Japanese tunnel under Braemar Hill AOP [????- ]

In last month's visit to the Braemar Hill AOP, we also took the chance to take a look in the tunnel beneath it.

The tunnel is more complex than the usual 'dig a hole in the hillside'. First they had to make this hole in the AOP's floor:

Braemar Hill AOP

Then they dug down. Here's the view up from the bottom of the hole:

Braemar Hill AOP

From there they dug a tunnel sloping downhill. (As one of my sarcastic companions pointed out, that's not very surprising when you're starting from the top of a hill!)

There's a lot of mud been washed into the hole over the years, so the entrance to the tunnel is quite blocked up now. Still, poking a camera inside the hole shows that it opens up quite soon.

Tunnel under Braemar Hill AOP

We wriggled in through the entrance, and were soon able to stand up. It has the same shape and size as the other tunnels we've seen, with alcoves cut into the sides at intervals - also a common feature. (And also the usual collection of empty beer & coke cans, another common feature!)

Japanese tunnel under Braemar Hill AOP

In this photo the camera focused closer, catching the haze of high humidity and particles in the air. Probably best not to think too much about what they are...

Japanese tunnel under Braemar Hill AOP

Later though, the ceiling started getting higher and higher. At last you reach the end, and if you look down on the right there's the curve of the roof of another tunnel, leading off to the left. Unfortunately it's so filled up with washed-in earth that we couldn't get in at all - the open gap is just a couple of inches high. (Also, my bad-camera day continued, so I don't have any video to show)

I think what happened is that the first tunnel leading down from the AOP, and the second tunnel coming in from the right were dug separately. When the two tunnels didn't meet, I think they kept digging the first tunnel lower and lower until they finally met up with the right tunnel. I can't think of any other reason to have such a high ceiling in the first tunnel.

Photos that show this place


Mystery solved! Well done.

I always wondered what on earth (or in earth) that big hole was in the floor of that AOP. I was too chicken... I mean prudent... to scramble down their on my own. But now you've solved the mystery.

Do you think there is an entrance to the second tunnel somewhere nearby?


Hi Hillwalker,

Yes, given that noone has blocked up the top entrance, I think the lower side entrance will be open too.

I wonder if it would show up on a post-war aerial photo? If not the technical approach is called for - ie crash around in the bushes until we find a hole in the ground!

Regards, David

Yes studying aerial photos is probably the sensible approach but crashing around the bushes sounds like fun.


Hi All,

Went into this tunnel for the second time this past weekend. Worked my way to the end and dug out the connection to the other tunnel until I could stick my head in. The "tunnel" is pratically buried now I guess, but there was another exit (not large enough any more to be accessible). Although there seemed to be a split next to the tunnel, it is all far too buried to be accessible to people (I think I could have barely done it wriggling on my chest).

Also notable in this tunnel was the prescense of a large rat hiding in some newspaper and a sizeable black (and slightly furry) spider besides the presence of the usual 'tunnel bug' that looks like a mutated centipede. This tunnel also seems like one of the least clean ones I have been in, bedframes, childrens furniture and trash to say the least.