Marsden Jazz festival is sidelined for a visit to Standedge Tunnel and a boat trip!


The “creature” emerges from the tunnel!

Today was the final day of the Marsden Jazz festival here in West Yorkshire. Marsden is tucked at the foot of the Pennine Hills and as such suffers from very variable weather. Yesterday was grey, grim and raining but today was bright, occasional azure blue sky and a fair deal of sunshine around.


The short trip boat returns from the depths of Standedge Tunnel

I decided to wander down to the village to see what was happening, stopping off for coffee of course in an excellent coffee shop in the centre of Marsden.


Shuttle boat full of children

I then made my way up to the station and commenced the shortish walk alongside the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to Tunnel End. Standedge Tunnel is Britain’s longest, deepest, highest canal tunnel and is a spectacular adventure beneath the Pennines. As I arrived I could see the gates to the tunnel were open and looking into the opening I could make out two small lights deep inside the blackness.


Leaving Standedge for the return trip to Marsden

These were moving towards me at a very slow pace and it seemed as though some unknown creature was emerging from its lair to wreak havoc on a small Pennine village (what must they have done to upset it?). Gradually the lights emerged to display a small industrial tug pulling a perspex-canopied narrow boat with several people on board. Short rides were on offer today but at various times in the year it is possible to do the full journey through the tunnel (The Standedge Tunnel, pronounced “Stannige” is the longest, deepest and highest canal tunnel in Britain. It is 5,500 yards (5,000 m) long, 636 feet (194 m) underground at its deepest point, and 643 feet (196 m) above sea level).


Tying up by one of the volunteers

Just as this docked another small boat arrived from the direction of Marsden, full of children and parents and was appropriately named “The Marsden Shuttle” Not wanting to miss out on a boat journey I decided to travel the short distance back to Marsden by boat, and as there were very few on board for my trip I was able to sit at the front of the boat, on the deck, ideal for taking photographs.


The very welcoming and hospitable captain

So, for a nominal fee of £1.00 you get to travel along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in a wonderful little narrow boat, skippered by volunteers, and through stunning countryside. The trees are just beginning to display their autumn colours which all adds to the beauty of the area.


Approaching Marsden………….

So, whilst I didn’t get to hear a great deal of music this year, I did get to travel by boat, and for the first time for as couple of weeks was able to get out my trusty Nikon camera and shoot some of the countryside.


The canal at its finest………….

If you have never visited Standedge Tunnel, then put it on your list of things to do. And if you are brave enough, and don’t suffer from claustrophobia, then do consider the full journey through the tunnel.

Photographs (c) Kindadukish 2017


This entry was posted in blue sky, Canal, Flora and fauna, Industrial Heritage, Jazz, Nature / Flowers, North of England, Pennine hills, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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