Saddleworth used to be part of the historical county of the West Riding of Yorkshire, but in the 1971 local government re-organisation it was re-organised into the new ‘county’ of Greater Manchester, whichitself had been part of Lancashire. This was a seriuous matter for Yorkshire folk, some of whom still refuse to accept it.
Distance: about 2 miles
Grade: mostly easy, but difficult in places
This walk is a fairly straightforward affair, following the towpath of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal down the Diggle valley towards Uppermill.
It begins at the car park near the Standedge Tunnel mouth. Here the emergence of the canal from under the Pennines is much lower key than its equivalent at Tunnel End in Yorkshire. However, the path is good, though the scenery is rather unspectacular.
The destruction of the textile industry in the late 20th Century is plain to see to your right.
The footpath is OK, but the stoney surface makes for an uncomfortable ride unless you go verey slowly. There are eroded sections on the steep slopes by the lock gates, and these sections are very difficult without assistance. Fortunately, it is a popular path, and most people will help you if you ask nicely.
Lock 25W is as far as I got, but it should be possible to carry on to Uppermill. I’ll try that later.
Diggle, by the way, comes from the old “Dig-lee”, or the clearing with a ditch.