1 Star, yawn2 Stars, OK3 Stars, interesting4 Stars, worth a detour5 Stars, worth a journey
(8 Votes, average 3.75)
Greenwich foot tunnel

Greenwich foot tunnel [1]

Is it just me, or is it virtually impossible to resist the urge to shout and whoop when you’re in a tunnel? I’ve noticed that some tunnels work better than others, and the one under the Thames near Greenwich, London is remarkably effective. I haven’t visited it since I was a kid, and yet I can still remember it. A study by artist Peter Cusack found this soundscape to be one of London’s favourite sounds [2]. The sound qualities mentioned in the study included the amazingly long reverberance and echoes as well as the acoustic distortions to familiar sounds such as footsteps and voices.

The hard tiled surfaces allow the sound to rattle back and forth in the tunnel for a long time before dying away. What’s more, sound takes ages to go up and down the length of the tunnel, which leads to amazingly long echoes.

Logistics and location

The south end of the tunnel is at Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich, London (map) The north end is at Island Gardens. It’s 371m long and runs about 15m feet under the River Thames [3]. It’s open 24 hours a day, but has a hundred steps at either end (lift operation times).

Sources and credits

  1. Kevin Steinhardt (c) some rights reserved
  2. http://www.favouritelondonsounds.org/search/list.php
  3. http://www.greenwich.gov.uk/Greenwich/LeisureCulture/Architecture/GreenwichFootTunnel.htm
  4. Sound Matthias Kispert (c) some rights reserved