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4 of 5 bubbles Review of Tar Tunnel

Tar Tunnel
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2012

This is a interesting visit. It basically consists of an entrance with small shop and a section of the tunnel that you can walk down.
It doesn't take very long so would recommend fitting this into a day where you visit other places such as the China Museum or Ironbridge village.
The little ones love it as you all get to put on a hard hat and go undeground and you can see tar seeping out of the walls and pools of tar too!
There is a very nice looking cafe just by the entrance too and a short walk over the canal give you access to a bridge over the river with lovely views.

Visited September 2012
Thank InfrequentFlyerMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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84 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Limerick, Ireland
Level Contributor
83 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Fascinating and most unusual.”
Reviewed August 3, 2012

This is close to both the Coalport Museum and part of Blists Hill (which we had visited earlier on the day).

The group comprised my husband (6'3"), 15 year old daughter (5'9"), 11 year old son (Aspergers, tends to get anxious) and myself (5'4" but wearing flip flops with 2.5 inch wedge heels). I reckoned if our group got through this without problems, most people could!!!

We parked on the main street in Ironbridge Gorge and walked down to the shop/cafe and then down the steps behind the shop/cafe, passing the canal with ducks in it.

You go down a number of steps to enter and are given yellow protective hats to wear. You then go down a couple of more steps to a small area providing a background to the Tar Tunnel and the entrance to the tunnel.

You DO need the hard hats. We had only gone a matter of feet before I banged my head off the roof and yes, the hats work!! The tunnel isn't very long but it is low and even I had to bend a little as we walked through it (hubby and daughter were bent over for the duration). The lighting is low but it doesn't feel claustrophobic as there is a good stream of fresh air being pumped through it. Visitors are warned not to touch the walls as there is fresh tar seeping through the bricks - the lady at the cash desk was kind enough to mind my jumper while we visited. At times you are warned to mind your footing as tar is also seeping through the floor. In a couple of places, you are directed to holes in the wall beyond which are large pools of accumulated tar.

All in all a very interesting visit. Our son didn't find it particularly difficult and it was nice to stretch up to full height when you emerged once more.

After our visit, we crossed the bridge and ambled along the lovely canal to the Coalport Museum where we visited the shop (we were on a tighly timed visit as we made our way back to Ireland from France over 3 days).

Definately worth a visit. The history and social history of the tunnel are fascinating and the location in which it is situated is beautiful.

Visited July 2012
Thank Bean_Limerick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
110 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Don't let the smell of tar put you off”
Reviewed April 21, 2012

Took the family to Coalport China museum, but I alone went to the Tar Tunnel, as my wife is not keen on the smell of tar, and my son has trouble walking. You have to park at the China museum, walk alongside the canal for a couple of hundred yards, up some steps and over a hump back bridge to get there. A cafe is right outside for refreshment as well. The reception has a small shop next to it, and at the back is the tunnel entrance, where you walk down. You may have to crouch down a bit to get through, but there was no tar smell - you only have that if the tar is hot, but when cold it has no smell. You just have to be careful not to get it on your clothes when walking through. The walk through the tunnel isn't far, and you come out the same way you went in.

Visited April 2012
Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
33 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Could be uncomfortable for some.”
Reviewed February 27, 2012

On the day we visited the tar tunnel, there had been a problem with the lights, and our experience was quite a dark one ! The tunnel is quite low,around five feet hight, and a walk along it will not be a pleasant one for tall people, or anyone with a back problem. To see natural tar seeping out of the walls is an interesting experience, but there are plenty of other attractions in the area which are, in my opinion, much better.

Visited September 2011
Thank Albionman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Interesting glimpse”
Reviewed October 30, 2011

This attraction is a 100-yard walk down a lit tunnel in hard hat to see natural bitumen oozing from the walls. It will only take 10 minutes, but is adjacent to the Coalport China Museum which would take a bit longer if you did both.

It is difficult to 'big up' the Tar Tunnel as it is nothing more than described, but it is a bit of a one-off, and is of passing interest.

The tunnel itself is an exploratory piece of engineering designed to assist in the movement of coal between river & factory (for which it was never ultimately used), but was exploited as a source of bitumen whilst that product was in demand.

Visited October 2011
Thank HertsCommuter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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