Tours of the Victoria Tunnel are currently suspended due to the coronavirus measures.

The Victoria Tunnel is a preserved 19th-century waggonway under Newcastle, stretching from the Town Moor to the Tyne river. It was originally 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. Today, you can visit the Victoria Tunnel through guided tours which operate throughout the week. As Newcastle's number one in 'things to do in Newcastle', Ouseburn's Victoria Tunnel is something everyone should experience.

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What can you expect during a Victoria Tunnel tour?

Go on your own journey of discovery!

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.

Learn how tough life was during World War Two; listen for the air-raid warning, the sound of planes passing overhead dropping their bombs, and hear the 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. Visit the World War Two crucifix and see if you can identify the people named in the roll of honour.

Victoria Tunnel also holds much fame for its paranormal mysteries including ghost sightings by previous visitors!

During your tour, you’ll also find out which Newcastle landmarks you are walking beneath, including the unique chance to walk underneath Hadrian's Roman Wall.

One of the most unusual heritage sites I have ever visited.

Review from Tripadvisor, February 2020

Click here for more information about visiting the tunnel as a school group or private tour.

If you have any questions about tunnel accessibility, what to wear, where you can eat, or anything else, check out the 'plan your Victoria Tunnel visit' page.

A brief history of the Victoria Tunnel

In 2008, the Victoria Tunnel was carefully repaired and opened for guided tours by Newcastle City Council with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and TyneWear Partnership. Since 2010 the Ouseburn Trust has operated guided tours, with our award-winning volunteer guidesHowever, the history of the Tunnel goes back many years.

Victoria Tunnel timeline infographic

View the Victoria Tunnel timeline as a PDF

Victoria Tunnel's awards and reviews

When we go abroad we always try to do at least one day trip to understand the local culture and see the sights, yet we are ignorant of what is on our own doorstep. What a brilliant tour this is and what fantastic tour guides for the day we had. Everything was done at a relaxed pace and it was so informative. If you are looking for a nice relaxed day and to understand English heritage you don’t need to look any further than this.

Tripadvisor review, January 2020

Read more visitors' reviews


  • 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.  
  • Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 2013 in the North East of England Tourism Awards, and a Bronze Award in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
  • Recommended in Rough Guides
  • Best Team at 2015 North East Museums Volunteers' Awards
  • North East Regional Winner of the Marsh Trust Award for Volunteers and Museum Learning 2017
  • 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'. 
  • Host of 'Hitlers Headquarters' performance by Twenty Seven Productions in 2015 and 'Trapped' by Experiential Dance in 2016 and 2017.

Book a tunnel tour