Recreation in Saddleworth
The Canal Festival
(No longer held)

Huddersfield Narrow Canal was opened in 1811 and used for much of the 19th century with its use gradually dying out by the early years of the 20th .

The Huddersfield Canal Society was formed in 1974, with the aim – as with many other canal enthusiasts in the country – of re-opening the canal. A £30 million project, funded largely by the Millennium Commission and English Partnerships, meant that this historic waterway could be fully restored and navigable again for the Millenium. This includes of course, the reopening of Standedge tunnel, at over 3 miles, it is the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in the country.

The Canal Festival was first held in 1993 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the proposal to construct the canal. Attractions included Morris Men, childrens’ entertainment, brass bands, handbell ringers and the Saddleworth Clog and Garland Dancers. Sadly, after being held for a few years, while restoration work was being carried out, the festival has faded out since this work was completed in 2001. 

Web Links:

Saddleworth Canal Cruises
The official website for full details of canal cruises around Saddleworth

Huddersfield Canal Society
The official website for enthusiasts at the other end of the tunnel

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