Towpaths, Tracks and Tunnels


4 miles long

Scout tunnel #Tameside

Scout tunnel cc-by-sa/2.0 - © philld - geograph.org.uk/p/1437691 – cropped from original

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The “Towpaths, Tracks and Tunnels” route is a four-mile linear walk between Mossley and Stalybridge Railway Stations. Rail, road, canal and river all squeeze through Mossley and have all been important in the growth and wealth of the town. The river provided the power for the cotton mills before the industrial revolution.

When the Huddersfield Narrow Canal fully opened in 1811 it enabled coal to be brought in to fuel the mills which were now steam-powered. The 615-foot / 188-metre Scout Tunnel had to be cut through sturdy gritstone and shales. It was the arrival of the railway in 1849 which opened up Mossley to the world for the distribution of cotton.

Because the walk passes through this fairly long tunnel, it may well be worth bringing along a torch.

Accessibility and facilities

Because the route is partly cobbled and also includes steps, it is not rated as suitable for wheelchair and pushchair-users.

According to the Tameside Council website, public toilets are available in Mossley and in Stalybridge, though not on every day of the week. There are also toilets at Stalybridge station. In addition, there are pubs and cafes in both towns including the highly-rated Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar. This was recently listed as one of the top ten railway refreshments stops in the world!

How to get there

This route is ideally suited to access by train, connecting as it does two stations on the same line. Parking is also available at both stations.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start point and end point, simply click the Google Maps link(s) on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. For public transport options, click the train icon.

Alternatively, input the postcode(s) shown on this page into the TfGM journey planner at https://my.tfgm.com/#/planner/

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