Chimneys & Tunnels Along the Thames

Power, pollution & danger

On this riverside walk we track down the unmarked monuments and buried tubes around Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs. We seek out their stories of power, pollution and danger.

We start by speeding across the Thames by Clipper from Greenwich Pier to Masthouse Terrace Quay. From there it’s a 3 and a half mile ‘dot-to-dot’ walk as we link together the chimneys above our heads, sometimes tracing the routes of tunnels.

Note to budding steeplejacks and subterranean explorers: leave your harnesses, torches and hard hats at home! Apart from the descent into one tunnel, we’ll keep our feet firmly on ground level as we let our minds wander above and below.

Bloody brilliant!
I took the Chimneys & Tunnels tour on a *ridiculously* hot day – and given how much I loathe the heat, the fact I still had fantastic time says it all! It was absolutely superb, what a wonderful few hours. Rosie was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and I loved how her ‘script’ was so beautifully thought-out and organised. Nothing was random; she took us from place to place around Greenwich and everything was a must-see. It was like being in a documentary; we learned so much! But it was also great fun and she had a fantastic rapport with us all. I can’t recommend Dotmaker enough: my friends and I are definitely booking more!
Jayne, Strawberry Hill

Read more reviews by participants.

What to expect

This two and a half hour guided walk gives an insight into the many layers of history that make up Greenwich, through stories about past and present chimneys and tunnels. Tour goers will:

  • • cross the Thames by Clipper boat and return beneath it through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.
  • • explore riverside Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs with its spectacular views of the Royal Naval College, and pass round Greenwich Park and the Queen’s House.
  • • learn about the area’s industrial history, the world’s largest ship, the early railways, London’s smoky smelly past and its tubular infrastructure.
  • • find out about hidden tunnels, unmarked chimneys, eighteenth century mass hysteria and other seldom-told stories.
  • • hear how the powerful – from pier owners to the Astronomers Royal – have influenced the area’s development.

Scheduled Walks

2024: Saturday 20 April, 11am-1.30pm
Saturday 5 October, 11am-1.30pm

£20 per person, maximum 12 people

Meet: Greenwich Pier ticket office. Tour goers will need to buy a Thames Clipper ticket (single) for the river crossing from Greenwich Pier to Masthouse Terrace, or use an Oyster/contactless payment card. Tour ends: back at Greenwich Pier.

Suitable for: adults and over 16s. Walk involves going up and down stairs and crossing roads.

Booking essential as places are limited. Ticket price includes a smoky snack. It does not include the cost of the Thames Clipper river crossing.

Private Groups

This walk is available for private groups of up to 16 friends and family. The cost is £20 per person (minimum fee £120).

We can also lead this walk for student groups and corporates. If you are interested, we’d love to hear from you.