At 3,154 yards/2,888 meters the Dudley Tunnel is the second longest navigable canal tunnel in the UK and it played a central role in improving transport to and from the area and thus helped facilitate the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Completed around 1791 it was used extensively to transport limestone from Lord Wards mines under Castle Hill. 

Due to height restrictions access to the Dudley Tunnel is by a tow through service only. 

Please contact Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust (with a minimum of 24 hours notice) to request further details, as your boat will need to be gauged (measured) before you can enter the tunnel.

Tow Through

If suitable your boat will be towed by our experienced skippers or escorted if you want to try "legging".Plan of Dudley Tunnel showing dimensions for Tow Through

The service is free of charge but please be aware that restrictions do apply.

  • All boats MUST be gauged by a member of DCTT staff.
  • Boats must NOT be purposely ballasted down.
  • Boats and passengers must comply with Waterways Regulations.
  • Passage is via a free towing service or escorted during legging.
  • All crew must adhere to the instructions of the DCTT Skipper.
  • Be aware of the restricted dimensions of the Dudley Tunnel - DCTT cannot be held liable for any damage to the boat or paintwork whilst offering this service.

Legging through the Dudley Tunnel

It will take you about two and a half hours to leg through the tunnel but be aware there are parts where the tunnel may be too wide and you will need to shaft the boat at these points.

Not all boats are suitable for legging - our skippers will make the final decision once they have gauged your boat. 

Canoes and Kayaks

Why not do something different and take your canoe or kayak through the Dudley Tunnel? 

Our experienced skippers will guide you through the 2,900.5 meters length, you can start at our Portal building and travel through to Parkhead Locks at Blowers Green or do the reverse journey and finish at the Portal building where you can treat yourself to hot drinks and meals at our Gongoozler Restaurant. There is a Canal & River Trust service block on site and a large car park. 


In conjunction with Canal & River Trust we offer free 48 hour moorings alongside our Portal building. 

These are offered on a first come first served basis and benefit from a Canal & River Trust service block and easy access to visit Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust, The Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Zoological Gardens as well as the Castle Hill Entertainment Complex and the local shopping centres of Dudley and Tipton. (Please note; charges apply for attractions.)

On site at Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust we have a restaurant, free exhibitions and gift shop.