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  • “The Foot Tunnel is one of the best ways across the river, especially for people on the Isle of Dogs.” in 11 reviews

  • “It's quite a practical way to hop around from Cutty Sark to Island Gardens instead of taking DLR.” in 7 reviews

  • “The lifts are huge, wooden panelled and complete with an operator sitting on a chair!” in 5 reviews

Recommended Reviews

    • Qype User dgouls…
    • London
    • 1 friend
    • 52 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/11/2008

    well what can i Say, its a tunnel that goes under the Thames to nowhere interesting, and that's bout it.. well to an adult like me anyhow.

    But when i was a kid it was such an exciting time going down the big lifts and under water oh yes under this big river Thames and to the little park on the other side to get an ice-cream, oh how i wish i was young again. hehe.

    It definitely something i would take my kids through as it has a wonderful feeling that you really are deep within the earth under the Thames.

    And I'm sure there are places worth a visit on the other side, just never was interested as a kid in that,

    But the view from the other side is lovely and can get some nice sunset pics from there.

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/11/2007
    First to Review

    Built over a hundred years ago this is one of London's less visible attractions. It runs between Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs (South of Canary Warf) and Greenwich (right by the Cutty Sark) and was built to take workers from the South to the Northern docks. At the surface all you can see is two strange round buildings. If you didn't know better you might expect to see an old telescope sticking out. Inside though there's a choice of lift or stairs. If you choose the stairs it's a long way spiralling down. You might want to check for signs saying if the lifts are working before you go down! Anyway, the lifts are an experience One minute you are standing on the river bank, next you could be in some posh department store. The lifts are huge, wooden panelled and complete with an operator sitting on a chair!

    After that the tunnel itself is a disappointment to be honest. It's pretty much like the tunnels found in many underground stations. It goes down a bit then goes up a bit. That's it. Fairly grotty and dull really. Ah well, that's not the point. The experience is more about the idea, if you get what I mean. There's not many places on Earth you can walk under a major river. Don't forget when you re-emerge to look across the river and spot where you came from, especially if you have kids with you. They'll love it.

    • Qype User Sian…
    • London
    • 415 friends
    • 752 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    9/5/2011

    I don't like it. I know it's very convenient if you need to get to the other side, but it's a bit scary for a girl on her own. It smells of wee, there's always drunk boys down here and if you ever did find yourself in trouble, there's only one way to run and that freaks me out a bit. It's also got some pretty sporadic opening times at the moment, which doesn't help matters if you're not a massive girl.

    To be fair, they are doing it up, which explains the strange opening times, but I still don't feel safe using the tunnel. I DO feel safe using the DLR, so I'd rather do that.

    • Qype User sophie…
    • London
    • 17 friends
    • 154 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    20/9/2008

    The Greenwich foot tunnel is a pedestrian tunnel crossing beneath the River Thames in South East London, linking the London Borough of Greenwich in the south with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to the north. It was designed by civil engineer Sir Alexander Binnie for London County Council, and was constructed by contractor John Cochrane & Co; the project started in June 1899 and the tunnel was opened on 4 August 1902.

    I love the concept.. although it does smell down there and is really quite cold!!!

    • Qype User moneyb…
    • London
    • 2 friends
    • 69 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    14/11/2008

    The Foot Tunnel is one of the best ways across the river, especially for people on the Isle of Dogs.

    It's really a little gem, as it's the nearest method of getting across the river without walking down further West, or using Blackwall tunnel (but only if you have a car!)

    The tunnel is very well maintained. It's clean, smells fresh and is in a good condition.

    The Foot Tunnel is surprisingly quiet considering it being an important link between North and South of the river. Perhaps it's not really known about amongst tourists, or people are scared? No need to be scared! There are loads of CCTV cameras and people that use it have one motive, to get to the other side!

    The elevators in the tunnel are usually always working, although they have been out for the past few days, but were being fixed pretty fast.

    • Qype User emmieh…
    • Basildon, Essex
    • 1 friend
    • 102 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    28/1/2009

    Don't go in the tunnel if you're claustrophobic!! It's fairly long and can get a bit busy during peak times. Howver it's a really interesting way to cross the river - and cheaper than public transport!

    It's impressive to think how old the tunnel is, and how far is spans.

    Both sides of the river ar enice places to sit and watch the world go by - so use this quirky little tunnel to join both sides and see which you prefer!

    • Qype User claudi…
    • London
    • 11 friends
    • 50 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    10/2/2011

    It's great if you want to visit Greenwich, to get off the DLR at 'Island Gardens' and from there to walk through the tunnel to the other side of the river. And then visit the rest of Greenwich.
    I used to go there at night, when there's no people in the tunnel. So quiet, creepy and in the same time, amazing. hehe

    • Qype User zakalw…
    • Bristol
    • 2 friends
    • 8 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    17/11/2008

    Greenwich Foot Tunnel is a really handy way to cross the river if the DLR isn't running for any reason - it's classed as a public highway so it's kept open 24 hours a day.

    It's also part of the National Cycle Network but you're not allowed to ride your bike through it - cyclists are supposed to get off and push.

    The lifts at either end are operated by attendants and only open between 7am and 7pm. There's no guarantee that they'll be working when you go through though - especially if you happen to be carrying a lot of heavy shopping!

    As for safety, I've walked through there at all hours and never felt threatened or unsafe. There are a few CCTV cameras and most of the time there'll be at least a couple of other people down there with you.

    • Qype User macall…
    • London
    • 3 friends
    • 49 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    27/11/2008

    This is one of those quirky London gems that provide enjoyment and memories for all ages.

    There is something curious or magical about walking underneath the Thames and to be able to look back to the other side when you emerge.

    It's also interesting historically in that the tunnel was built to allow people to get their jobs on the Isle of Dogs instead of a ferry service that was the previous way across. This was at a time when the Isle of Dogs was home to maritime industry and docks rather than high finance.

    Hopefully as other reviewers have noted, because the tunnel is classified as a public highway, it will remain open for the benefit of generations to come.

    • Qype User filimb…
    • London
    • 44 friends
    • 301 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    27/6/2008

    How do I get from north London to Greenwich on the bus £3 only please without wasting time by crossing in central london or the deptford tunnel thing (if indeed that is its name?)
    Why then you use this tunnel here my friend, although the latter part of your journey will be on foot, as a bus wouldn't fit in the lift.
    Get off your bus (C2? C3?) at the island gardens dlr stop, proceed down the side road to the river and there it is, the north entrance! Go down in the wood walled manned lift, endure the resentment of the one hour of sunlight a day lift operator, and head into the tunnel, which dips then rises, to avoid the water. And obey the rules: no running, no cycling, no loud noises, and definitely no explosions. YEAH! You are in a tunnel. Rules matter. You're not on the tube now, sweating and waiting to die. You are sweating and waiting to die under the Thames, on foot, in a foot tunnel. All the difference in the world. And you can actually SMELL the river through the walls. And watch it come through in small drop sized portions.
    Then you emerge right in greenwich near that bit of burnt wood that used to be an iron hulled tea clipper that we flogged to the portuguese for most of its working life. Cutty Sark, i think the name means young girl's dress. Seriously.
    There you go. Greenwich for £3. Much better than certain other thames foot tunnels we could name (wool itch anyone?)
    It is shut at certain times though; why not risk it? Because you would be stuck on the isle of dogs waiting for a bus that never comes, that's why.

    • Qype User ozvald…
    • Cambridge
    • 173 friends
    • 112 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    5/10/2008

    If you're going to spectate at the London Marathon in April, then watching the start on Blackheath, cutting through Greenwich, down through the tunnel then onto the DLR will allow you to see the race leaders five or six times round the course if you plan it right.
    The Café at the Island Gardens side is very nice too.

  • 5.0 star rating
    29/10/2008

    Atmospheric and interesting, this old tunnel is extremely useful for crossing the river by foot and I've always rather enjoyed using it. Be warned though - if you've had a pint or too don't stop and chat to people half way through as i did one time. We suddenly resalised we'd forgotten which way was which and faced the prospect of potentially going back the way we'd come! I can't recall how we sorted this out but there was a logic to it I think. The other thing worth mentioning are the vast lifts used to get to the tunnel itself - very characterful and old fashioned.

    • Qype User giovan…
    • London
    • 2 friends
    • 59 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    30/11/2008

    Even at 13, I found this place creepy - it is very quiet at times and the echo is amazing, from one side you can't see the end of the other. There are lifts to get down to the tunnel itself and you can either take the lift or stairs. I found the lifts amazing - they are massive and have a real retro feel as they have their own operator. Not many places where you still get that today.

    The actual tunnel looks old and that's what freaks me out it looks like it could collapse at any moment and there are even some drops coming down. There's usually quite a few people down there and it's great actually going under a river and looking back where you just came from.

    • Qype User fuerte…
    • London
    • 20 friends
    • 119 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    1/5/2010

    Not the best place to go if you are claustrophobic/ have an over active imagination and fantasise about the tunnel caving in under the weight of the Thames in an unescapable death.

    Still, if you're a cheapskate like me then it's a fabulous way to cross the river and, for a tunnel, smells surprisingly lacking in urine.

    • Qype User DrGi…
    • London
    • 6 friends
    • 54 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    20/11/2007

    It could be a good fun to walk under the Thames although the walkway is not terribly pleasurable. It's just dark and wet but equipped with CCTV, so let's assume it's safe and well-maintained. It's quite a practical way to hop around from Cutty Sark to Island Gardens instead of taking DLR. Good spot if you want to sit somewhere watching the tides from both sides of the river.

    • Qype User dw2…
    • London
    • 6 friends
    • 39 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    3/11/2007

    If you are into places deep underground that smell damp and are cold, this is the place for you. While it is pretty cool to walk under the Thames, there is no chance of me ever going again. The tunnel is, as one would expect, cold and reeking of dampness, mould and mildew. When I went, there were a bunch of kids screaming and shouting which doesn't make the adventure particularly pleasant, especially given that there is such an echo. Possibly most fun was the elevator trip at the other end with an old fashioned elevator operator (very old school with a little cd player to keep him amused- as if we couldn't press the buttons ourselves...). It's one of those do it once" things...

    • Qype User Baggio…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 123 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    15/11/2008

    When you are walking through this tunnel, you will find it quite a sight, built all those years ago and yet still intact and in service, it is yet another historic part of London - I am surprised this is not covered as an alternative sight in more tourist guides.

    Being a local, I find this foot path fairly useful, the DLR is down quite a bit for maintenance so rather than waiting for some replacement bus that will appear god knows when, why not opt for the healthier option and take a quick stroll to Cutty Sark Greenwich?

    Mind you, it can get pretty chilly in the tunnel during the winter months!

    • Qype User rich…
    • Poole
    • 2 friends
    • 51 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/11/2008

    A curiously unique tunnel! I have run through this tunnel many times. It is not in a great state of repair, but for me that adds to the appeal. There is a long echo in the tunnel; try running and you will find that the repeated echoes create an atmosphere that you will not find elsewhere. I have run through the tunnel at night on many occasions and have never felt unsafe. If you enter the tunnel at the Cutty Sark end, you will eventually emerge at the other end to find a leafy green area bordering on the Thames. Somehow this tunnel would be very dull and clinical if it were in pristine condition.

    • Qype User tangot…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 64 reviews
    1.0 star rating
    16/11/2008

    I fear the picture posted here over-glamourises the foot tunnel. For sure, it's a magnificent work of Victorian architecture. To build something that is so deep beneath the Thames and yet (mostly) watertight, and for it to be still in use 100 years on, is an immense achievement.

    Yet the reality of walking through it is dismal. The lifts (immense confession booth wooden panelled jobs) are often out of order, so you have to use the spiral staircases, no easy job when lugging a bike or shopping bags. And when you're walking through, that wonderment at Victorian architecture soon gives way to feeling you're trapped in a public loo. It smells dankly of urine, and the neon lighting bouncing off the creamy tiles can be a bit overpowering. I try to jog through as fast as I possibly can to reach the exit.

    • Qype User london…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 49 reviews
    2.0 star rating
    20/11/2008

    I agree with the previous reviewer and am unsure why anyone would choose to visit greenwich for this. I understand that many years ago it was the only way to get from one side of the river to Greenwich, but the Docklands Light Railway now does the job. However, to be honest, it is a short walk from Greenwich to the Isle of Dogs and it doesnt take very long at all. Entrance in Greenwich is right near the Cutty Sark so you end up right in the middle of things. Parking at the weekend on the Isle of Dogs is easier than Greenwich so this might be an option then walk through the foot tunnel.just a thought ;-)

    • Qype User bigdav…
    • London
    • 21 friends
    • 91 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    17/10/2008

    i have lived in Greenwich all my life, and simply love the foot tunnel. although i do warn you, if the lift isnt working, be prepared to climb those stairs!. Its a very safe tunnel- cctv is breaming down there, you also get the occasional busker, although they tend to be more careful these days as its banned. i would recommend you give the tunnel a go

    • Qype User hannah…
    • London
    • 6 friends
    • 66 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    15/11/2008

    Greenwich foot tunnel is one of the least well known ways to cross the thames - underneath it. The long tunnel hemmed in by Victorian tiled walls that haven't seen the daylight for 150 years. Eeery but very exicting. You can imagine the water above you as you walk from Greenwich to around Canary Wharf. There is always someone behind you, you always hear footsteps real or imagined? What a place to hold a party but of course you are not allowed to.

    • Qype User boxerg…
    • London
    • 10 friends
    • 45 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    16/11/2008

    is an underwater tunnel going from Greenwich to the isle of Dogs, is quite an old tunnel with lots of history, just heard is not very safe for ladies to walk at night as Isle of Dogs is full of gangs of teenagers causing disturbance

  • 4.0 star rating
    18/11/2008

    a real slice of Victorian history. i walked, or ran, this many times with my grandparents, and its tiled walls bring memories of Greenwich and the pre murdoch isle of dogs. of course small boys should walk the stairs for the fun of it! back in the pre arson days the Cutty Sark was visitable on emerging.

    • Qype User blacks…
    • London
    • 1 friend
    • 51 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    15/11/2008

    The greenwich foot tunnel runs under the river thames between cutty sark gardens, The woolwich foot tunnel is situated about three miles downstream, if you ever need to exercise, the foot tunnel is a good route to loose a few pounds regularly, its beneath the water and you can just sence the aquatic nature of its existence, i can remember the opening times at the moment.

    • Qype User laydee…
    • London
    • 1 friend
    • 31 reviews
    1.0 star rating
    20/11/2008

    Greenwich foot tunnelhmm. I'm not sure I would pay a special visit to Greenwich just to see it. It's quite dirty and I wouldn't recommend going there at night really. The lift people are nice though and I suppose it is worth seeing and walking under the Thames just to say that you have done it. You won't find much at Island Gardens though so you'll probably end up walking straight back, or going and getting the DLR back to Greenwich again! If you happen to be in Greenwich for something else, it is worth having a wander through. If not, don't bother!

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