliant opportunity to experience the thrill of cruising across the Pennines at a leisurely pace, with some renowned northern hospitality thrown in for good measure. Not only is the scenery stunning, but the route includes a highlight for many boaters, the chance to pass through Standedge Tunnel, Britain’s longest, highest, deepest canal tunnel.”

Places are limited, so early expressions of interest are essential. Boaters should email Huddersfield Canal Society at pennine.explorer@gmail.com in the first instance. First come, first served.

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Not all boats fit the canal – the controlling dimensions and other information are available here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/standedge-tunnel-and-visitor-centre/boating-through-standedge-tunnel

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

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