It is now the 1st of October and today we are moving along the Peak Forest Canal and will go down the Marple Locks and continue to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. We really have loved the Peak Forest Canal. The views are spectacular and there are so many lovely walks. We could have stayed there forever. Bugsworth Basin, which is at the end of the Peak Forest Canal, is now one of our favourite places.
The Marple Flight of 16 lock were built in 1804 and are spaced out over one mile. The locks carry the Peak Forest canal down 214ft. At the bottom of the flight a beautiful aqueduct carries you over the River Goyt. with an even bigger railway viaduct alongside.
We managed to find a mooring for the night. It wasn’t ideal but the time was getting on and we were pretty shattered.
Today we reached the end of the Peak Forest Canal and turned right at the junction on to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal to begin our journey over the Pennines.
Portland Basin was built to allow boats to make the sharp turn. It was nicknamed the Weaver’s Rest as may weavers had reputedly drowned themselves here during hard times. The restored canal warehouse in the picture below was built in 1834.
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal
This canal has 74 locks! It also has the Standedge Tunnel which is over 3 miles long. The edges are often too shallow to pull in at locks and with so many locks, we decided for one of us to just stay on the towpath rather than jump on and off the boat. It’s quite hard to find a mooring and the pounds are often very shallow. One of the pounds between the locks was completely drained at one point and then the next minute we were having to be careful not to flood the pounds with all the rain we had.
Construction of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal began in 1794 but it was not fully opened until 1811. The Huddersfield Broad Canal had been completed in 1796, near the centre of Huddersfield. It was not of very profitable canal due to the large number of locks, the bottleneck of Standedge Tunnel and its narrowness and by 1944 almost the entire Narrow had been abandoned, with just a short stretch in Huddersfield still serving the Broad canal.
Commercial traffic on the Broad also ended a decade later. Some of the route remained in place as a water feeder and in 1974 the Huddersfield Canal Society was formed and the Huddersfield canal route was restored and reopened in 2001.
It was a very long day on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal today!
Today we cruised 8 miles and did 14 locks and we were really struggling to find a mooring. Our last lock of the day was done in the dark which was really not good so we moored on the lock landing (not allowed!) but we just could not continue any further. The next morning we moved up to Roaches Lock. There is a pub right next to the lock but unfortunately it is not dog friendly (we were told that the food is good though).
Despite the pub next to the lock not being dog friendly, there are some lovely walks and we really enjoyed our stay here.
We had a wander back to Mossley and walked up to the top of the town, which was really lovely.
Next stop – Uppermill.
And just for fun …. had to have a go on this zip wire 🤙
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