81) Ruddi's Retreat route. Marsden Tunnel end to Slaithwaite.
This route came about when Accessiblenatureuk was invited to check out the suitability of a route - to be used as a sponsored walk / wander, raising funds for a very worthwhile local Huddersfield Charity, the Ruddi's Retreat. You can learn more about Ruddi's Retreat by visiting their own web site
Standedge Tunnel End is the Yorkshire side of the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain. The Oldham / Greater Manchester side is called Diggle. Constructed in 1794 - 1811, it closed in 1944, much work took place and it was eventually reopened to waterway traffic in 2001.Length 5451 yards long (4984m).
Tunnel End, Standedge. There is a museum, accessible cafe and toilet at Tunnel End, a few disabled parking bays and general parking.
Mid-route - there is a cafe / bar called Zapato, at a mill accessed via a footbridge from the canal, sadly not accessible.
Slaithwaite, numerous cafe's, bar's and shops, There is a delightful cafe called the Handmade Bakery, that is accessible and has a disabled toilet.
Lots of car parking in Slaithwaite, but please be careful if you park near the Upper Mills as these are pay and display ( inc blue badge users) with a high penalty fee if you go over your time!.
From Marsden StandedgeTunnel End, Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, HD76NQ.
The route mostly follows the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, from the world famous Tunnel End to the village of Slaithwaite. The route is just over 3 miles long.
Caution there are a few obstacles to avoid on the route, but these are passable with care or avoided via a slight detour.
From Tunnel end Cafe - head away up the hill - following the flow of the canal (slow!). Turn right over the bridge and ignore the quite steep cobbled path to you left, instead - stay almost straight and follow the wider track which takes you back to the canal side (on your left).
Follow this ( canal on your left) you will go under a number of bridges and tunnels, all ok- but keep wheels over to the right of the towpath.
You will need to leave the canal side for a short while when you get to the train station, (because at the end of the canal path is a step (8inch high) leading through a narrow gate).
As you enter the road ( Station Rd) from the towpath - follow this down the hill and bear left along and up Warehouse Hill Road. After climbing along and up the hill you will see the canal on your left. Looking to your right you will see a track adjacent to the road on your right. Head down this ( there is a wide gate but is always open), ignore the first gap on your left back to the canal, but take the second. This avoids the uneven path.
Now back on the canal towpath continue.
Opposite the canal basin the path is gravel but only for a short section. You will soon reach lock 37E with a gradual slope. Then lock 36E slightly steeper.
Keep going - lock 35E, slope but ok.
Then you reach lock 34E, take care and choose your route down here.
At lock 33E ignore the cobbled towpath (too steep) and follow the obvious track ahead. Careful down the slope as the drainage gulleys can trip / catch a wheel.
Lock 32E, a gate at the bottom is never locked. slight uneven ground so be careful going down.
Lock 31E, gradual but ok.
Between lock 31E and 30E, take care - a couple of collapsed bank sections (small) but enough room for all wheelchairs / wheels to pass safely.
Look out for the deep pothole - protected with orange netting! (thrown in). It is deep but enough room to pass with care.
Lock 30E, cobbled so take care if wet. Slope not too bad.
Soon you come to a mill on your right- you can not use the footbridge to get to the cafe / bar called Zapato, but you could get takeouts? There is a road further on your right that leads to Zapato but there is a small step.
Lock29E sloped but ok.
Lock 28E Sloped but ok.
Lock 27E, slightly steeper slope but ok. Be aware of the small down step at the bottom of the cobbles.
Lock 26E, ignore the towpath (very steep) stay on the obvious track.
Lock 25E, gradual slope, all ok.
After a few hundred metres you enter Slaithwaite, if you need the toilet inc disabled or refreshments the cafe (if open) is excellent.
Continue into the village of Slaithwaite.
Route length inc detours )= just over 3 miles...Official end of the Ruddi's Retreat route.
If you wish to wander back to Marsden and Tunnel End, Standedge then retrace your route back up the valley. Making a total of over 6.4 miles.
See route https://editor.wix.com/html/editor/web/renderer/edit/b6aaa4ae-ebf9-4af6-8e4e-1b104c0e5dbb?metaSiteId=deb9ea9c-e032-40d2-b009-568f846f1985
Please note you can not get a train back to Marsden if you have a person using a wheelchair / powerchair / mobility scooter as there is NO access to the trains - please check with the rail services provider to see if this has changed?