Regular trips through a long dark canal tunnel under Islington will resume next month and tickets are on sale now.
Run by the Canal Museum near King’s Cross, the tour is simple, but wonderfully atmospheric — a trip from the museum in a narrowboat through the tunnel to the other end, and back again.
You embark at the museum, and then there’s a brief talk in the boat before heading out into the canal to go through the tunnel.
The tours are for small groups, and there’s just about enough space in the boat for everyone to sit on the outside, and that’s where you want to be, for the views of the long tunnel and the 200+ year old brickwork.
The chugging sound of the barge dominates as we glide into the tunnel mouth and the bright sunshine is replaced with the reddish brown light reflecting off the bricks that line the tunnel. The barge has a floodlight to show off the tunnel, and you can easily see the exit in the distance, so it’s not, as some might worry, scary to be in a dark tunnel.
The tour guide points out the industrial history at the far end of the tunnel where the boat turns around and repeats the journey.
The tour takes between 45-60 minutes as the tunnel is one-way traffic only and sometimes there’s a delay to get inside so allow for the full duration if making a visit.
The tunnel boat trips cost £14 for adults, £13 for concessions and £9 for children — and that includes admission to the museum as well – which is usually £3-£6, so for an adult, the canal tunnel is just £8 on top of the museum entry.
The tunnel tours will run most Thursdays and Sundays from April to July and tickets can be booked here.