The Victoria Tunnel is a preserved 19th century waggonway under the city from the Town Moor to the Tyne, built to transport coal from Spital Tongues (Leazes Main) Colliery to the river and operated between 1842 and the 1860s. The Tunnel was converted in 1939 into an air raid shelter to protect thousands of Newcastle citizens during World War 2.

In 2008 the Victoria Tunnel was carefully repaired and opened for guided tours with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and TyneWear Partnership. Since 2010 the Ouseburn Trust has operated guided tours, with our award winning volunteer guides ('Best Team at 2015 North East Museums Volunteers Awards' and 'NE Regional Winner of the Marsh Trust Award for Volunteers and Museum Learning 2017').

If you are ready to book your tickets now go straight to Buy Tour Tickets (PLEASE NOTE advance booking is essential). Tickets are £9 for adults on the two-hour tour, £7 for the one-hour tour and £4 for children aged 8-15. Our tours are not suitable for younger children or babies.

The Victoria Tunnel is a place of many stories:

Victoria Tunnel LogoGo on your own journey of discovery to learn how tough life was during WW2, listen for the air-raid warning and the sound of planes passing overhead dropping their bombs and memories of people who lived through the dreadful period in Newcastle's history. See the rough wooden replica beds and benches, just like those slept or sat on by frightened citizens during bombing raids. And visit the WW2 crucifix and see if you can identify the people named in the roll of honour. You may also be interested to hear about the sightings of a ghost seen in the Victoria Tunnel by visitors from a Paranormal group!!

Experience life in a Victorian waggonway, learn how it was constructed and listen out for the wagons full of coal heading for the Tyne. Be brave, listen to the story of William Coulson's death and be aware as you hear the approaching waggons heading towards you through the tunnel in the pitch black darkness.

Find out which Newcastle landmarks you are walking beneath, including the unique chance to walk underneath Hadrian's Roman Wall.

Awards, special events and reviews

  • an award winning attraction - Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 2013 in the North East of England Tourism Awards, and a Bronze Award in 2014, 2016 and 2017.Gold award winner
  • Strongly recommended as Number One Visitor Attraction in Newcastle on Trip Advisor and has been awarded the 2019 Certificate of Excellence for the sixth year running and entered in the Trip Advisor Hall of Fame.  Read visitors' reviews here
  • Recommended in Rough Guides
  • Best Team at 2015 North East Museums Volunteers' Awards and NE Regional Winner of the Marsh Trust Award for Volunteers and Museum Learning 2017Trip Advisor Hall of Fame 2019Sandford Award
  • Awarded the Sandford Award in 2018, the quality mark for heritage education.
  • Featured in the BBC series 'How We Won the War' and 'Dan Snow's History of the Railway'. 
  • We've also hosted the 'Hitlers Headquarters' performance by Twentyseven Productions in 2015 and 'Trapped' by Experiential Dance in 2016 and 2017.

If you enjoy guided walks and other heritage based attractions take a look at the wonderful programme offered by our friends:

Newcastle City Guides 

Newcastle Castle

Newcastle St Nicholas Cathedral 

St Mary’s Heritage Centre

Discovery Museum

Great North Museum

Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Book

Literary and Philosophical Society Library

The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

The Victoria Tunnel and the Ouseburn Trust are members of the Industrial Heritage Network and the Tyne & Wear Heritage ForumTyne and Wear Heritage Forum logoIndustrial Heritage Network logo