Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
Why we think canals are better with Friends
Become a Friend of the Canal & River Trust today and you’ll open yourself up to new experiences and endless opportunities.
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal scales the Pennines and its summit is the highest stretch of canal in Britain.
12th Mar 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
Following sudden deterioration of the lock chamber, including the collapse of the offside tail quadrant, repair works which had been planned for future years have been brought forward. As this section...
26th Feb 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
24th Feb 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
Works to repair leakage through the embankment in order to improve water levels. As there are other planned works in the immediate area, this work will be carried out simultaneously to take advantage of...
30th Jan 2018 11:00am onwards
The towpath is closed between 16W and 17W on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. This is due to a large crack along the wash wall, making the surface unsafe.
13th Dec 2017 9:30am onwards
The towpath is closed between Bridge 108 and Stalybridge Aqueduct due to a dangerous partially collapsed wall. Our team will need to liaise with the proprietors to arrange for the wall to be repaired.
12th Feb 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
New top and bottom gates. Quadrant repairs.
8th Jan 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
Culvert investigation and repair. .
29th Jan 2018 8:00am to 2nd Mar 2018 4:00pm
To undertake top and bottom gate repairs. .
5th Mar 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
To carry out leakage and access repairs. .
To undertake the re-lining of the lock gate. .
19th Feb 2018 8:00am to 16th Mar 2018 4:00pm
Leakage & Washwall Repairs.
To undertake repairs to the lock. .
Frenches Wharf Marina is located on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, in the picturesque village of Greenfield, Saddleworth. It is conveniently located behind 'The Kingfisher' pub and restaurant and next...
Portland Basin Marina is a small friendly independent marina based at the junction of the Lower Peak Forest, Huddersfield Narrow and Ashton canals.
Standedge tunnel entrance at Marsden to Lock 11E. Also included Sparth and Slaithwaite (Hill top) reservoirs.
Huddersfield Narrow Canal
Slaithwaite Reservoir (Hill Top Reservoir)
Lock 20w to StandedgeTunnel entrance at Diggle
Lock 11E to Bridge 21 (start of HWC)
Lock 1W to Lock 19W
The superb scenery along the way is full of dramatic contrasts - rugged hills, tranquil wooded countryside, and historic mills and industrial buildings. The canal itself features distinctive very narrow locks.
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal also boasts the impressive Standedge Tunnel, the longest, deepest and highest canal tunnel in the country. At three and a quarter miles long, it is not for the faint-hearted and takes around three hours to get through. Walkers can follow the route once taken by boat horses over Marsden Moor Estate, an expanse of wild moorland inhabited by wildlife including golden plover, grouse, curlew and twite.
The canal's rebirth, against all the odds, is the outstanding success of the canal restoration movement. After being derelict for 50 years, it reopened to boats in 2001, thanks to the efforts of the local community and the Huddersfield Canal Society.
There are strict beam constraints on this canal which has pinch points at a number of sites and is only wide enough for boats up to 6’ 10’’. If you would like further information about this please contact our office at Red Bull on 03030 404040.
Find stoppages, restrictions and other navigational advice for this waterway.
If you would like to experience the thrill of taking your boat through Standedge Tunnel you will need to book in advance. For more information please see our Standedge Customer Guidelines.
Standedge Tunnel is the longest, highest and oldest tunnel to be built in Britain - and the nearby Visitor Centre is a great place for a family day out. We've put together a free map and guide to Standedge Tunnel, with useful information for all the family.
Download your guide
Direct routes from Manchester and the north-west to the waterways of East Yorkshire were proposed in the mid 18th century, but it was not until 1794 that Acts were passed for both the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the Rochdale Canal as alternative trans-Pennine routes to the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
Despite a length of less than 20 miles, there were numerous engineering difficulties to overcome on the Huddersfield Narrow. The construction of Standedge Tunnel - the highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain - almost bankrupted the entire project with around 50 workers being killed during its construction.
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal was built for 70ft-long narrowboats, while the Huddersfield Broad accommodated wider 57ft x 14ft craft, as used on the Calder & Hebble. Goods therefore had to be transhipped between the two at Huddersfield. This enforced double handling increased costs to unacceptable levels that were made the more so by the arrival of the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway. The canal was purchased by the railway, soon to become the London & North Western Railway, in 1844, and was used to help construct the new railway tunnel at Standedge. The canal and railway tunnels are connected by short shafts. Decline inevitably followed, and by the early 20th century, there was little traffic.
The line was abandoned in 1944 but was retained as a water channel. In 1948, a party of Inland Waterways Association pioneers - among them Tom Rolt and Robert Aickman - took the boat Ailsa Craig from end to end. Their documented journey was to prove the last through the Standedge Tunnel for more than 50 years - but following a major restoration programme, the route is now once again open throughout.
After lying unused for over half a century, the awesome Standedge Tunnel and its bleak surroundings encapsulate within a glance how the Huddersfield Narrow Canal attracted the pessimistic epithet of 'the impossible restoration'.
But the impossible was proved to be possible in 2001. To find out more about taking your boat through Standedge Tunnel see our dedicated Standedge Tunnel pages.
Manchester, Pennine & Potteries Waterways
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