Harecastle tunnel itself is 2,900 yards long, or 1.6 miles or 6 1/2 times longer than Chirk Darkie. Long. I know it's very lazy of me not to write it out myself, but CLICK HERE for NB Epiphany's description which sums it up very nicely.
So, back to the Harecastle Tunnel
In we go
Once you're in the tunnel, the doors close behind you, and very loud fans come on, to extract the smoke. Not so bad when you're travelling from south (Stoke) to north (Kidsgrove), but when you're travelling south, towards the closed doors and the fans, it is quite scary, as they don't open the doors till you're almost on top of them. By this time, you're saying to yourself "surely we're almost at the end now" and "I hope they haven't forgotten we're in here", as you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel!
As you proceed towards Kidsgrove, the ceiling height of the tunnel becomes lower and lower, the brickwork is painted white to indicate a change in height. Even Dave was ducking down nearing the end.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Out into the basin at Kidsgrove.
Left turn onto the Macclesfield Canal, the Trent & Mersey continues down the double locks, known as Heartbreak Hill, towards Sandbach and Middlewich. But we're not going that way.
We decided to have a change of plan and visit the Macclesfield canal, as I've never been here. Dave's last visit was 20 years ago, when he, and NB Lace Lady first met up. (Hello Dot & Dave)
Back to the tunnel - this is Maffi's picture of the skeleton someone has painted inside, (I hope he doesn't mind me using it) I did try and take a photo of it myself, and this was the result .....
.... absolute rubbish! Hence using Maffi's pic.