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New Procedure for Harecastle Tunnel 2021
For the 2021 season the Canal & River Trust has implemented new operating times to travel through the Harecastle Tunnel and afternoon passages need to be pre-booked.
Harecastle Tunnel 2021 Opening Times (1st March – 30th October, 2021)
Tunnel open 8am – 5pm – Monday to Sunday.
Non-booked passages can arrive at the Tunnel between 8 am to 12 noon (Monday to Sunday)
Booked passages are available between 2 pm and 4 pm (Monday to Sunday)
2pm – Southbound (Kidsgrove to Westport Lake)
3 pm – Northbound (Westport Lake to Kidsgrove)
4 pm – Southbound (Kidsgrove to Westport Lake)
Open passages are available from 8am to 12 noon, Monday to Sunday. Un-booked (Open) passages must arrive at the tunnel portal between 8am and 12 noon. There is no guarantee of passage for arrivals after 12 noon unless you have pre-booked.
The tunnel is located north of our north of our Stoke on Trent hire base (about 45 minutes cruising time). The last northbound passage is at 3pm, which means that guests wishing to head north will not be able to go through the tunnel on the first day of cruising.
If you wish to cruise north, we recommend you moor at Westport lake or stay at the base for the night and travel through the next morning.
Alternatively, if you plan to cruise the Four Counties Ring, we recommend you head south first. If you have booked a short break and want to make the most of your cruising time, we recommend heading head south to Great Heywood.
How to Book
You can pre book your passage through the Harecastle Tunnel online at:
Alternatively you can wait until your arrival at the Stoke on Trent canal boat hire base and we can manage this for you however time slots may become limited.
About the Harecastle Tunnel
Harecastle Tunnel is a canal tunnel on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Staffordshire between Kidsgrove and Tunstall. The tunnel, which is 1.6 miles long, was once one of the longest in the country and it was used to transport coal to the kilns in the Staffordshire Potteries.
As the Telford tunnel is only wide enough for a single boat, canal traffic is managed by sending alternating northbound and southbound groups of boats through the tunnel. Ventilation is provided by large electric fans at the south portal.
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