Kate and Rebecca tied the knot in one of the UK's most unsual venues, the longest, deepest and highest canal tunnels in Britain.

Kate and Rebecca tied the knot in one of the UK’s most unsual venues, the longest, deepest and highest canal tunnels in Britain.

(C) Laura Rhian

The historic tunnel and visitor centre, which is owned by waterways and wellbeing charity the Canal & River Trust, is set in a picturesque location on the edge of the Peak District National Park just outside Huddersfield in West Yorkshire and was the stunning setting for the marriage of Kate Stephenson and Rebecca (Becks) Errett, both of Holmfirth.

The couple, who share the same birthday and are both 36 years old, decided to tie the knot at Standedge’s Visitor Centre after viewing a number of other Yorkshire locations and deciding that the iconic tunnel was the ideal place for them.

With the wedding date being right in the heart of the festive season, the happy couple gave their ceremony, wedding breakfast and party a Christmas theme, complete with a carol-singing choir, Christmas trees, fairy lights and a meal on sharing platters to mimic the traditional Christmas Day lunch, while guests danced late in to the night.


While not originally hailing from Yorkshire, Kate and Rebecca have long roots in the county having met 17 years ago while reading for a degree in performance design and production at the now defunct Bretton Hall College of Education, the Grade II listed former manor house that is now being developed into a luxury hotel within the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The couple met on the second day of the course and have been together ever since, while the wedding proposal from Becks to Kate came in a novel way at a breakout room game in Liverpool where the ring was hidden in the last puzzle.

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Kate Stephenson said, “We were looking for a venue that could host the ceremony and wedding breakfast in one location, but also somewhere that was typically Yorkshire in its essence and combined a rustic feel with some industrial heritage. We looked at many different locations but as soon as we set foot in Standedge we both realised it was our dream venue. Those dreams came true in the most amazing way. We’d like to thank all the Standedge staff who helped make it such as special day.”

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Iain Weston of the Canal & River Trust which manages the Standedge site said, “We are delighted to have hosted the first same-sex wedding at Standedge Tunnel and to be part of Kate and Becks’ special Christmas present to each other. We would like to wish them many congratulations and much happiness in the future.”

Standedge Tunnel, which dates from 1811 and stretches for more than 5km (3 miles) from Marsden in West Yorkshire to Diggle in Greater Manchester, was licensed to host wedding ceremonies in August 2017. Weddings take place in the fabulous Thomas Bourne Room which has exposed bricks, cast-iron columns and a wood-beamed ceiling. Large bright windows overlook the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and couples can arrive or depart by barge. The room holds up to 200 people. Find out more click here

About the author: Jake Hook
The editor and chief of THEGAYUK. All in a previous life wrote and produced songs on multi-platinum records.