A hidden waterways gem in Marsden is launching a new wedding and conference venue.
The team at Standedge Tunnel, the country’s highest, longest and deepest canal tunnel, has been granted a licence to host civil ceremonies on the site.
The tunnels, which were opened more than 200 years ago, takes the Huddersfield Narrow Canal under the Pennines.
Wedding parties can arrive by boat before joining up to 200 guests in a huge room in a former warehouse next to the canal.
At 2,948 square feet, the Thomas Bourne Room has exposed bricks, cast iron columns and is surrounded by large, bright windows which overlook the canal.
It also has a permanent bar and a serving kitchen.
Among the first newly-weds were Richard De Valve and Daniella Wild, from Marsden, who held their wedding reception at Standedge Tunnel and Visitor Centre last month.
Sam Christopher, wedding manager at Standedge Tunnel, said: “We are delighted to have been granted the licence to hold civil ceremonies on site.
“Not many other venues can offer wedding parties the opportunity of romantically arriving by water along with their guests.
“I know from my experience in wedding planning that every bride and groom has a different idea of what makes their perfect wedding. This is why I will work with couples to create a truly individual and special day.
“One of the great advantages of Standedge Tunnel is that we are flexible about set up times, usually allowing a day either side of the wedding for setting up and taking down wedding decorations. This helps to make the big day much more relaxed for everyone.
“This is a special and magical place for a reception and my staff and I look forward to warmly welcoming wedding parties.”
A variety of different wedding packages are on offer and prices start from £3,750.
As part of the packages, guests automatically have access to an exhibition on the visitor centre’s ground floor about the history of the site.
There is also a toddlers’ small indoor play area.
Outside, there is a large play area and plenty of space for guests to relax overlooking the canal.
There are ramps and lifts across all floors to enable wheelchairs and disabled access.
At the time of opening, the construction of the tunnel represented industrial engineering at its finest, showing unprecedented technical ingenuity.
Before diesel power, cargoes like wool and coal were ‘legged’ through the tunnel on narrow boats.