When you think of a tunnel it’s often of some underground connection to France – or the more adventurous may conjure up images of James Bond battling his latest foe atop a train about to go through one.
What might not spring to mind is a feat of engineering genius that runs parallel to the trans-Pennine railway tunnel at Marsden – an original working canal tunnel which stands at over 200 years old.
Not only is Standedge Tunnel the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain but also considered the heart of transportation in yesteryear’s industrial West Yorkshire.
These days the tunnel sees leisure cruisers pass through, from holiday boats to living boats, making possible the continuing voyage along the serene Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
This is one tunnel that not even Bond has travelled, but one the franchise’s producers should consider for its dramatic scenery, atmosphere and innovation.
So a good start for explorers is to take the popular half hour guided trip into the historic tunnel.
Here you can admire the amazing early 19th century craftsmanship of the tunnel walls while aboard the glass top boat, as one of the very knowledgeable guides gives you its history in detail. If that floats your boat, then you’ll want to book in advance for a 3¼ mile trip all the way through.
This through trip will delve deeper into the ins and outs of this industrial heritage landmark.
Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre is perfect for history and heritage enthusiasts alike, but also for the whole family. The facilities have just under gone a major remake, and the new look café is perfect for lunch or afternoon tea – whether you fancy heading down the tunnel or not.
Price: Under 5s free, children £3.50, adults £4.50, concessions £4, family £14.
Opening Times: Monday to Friday 11am to 3pm. Saturday to Sunday 10am to 4pm.
Address: Waters Road, Marsden HD7 6NQ
Car Parking: By Marsden railway station, disabled parking on site
Attraction website: www.standedge.co.uk
Telephone: 01484 844298
Sat Nav: HD7 6DH