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Harecastle Tunnel

Grid reference: SJ837541
Coordinates: 53.06285°N 2.2265°W
John Benson, Canal & River Trust Archivist

To build a 9ft wide the best part of 12 miles long represented engineering on a scale quite unknown to the world at that time.

- John Benson, Canal & River Trust Archivist

Did you know

Harecastle Tunnel is not one, but two parallel tunnels on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Staffordshire – joining Kidsgrove and Tunstall. They were built separately 40 years apart by two famous canal engineers – James Brindley and Thomas Telford, which is why the tunnels were dubbed the ‘Brindley’ tunnel and the ‘Telford’ tunnel.

The Brindley tunnel is long closed, having fallen into disrepair – but the Telford tunnel is still used to this day by canal boats. At 1.5 miles long, it is still one of the longest canal tunnels in Britain – and takes around 40 minutes to navigate.

Because of its narrow width, there is only space for one boat to pass through at one time – so you can be waiting for a little while when you get there, but it’s certainly a unique experience!

5 things to do nearby

Little Moreton Hall - This Tudor manor house with fascinating interiors and amazing views.

Biddulph Grange Garden - These unique gardens make the perfect place for a tranquil walk.

Glebe Farm Astbury - With great food and a petting zoo for the kids, this is a great place to visit with the family.

Bursley Ale House - This ale house makes for the perfect pit stop for any craft beer fan.

Astbury Mere Country Park - A large country park with some spectacular views of the countryside.

Image credit: Bartosz Pietkiewicz / Google

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