Standedge Tunnel, Marsden (Photo: Andy Leader)


Standedge Tunnel, Marsden (Photo: Andy Leader)

There’s more to Marsden than at first meets the eye.  This Colne Valley village brings together much that is emblematic of the South Pennines: stunning moorland, abundant wildlife, water (the canal, not rain)  mill buildings, a micro-brewery, prize-winning brass band, a past populated by Suffragettes and Luddites and bags of local pride.

Marsden Cuckoo Festival

Marsden Cuckoo Festival (Photo: Andy Leader)

And it’s festive.  Marsden Jazz Festival takes place each October and is a highlight on the musical calendar of the north.  More quirky are the Marsden Cuckoo Festival, held to celebrate the story of the Marsden cuckoo and Imbolc – the pagan festival welcoming the return of the light after the winter.

Know what the locals know…

Simon Armitage, renowned poet, playwright and walker of the Pennine Way, is a Marsden lad.  You can read one of his seven Stanza Stones poems by taking a dramatic walk up to 19th century quarry workings at nearby Pule Hill.

Stunning Marsden Moor rises high above the village and is a great place for a spot of ornithology – look out for twite, golden plover and curlew.

The entrance to Britain’s longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel, the Standedge Tunnel,  is in Marsden.  You can take a trip into it from the Visitor Centre, a short walk along the towpath from town.


Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Marsden

Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Marsden (Photo: Andy Leader)


Buy local produce at Radish or try homemade icecream at A Month of Sundaes.

Have a beer at The Riverhead Brewery Tap it’s brewed on the premises by one of the country’s few brewsters – and many of the beers are named after nearby reservoirs.

Catch a play by Mikron, the country’s only theatre Company to tour by narrowboat.  They’re based at The Mechanic’s Institute.

Pop up to the Loft Space, a hub of  creativity where you can book on a workshop or buy work by local artists inspired by the Marsden landscape.  It’s at Standedge Visitor Centre.

For more information and ideas on where to stay:

Have a look at or give the Visitor Centre in the Mechanics Institute a call on 01484 222555.  More local information can be found at