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Southern Portal of Dudley Tunnel, Dudley Canal

Accessible to all craft kept on the connected inland waterways

Silver Propeller Challenge



Visit the southern portal of the Dudley Tunnel on the Birmingham Canal Navigations by boat or canoe.

It has been chosen as a Silver Propeller Location as it is of restricted gauge and engines are not permitted, hence it is used by very few boats.  The Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust will supervise legging or provide a free towing service with their electric tug.  A photo of your boat anywhere above Park Head Locks will be a good proof of your visit.

Complete our challenge by visiting 20 locations from our list, you will receive our exclusive plaque and goody bag.


About the Dudley Canal

The original Dudley Canal opened in 1779, essentially as an extension of the Stourbridge Canal making an end-on junction at the bottom of Delph Locks.  Both canals suffered punitive tolls from the Staffs & Worcs Canal Company and hence sought a connection to the Birmingham Canals.  This resulted in an Act to build Dudley Tunnel, leading to Tipton Junction on the Birmingham Canal Old Main Line, which opened in 1792.  The subsequent building of the branch canal to the Worcester & Birmingham Canal through Lapal Tunnel lead to the original canal being known as the Dudley No 1 Canal and the branch as the No 2 Canal.  The Dudley Canals became part of the Birmingham Canals Navigation in 1845 and were further developed, particularly through the building of the higher capacity Netherton Tunnel on a parallel line to Dudley Tunnel.

From Park Head Junction with the Dudley No 2 Canal above Blowers Green Lock the three Park Head Locks climb to the southern portal of Dudley Tunnel.  The stubs of the un-navigable Pensnett Canal and Grazebrook Arm join at the top of Park head Locks.  Dudley Tunnel is 3,154 yards long, with an additional system of underground waterways running into basins and natural caverns in the limestone.  It is of restricted gauge and engines are not permitted, hence it is used by very few boats.  The Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust will supervise legging or provide a free towing service with their electric tug.

[Photo: The southern portal of Dudley Tunnel, by Harrias, CC BY-SA 3.0 ]

Notes for visitors


Postcode: DY2 0XU

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Boat Dimensions

The maximum size of boat that can navigate the Dudley Canal is:
Length: 71′ 6″ (21.8 m)
Beam: 7′ (2.1 m)
Height: 6′ (1.8 m)
Draught: 3′ 6″ (1.05 m)

Canoeing, Hire Boats and Boat Trips

Canoeing is encouraged on the Dudley Canal with a Canal & River Trust licence or British Canoeing membership.

There no day-boat hires or boat trips in the immediate area.

Also see…

The Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust offers boat trips into and through the tunnel from the North portal close to the Black Country Museum. The longer trips include a visit to the southern portal of the Dudley Tunnel above Park Head locks.

The Trust also has a visitor centre and the Café Gongoozler.

Challenge Location

Southern portal of the Dudley Tunnel

Dudley Canal

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