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You can download a pdf of this guide here.
Types of Tour
Short Tunnel Tours last 50 to 60 minutes. These tours are wheelchair accessible and wall mounted lighting is also available if your group require it.
Please allow 2 hours for a Full Tunnel Tour. This tour is not wheelchair accessible because the confined space of WWII blast walls. There is a steep ramp at the end of this tour and the emergency exit is via a vertical ladder.
For your own safety, we cannot allow anyone with mobility difficulties on a Full Tunnel Tour.
The Ouseburn trust car parks in the Byker Bridge Arches are available at reasonable price and the Ouseburn Central Car Park is free and there is limited on-street parking outside the Tunnel entrance on Ouse St.
Tunnel Tours start at Ouseburn Farm which is 500m (550 yards) from the entrance to the Tunnel. Disabled visitors can arrange to meet us at the entrance to the Tunnel on Ouse St. Please advise us if you need to arrange this.
Tunnel Entrance Site
A drop kerb is in place outside the Tunnel entrance.
There is currently a step of 80mm (3”) from the road onto the pavement. If you are in a Wheelchair you will need assistance – our Heritage Volunteers are happy to help.
The ground in front of the Tunnel entrance is flat. There is a flagged area from the pavement, under the visitor shelter and to the Tunnel entrance.
In the Tunnel
There is a slight lip at the Tunnel doorway. Our Heritage Volunteers are happy to help anybody who needs assistance.
The Tunnel is 1.8m (6’) wide. This is sufficient turning space for most wheelchairs.
There is a slight slope in the WWII entrance corridor. This is approx 15m (50’) long.
The floor of the Tunnel is concreted. This is slightly uneven and often wet in places. There is an open waterchannel along one wall of the Tunnel.
There is wall-mounted low level lighting available on the Short Tour. We provide you with hand held torches. Please let us know if you would prefer to use a headtorch.
The Fire Alarm System includes visual flashing lights and an audio alarm. Our Heritage Volunteers will assist all visitors to the exit.
Wheelchairs and Mobility Scooters
Because of the confined nature of the Tunnel, there is a maximum limit of 3 wheelchairs per tour.
Unfortunately, there is not enough space for mobility scooters inside the Tunnel.
There is no seating currently available inside or outside the Tunnel. However, the guides can carry folding chairs should anyone request them at the start of a tour (to rest on during the tour).
There are no toilets at the Victoria Tunnel. Accessible toilets are located at Ouseburn Farm.
We welcome assistance dogs.
Learning About the Tunnel
All our tours are led by our knowledgeable Heritage Volunteers. Please don’t be shy to ask them any questions!
We can offer British Sign Language translation on a tour for groups of four or more deaf and hard of hearing people. Please advise us on your Booking Request Form if you would like to arrange this.
There is a tactile panel and large visual display boards under the visitor shelter.
Audio effects recreate the sounds of a Wartime air raid; sirens, bombs dropping, aeroplane noises, people rushing into the shelter and; the eerie sounds of rumbling coal wagons coming through the tunnel.
Audio Visual Art Installation
If you have booked to see Rainbow Code, the audio-visual art installation in the Tunnel, please be aware that this 10 minute presentation contains flashing lights that may pose a risk to anyone who has photosensitive epilepsy. Unfortunately, due to water damage this is not currently available.
How to Find out More if you Can’t Come on a Tour
You can follow Phil Thirkell on a guided tour of the tunnel.
Book, DVD & CD
"Wartime Voices" is a unique audio collection of memories about sheltering in the Victoria Tunnel while enemy planes flew overhead.
Find out why the Victoria Tunnel was built under Newcastle upon Tyne, and take an exhilarating ride through the streets of the city to discover the route of this underground waggonway. The importance of the role of the Tunnel as an air raid shelter is revealed through a series of moving interviews with people who used it during the Second World War.
Funds raised from the sale of the Book, DVD and CD will support the on-going work of the Victoria Tunnel. This includes the purchase of equipment for guided tours and publication of education resources. You can order a Book, DVD or CD by sending a cheque made payable to "Ouseburn Trust" to Ouseburn Trust, Arch 6, Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2NP.
Book - £3.95
CD - £2
DVD - £3
Or, all three items at £7
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