Standedge Tunnel

Standedge Tunnel

Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, HD7 6NQ.

Standedge Tunnel is a fantastic day out. It provides schools with a unique opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to travel through the longest, highest and oldest canal tunnel in the country. It also provides an excellent location to study the local area, wildlife and learn more about the history of the waterways.

Standedge Tunnel is one of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways. It was cut through the Pennines by hundreds of navvies working with nothing but picks, shovels and muscle power. It took 17 years, and after many financial and constructional difficulties, opened in 1811. More than three miles long, there’s no towpath so boats were ‘legged’ through.


A school visit to Standedge Tunnel begins with a picturesque led walk from the coach or train to the visitor centre along the canal towpath. Pupils will learn about water safety on route. All visits to Standedge Tunnel include a boat trip and choice of free workshop: local history or habitats. 

KS1 KS2 Local History workshop: Build a Canal

Pupils build a canal in our sand box, in an interactive workshop exploring the history and importance of the canals locally. 

KS1 KS2 Habitats workshop: Nature Walk

A picturesque walk along our nature trail, spotting wildlife and plants along the way. Pond dipping activities also available during the summer. 

KS1 KS2 Self-guided trail: Standedge Admiral’s Trail

This trail puts children in the role of Thomas Bourne who once made sure that boats travelled safely through the tunnel.

Learning Resources

Use the following resources to support learning on your trip and back in the classroom:

Standedge Tunnel Fact File

Standedge Admiral's Trail

All About Canals

Canal & River Habitats Topic Pack

Find out more about Standedge Tunnel.


Free facilities for teachers include pre-visits, entry for teachers (and carers) and example risk assessments.

The free exhibition and film shows how the tunnel was built and how it has changed over time.

Visitor Centre, shop, free car and coach parking (HD7 6DH), outdoor and indoor picnic areas, toilets + disabled, bag/storage area, café.

Don't forget a boat trip!

A glass-roofed boat allows children to see the inside of the tunnel in safety. The trip lasts approximately 30 minutes and provides a guided commentary.


Admission: £4 per child in groups of over 15 (adults within 1:8 adult child ratio go free).