how many foot tunnels are under the thames


If you’ve ever strolled along the banks of the River Thames in London, you might have wondered about the hidden world beneath the surface. The iconic river is home to a network of foot tunnels that connect the north and south banks, allowing pedestrians to traverse the bustling cityscape without braving the congestion above ground.

Discovering the Underwater Realm

As a keen explorer of the city, I’ve always been fascinated by the intricate web of foot tunnels that lie hidden beneath the murky waters of the Thames. These pedestrian passageways offer a unique perspective on the bustling metropolis, allowing travelers to experience the city from a different vantage point.

Uncovering the Secrets

One of the most intriguing aspects of the foot tunnels under the Thames is their historical significance. These subterranean walkways date back to the Victorian era and bear witness to the city’s rich past. Each tunnel has its own story to tell, providing a glimpse into the bygone days of London’s industrial revolution and the innovative engineering marvels of the time.

Stepping Back in Time

Walking through these foot tunnels feels like a journey back in time, as you marvel at the architectural ingenuity of the Victorian engineers who constructed them. The walls are adorned with timeless brickwork, and the echoes of footsteps resonate through the narrow corridors, creating a sense of connection to the past.

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Counting the Tunnels

So, how many foot tunnels are there under the Thames? The answer might surprise you. There are a total of four pedestrian tunnels that traverse the river, each with its own unique charm and historical significance.

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel is perhaps the most well-known of the subaqueous passageways, connecting the south bank of the Thames to the bustling district of Greenwich. Constructed in the late 19th century, this tunnel has become a beloved landmark, attracting both tourists and locals alike. Its iconic spiral staircases and timeless design make it a must-visit for any curious traveler.

The Woolwich Foot Tunnel

Nestled further east, the Woolwich Foot Tunnel provides a vital link between the north and south banks of the river. Its impressive length and industrial design reflect the maritime history of the area, offering a glimpse into the city’s maritime past and the bustling docks that once lined the riverbanks.

The Tower Subway

Although not technically a foot tunnel, the Tower Subway is an intriguing underground passage that deserves a mention. Dating back to the mid-19th century, this pioneering tunnel was one of the first subterranean passageways to be constructed under the Thames. It was initially designed as a vehicular passage but later repurposed for pedestrian use. Its unique cylindrical shape and historical significance make it a fascinating stop for history enthusiasts.

The Blackwall Tunnel Footpath

The Blackwall Tunnel is primarily known as a vehicular passage, but it also boasts a separate footpath that runs parallel to the main carriageway. This allows pedestrians to traverse the river, offering a unique perspective on the bustling traffic below. The footpath provides a thrilling panoramic view of the river and the city skyline, making it a popular choice for avid walkers and cycling enthusiasts.


Exploring the foot tunnels under the Thames is a captivating journey through time and space, allowing travelers to connect with the city’s rich history and experience the bustling metropolis from a unique perspective. Each tunnel tells its own story, offering a glimpse into the city’s past and the remarkable engineering feats of the Victorian era. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an avid walker, or simply curious about the hidden world beneath the river, the foot tunnels under the Thames hold a wealth of secrets waiting to be discovered.

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1. Are the foot tunnels under the Thames open to the public?

Yes, all four foot tunnels under the Thames are open to the public, allowing pedestrians to traverse the river and explore the bustling cityscape from a different vantage point.

2. Are the foot tunnels wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the foot tunnels under the Thames are wheelchair accessible, providing ramps and lifts to accommodate individuals with mobility needs.

3. Can I take my bicycle through the foot tunnels?

Yes, cyclists are welcome to use the foot tunnels under the Thames, providing a convenient and scenic route for cycling enthusiasts.

4. Do the foot tunnels offer guided tours?

While there are no official guided tours of the foot tunnels, visitors are free to explore them at their own pace and marvel at the historical significance of these subterranean passages.

5. Are there any restrictions on using the foot tunnels?

There are no specific restrictions on using the foot tunnels under the Thames, although standard rules of pedestrian etiquette and safety apply to ensure the comfort and well-being of all travelers.