In response to the most recent changes to COVID-19 guidelines, the Victoria Tunnel is temporarily closed to the public.

We hope to be able to resume single-household tours as soon as it's deemed safe to do so. In the meantime, you can 'visit' the Tunnel through the Virtual Victoria Tunnel Experience, with events scheduled throughout November and December.

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 on TripAdvisor 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.

I would highly recommend this tour, just as much to local people as visors from elsewhere. The visit was well organised for COVID safety. The tour was informative and very entertaining. The Tunnel is an absolute marvel and its history as part of the city is genuinely fascinating. Thanks so much for one of the best daytrips I've had in Newcastle, you guys are absolute legends, so funny and knowledgeable, you are wonderful ambassadors for our region.

A shortened review from Tripadvisor, September 2020. 

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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 (including special offers on the day of your visit), 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

We visited today with our granddaughters. The Guides were fantastic and interacted with us all. We are from the northeast but learnt a lot more about mining than we thought possible. Our 9-year old had recently studied WW2 so was intrigued and asked loads of questions. I wish we’d known about this sooner as I’m sure we’d be frequent visitors. 

Tripadvisor review, August 2020

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  • 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.

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