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Marina(s) : Anderton Marina
Length: 20 miles Locks: 74 Tunnels: 2
Forms part of The Pennine Ring linking the Rochdale Canal or Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
The course of the Canal required a tunnel to be built underneath the Pennines would have to be over 3 miles long making it the longest canal tunnel in Britain. The canal was due to open five years after construction began however when 1799 arrived whilst the canal had been constructed to each side the tunnel itself was far from completed.
The construction, overseen by the then inexperience engineer Benjamin Outram, was inadequate and was washed away by floods in 1799. Thomas Telford was called in to advise on the tunnel's completion and so the planned 5 years for completion actually took 17 years to complete.
The Standedge Tunnel is 17,000 feet long, 638 feet below ground and 645 feet above sea level and this makes it the highest, deepest and longest tunnel on the UK canal system. The visitor centre offers an insight on what life would have been like for the people who worked and lived on the canals.
The Manchester Regiment Museum at Ashton-under-Lyme is well worth a visit and the displays include a large collection of military uniforms. Experience life on the Western Front in the World War I trench and how woman made a huge contribution to World War II.
The canal runs through the centre of Slaithwaite and this pleasant country town offers a good selection of shops, pubs and places to eat. From here you can take a towpath walk to the village of Golcar, a lovely place to explore and to have a pub meal.
The Portland Basin Museum is housed within the restored nineteenth Ashton Canal Warehouse and combines a lively modern interior with a peaceful canal side setting. Step back into history and experience the sights and sounds of a 1920s street or explore the industrial heritage centre and discover what life was like down the mines or on the farm.
Owned by the National Trust Marsden Moor is within easy reach of the Canal and accessible for some wonderful walks. The wild views are awe-inspiring and it is also a great place to spot moorland birds such as curlew, grouse and the golden plover curlew.
In Huddersfield enjoy the fine architectural, the heritage and history as well as fantastic shopping opportunities. The town has numerous trendy bars or traditional real ale pubs and the cafes and restaurants offer everything from exotic cuisine to good old fish and chips.
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