Under The Thames – Greenwich Foot Tunnel

Suitable for over 5s.  Central London.

greenwich_foottunnel2Think London, think the River Thames. There are so many exciting ways to explore the river.

A very different way to cross the Thames is to walk under it – through The Greenwich Foot Tunnel.

Now I have to confess that I only took the new lift down to the tunnel, walked a few yards and then came back up the lift. It was still exciting even if we did not walk very far.

If you are doing this with older children you may decide to walk all the way to the other end (370 metres or 1217 Feet) where there is another new automatic lift.  If you want, you can either walk back through the tunnel or come back on the DLR from the nearby Island Gardens Station.

Where: The entrance is at Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, London SE10 9HT. 
Facilities: large automatic lift, 24 hour cctv surveillance 
Website: www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk

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The tunnel counts as a public highway, so has to be open 24 hours.   Until the new large lifts were installed in 2012 the lift service was manned and had limited hours.  When the lift was not operated you would have to walk up or down the spiral staircase.  Now the lift service is automatic and should be working 24 hours.  People still use the stairs, often as part as a fitness workout.

The world’s first underwater tunnel built in 1843, was the Rotherhithe to Wapping tunnel which is now part of London Overground train network.  The Greenwich Foot Tunnel was built in 1902 to replace a ferry service that took workers to all the factories and docks on The Isle of Dogs.  There is a second foot tunnel still in use at Woolwich, but that only has a spiral staircase.

Getting There  Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, London SE10 9HT on the south side of The Thames 
  Island Gardens, Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets on the north side of The Thames 
Google see map or get directions

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