Take a boat trip into the literal heart of the Pennines at the Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at Marsden. The Huddersfield Narrow has all the records: it is the highest (643 feet above sea level), longest (3.25 miles) and deepest (636 feet) canal in the country. At the Visitor Centre at Tunnel End, Marsden, you can have a go at 'legging' through a tunnel, just like the old canal navigators did, and see how the canal was excavated under the Pennines over 17 years from 1794, at the height of ‘Canal Mania’. But the trip on a glass-roofed guided narrow boat which takes you actually into the mouth of the Standedge Tunnel is a real step back in time, as you sit back and wonder at the incredible work which went into this amazing feat of 18th-century engineering.
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Discover West Yorkshire
Everybody knows that Yorkshire has some special landscapes. The Dales and the Moors first spring to mind, but what about West Yorkshire? That’s Leeds and Bradford isn’t it? Back-to-back houses and blackened mills… Certainly if you had stood on any of the hills surrounding Hebden Bridge a hundred years ago, and gazed down into the valley, all you would have seen was the pall of smoke issuing from the chimneys of 33 textile mills. But thankfully, life changes very quickly in West Yorkshire. The textile trade went into terminal decline, the mills shut down forever and in a single generation Hebden Bridge became a place that people want to visit.
The surrounding countryside offers walking every bit as good as the more celebrated Yorkshire Dales; within minutes you can be tramping across the moors. And this close proximity of town and country is repeated all across West Yorkshire. There’s such diversity in the area that you can find yourself in quite unfamiliar surroundings, even close to places you may know very well. Take time to explore this rich county and you will be thrilled at what you find to shatter old myths and preconceptions.
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