Greenwich Foot Tunnel: 50ft Below the Thames

Inside Greenwich Foot Tunnel, London

Who built Greenwich Foot Tunnel & Why?

Greenwich Foot Tunnel was completed in 1902. It was designed by Sir Alexander Binnie so dock workers could cross the river to get to work on the West India Docks. There is an entrance in Greenwich on the river near the Cutty Sark and another at Island Gardens.

When the tunnel was built by the London County Council, regulations had to be enforced which banned the herding of sheep through the tunnel.
Prior to the foot tunnel being built a ferry used to transport people across the river, this ferry had been in existence since 1676!

How many tiles are in the tunnel?

There are 200,000 white tiles in total within the Greenwich foot tunnel.

How long is the tunnel?

Its length is 1,217ft and it has an internal diameter of 11ft.

World War Two Damage

The tunnel was damaged during World War Two. During the first night of the blitz of September 7th and 8th 1940, the tunnel experienced some damage. By 1941 the tunnel was reopened. The tunnel was an essential part of the war effort as it connected housing in the south with the industry and docks in the north. Within the tunnel you can see the 1940 repair work.

Should I go?

Absolutely! The view from the Island Gardens side makes it worth the walk! Buskers often perform in the tunnel too, so be sure to take some change. There is a cafe open on the island gardens side.

Trip Tips:

  • It’s a cool place to hide on a summers day.
  • Cycling is not allowed inside the tunnel.
  • At the time of visiting the lift on the Greenwich side was out of service, be careful if you’ve got a heavy load.