Our first ever underground walk!
A few weeks ago, before Christmas 2016, we walked from Newcastle Quayside to Jesmond Dene park. It was a lovely walk with plenty of urban interest and whilst walking through the Ouseburn Valley we noticed the small office that provides guided tours of the Victoria Tunnel.
Intrigued, we booked a slot for 4pm on the 22nd January 2017. We met up in the superb Hub Cycle Café on the Quayside and had a coffee (and some cake) before walking up to the Ouseburn start point.
We had two fabulous volunteer guides who took us to the tunnel entrance, pointing out various local landmarks and points of interest. After donning hard hats and grasping torches we descended into the tunnel for the tour.
Built to transport coal from collieries over two miles away by the Town Moor, the tunnel was constructed in order to bypass the busy streets of 19th century Newcastle. It is beautifully made and lined with bricks made from the clay that was excavated during its digging.
You can find lots of interesting history on their official website.
During the second world war the tunnel became a rather squalid air raid shelter and we heard all about the rather unpleasant times during the tour. The tour lasts two hours and covers about one mile but it is a fascinating experience and thoroughly recommended.