Pennines will provide memorable cruise

A Huddersfield Narrow Canal gathering at Tunnel End, June 2017. PHOTO: ALAN STOPPER

BOATERS are invited to enjoy an exciting cruise across the Pennine hills exploring the Huddersfield Narrow Canal this summer.

Organised by the Huddersfield Canal Society and Canal & River Trust, the event takes place June 22 to July 1.

The second Pennine Explorer Cruise is aimed at those who have not navigated the Huddersfield Narrow Canal before, providing extra peace of mind and support for first timers to the northern waterway.

This ‘roving rally’ will allow boaters to enjoy the magnificent scenery of the rugged Pennine canal, while enjoying mutual help with locks and assistance from volunteer lock-winders. A programme of evening events will add to the fun.  

Starting at Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne, the eight-day cruise will visit Stalybridge, Mossley, Uppermill, Diggle, Marsden, Slaithwaite, Milnsbridge and Huddersfield, with an optional final day on the Broad Canal for those with suitable sized boats. 

Alan Stopher, chair of the Huddersfield Canal Society, said: “Eighteen 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.”

Stephen Ballard, operations manager with the Canal & River Trust, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for less-experienced boaters to enjoy the thrill of cruising across the Pennines. The scenery is stunning and the Trust is delighted to join with the canal society to encourage more people to explore this amazing waterway.

“Highlights include travelling through Standedge Tunnel, Britain’s longest, highest, deepest canal tunnel, and visiting the fascinating Standedge Visitor Centre.”

Places are limited by the capacity of Standedge Tunnel, however at the time of going to press there were some still available.

Boaters should email Huddersfield Canal Society at in the first instance – first come, first served. Not all boats fit the canal.Those who will fit the shorter wider locks of the Huddersfield Broad and Calder & Hebble canals can continue to complete a circuit. Full-length narrowboats can turn at Huddersfield and take their time on the return journey.