Rochdale Canal winds through Hebden Bridge on its 32 mile journey from Manchester to Sowerby Bridge - cleaving through some of the countryís most fascinating industrial archaeology and breath catching Pennine scenery.

Built by immigrant navies between 1799 and 1804, the canalís ambitious construction claimed many lives. Ninety-two locks were needed to lift it 600ft above sea level, a feat rewarded by the prosperity it enjoyed for at least another century.

Canal transport was revolutionary because a barge could carry 50 tonnes from one end of the canal to the other in 28 hours - a speed not possible by horse. But even when other canals had succumbed to competition from road and rail, the Rochdale remained busy right up to the 1930s.

Lack of maintenance during World War Two finally finished its commercial life, but at its height it had carried three-quarters of a million tonnes of goods every year.

Decades of dereliction and neglect ended in 2003 when the Rochdale re-opened - fully restored and reconnected to the national network at Sowerby Bridge where the deepest canal basin in the country marks its merging with Calder and Hebble Navigation.

Increasingly popular as a leisure waterway for narrow boat holidays, the Rochdale Canal corridor has also gradually softened and blossomed into a treasured amenity for walkers.

Abundant with wildlife, the towpath provides long or short linear walks as well as easy access to the surrounding hills.

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