autumnal vibes on the Huddersfield Narrow canal

canal wanderer

autumnal vibes on the Huddersfield Narrow canal

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. I love walking on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and seeing the stunning autumn colours and foliage for which this stretch of the canal is renowned. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal is known as the “Everest” of the canal system, twenty miles in length and traverses through The Pennines with 74 locks. Its main attraction is the Standedge Tunnel, described by the superlatives being the longest, deepest, and highest in the country. I rode through the tunnel some years ago and the 2+ hour boat was certainly an interesting experience.

I chose to explore my favourite stretch of the canal which is west of the tunnel starting at Greenfield – a good starting point which the village has a railway station and good bus connections. This stretch from Greenfield to Uppermill never disappoints me because of the treelined paths and it is easy to be embraced with its bright and beautiful autumn colours. I drew inspiration just walking this stretch and it gave me a creative scope for painting and photography.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Dawn Smallwood

I painted the above scene where this stretch of canal runs along the River Tame. I was artistically inspired to paint the trees and their autumn colours. I used gouache as the paint medium.

Uppermill, once known for its wool and cotton industry, is a Saddleworth Village which the canal travels through. The highlight was to see the fallen leaves on the ground and walking through them; it was like being in an autumn wonderland with all the captivating colours.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal by Dawn Smallwood

This painting is based at Lock 21W in Uppermill. An Autumn hotspot where the leaves carpet the towpath. It was a sight to capture and savour and gouache is the paint medium used.

A notable attraction is the Saddleworth Viaduct which carries trains from Leeds/Huddersfield to
Manchester and Vice Versa. Just after is The Limekiln Café where you can enjoy coffee and cake on their canalside terrace.

Saddleworth Viaduct on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Standedge Tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal

I used the Snapseed App, a free downloadable App, where multiple exposures can be created as shown in the photos of the Saddleworth Viaduct and Standedge Tunnel. I particularly combined the viaduct and the tunnel and their autumn foliage and water reflections.

I began ascending the canal after Dobcross, a nearby village, towards Standedge Tunnel. Being out on the Moors and admiring the November scenery was an experience! I eventually reached Standedge Tunnel and spent some time at the canalside, people and ducks watching. Before I turned back and descended, I stopped at The Diggle Lock, housed in the Warth Mill (once used for the Woollen Cloth Making industry) for a cocktail. The Diggle Lock is a shop as well as a restaurant which produces and sells amazing sourdough bread!

A wonderful afternoon out where one is enchanted with the autumn colours, and cannot help but be drawn into it artistically.

By Dawn Smallwood
Facebook: @Dawn S Art
Instagram: @artwithdawns

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About Dawn Smallwood

Dawn Smallwood offers us a personal look at canals through a series of walks. She includes some local history, comments on social and industrial landscapes, and gives recommendations for local attractions and places to eat or drink. She also raises a great deal of money for charity.