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
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