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Greenwich Foot Tunnel, London

4.0
#409 of 3,736 in Things to do in London
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel crosses beneath the River Thames in East London, linking Greenwich (Royal Borough of Greenwich) on the south bank with the Isle of Dogs (London Borough of Tower Hamlets) on the north.
The tunnel was designed by civil engineer Sir Alexander Binnie for London County Council and constructed by contractor John Cochrane & Co. The project started in June 1899 and the tunnel opened on 4 August 1902. The tunnel replaced an expensive and sometimes unreliable ferry service allowing workers living south of the Thames to reach their workplaces in the London docks and shipyards in or near the Isle of Dogs. Its creation owed much to the efforts of working-class politician Will Crooks, who had worked in the docks and, after chairing the LCC's Bridges Committee responsible for the tunnel, later served as Labour MP for Woolwich.
The entrance shafts at both ends are beneath glazed domes. Lifts, installed in 1904, were upgraded in 1992 and again in 2012, and helical staircases allow pedestrians to access the sloping, tile-lined tunnel. The cast-iron tunnel is 370.2m long, 15.2m deep and has an internal diameter of about 9ft. The cast-iron rings are coated with concrete and surfaced with some 200,000 white glazed tiles. The northern end was damaged by bombs during the Second World War and repairs included a thick steel and concrete inner lining that reduces the diameter substantially for a short distance. The North tower has 87 steps, and the South tower has 100.
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Greenwich Foot Tunnel Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
459 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great insight into history. Takes around 10 minutes to walk across to the other side of the Thames. Signs saying No Cycling which are mostly ignored. Quite a lot of littering, why do people do it?  more »
  • Have chosen this route on the way back from Greenwich to Isle of dogs for fun. Yes, it is an alternative to boat or train! It is pleasantly cool (but not cold) in summer and the journey does not take too long. At the beginning and end, of course, a few steps have to be overcome. There is an elevator, but it was out of service. The tunnel is a good connection between Cutty Sark and the Island Gardens (where you can also linger a bit).
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