A visit to the Victoria Tunnel will enhance classroom learning about history topics such as Victorian Britain, Britain during World War Two; and Britain Since 1930, or a local study. The Tunnel also offers a unique context for scientific investigations, design and technology projects as well as an opportunity for children to develop their literacy and numeracy skills.

In 2018 the Victoria Tunnel received the Sandford Award for our expertise in Heritage Education.Sandford Award

Our two-hour workshops are based in the historic Ouseburn Valley, just to the east of Newcastle city centre. They were inspired by the find of an old penny in the Victoria Tunnel - an engineering marvel built as a 19th century     underground coal  waggonway and re-used as a World War 2 air raid shelter. We can give up to 36 children at a time a truly memorable learning experience:

  • A one hour tour underground - We will kit out you and your class with hard hats and torches and take you for a short walk along the Ouseburn Valley and into the Victoria Tunnel.
  • A one hour classroom activity - We offer an opportunity to handle original and replica artefacts that may have been lost and found in the Tunnel during World War 2, our reminiscence volunteer talks about his own experience sheltering in the Tunnel as a child and offers a Question and Answer session.

We can adapt both activities to focus on World War 2, Victorian History, Industrial Revolution—just tell us what you are studying!  Workshops are hosted by experienced guides and a veteran of World War 2.  

Recent feedback from school workshops held in 2018

"Great experience - the children will remember the Victoria Tunnel for a long time; the darkness and sound effects were fantastic."

"The tunnel provided real history, something that a picture, book or film could not do and gave the pupils a real live experience."

"Guides were excellent."

"Great session - it built on classroom learning of World War Two."

"Excellent activity, we will be booking again next year. Our 148 children loved going into the Tunnel and your team had a great relationship with them"

"Best school visit I've ever been on."

Co-ordinating a Visit

We can accommodate school parties of up to 36 children and accompanying adults. School parties are split into two groups, as no more than 18 children can be accommodated into the Tunnel at a time.   There needs to be at least two adults inside the Tunnel with each group.

You may wish to combine your school's visit to the Ouseburn Valley (saving transport costs) with a visit to Seven Stories (National Centre for children's books), Stepney Bank Riding Stables, Northern Print or the Ouseburn Farm. We will be pleased to give you more information about these activities when you make your booking.

Additional resources

We have a number of resources and self-led activities available which you can use alongside a visit to the Victoria Tunnel.  

There are also two more extensive resource packs available for classroom activities and self-led explorations of Ouseburn

Booking Information

Price per head in 2018-19 will be £4 per child. To book a visit, please contact the Ouseburn Trust.  It would be helpful if you could provide the following information:

  • Year group
  • Number of children in the group
  • Potential visit times and dates
  • How much time you have for the visit (please bear in mind that groups of more than 18 children will need to split into two tunnel visits)
  • Study topic
  • Any special access requirements

We can then advise you on the appropriate complementary activity. You may be able to book help with running the complementary activities.  Please enquire about this when requesting your visit.

Pre-visit Resources - dedicated Teacher's Pack

If you request them, we will send you a free resource pack to use with the class before or after the visit.

  • a DVD documentary and
  • audio CD, which include interviews with people who remember sheltering in the Tunnel during WW2.
  • Victoria Tunnel guidebook  telling the story of the Tunnel through archive documents and images.
Essential Information

Victoria_Tunnel_School_Visits_Essential_Info

Victoria Tunnel 2017 Hazard Assessment

Download a map of the Ouseburn area here