There are certain tourist ’musts’ that are possibly unique to London, and best avoided: Madame Tussauds; Trooping the Colour; The University Boat Race each in its own way a way a spectacle.
The capital also has some pretty prosaic
sites but it’s not just tourists that miss their delights. With Easter just around the corner here are some tours that feature man’s basic needs.
[S]ubtitled ’Not your bog standard London experience’. It’s taken an American to give us a tour of places that we, the Brits, are too – well, British – to discuss in polite company.
Rachael armed with a plunger takes you on a 3-hour walking tour. Along the way you discover Victorian water closets, now protected for their historical importance; she shows what happens at the Savoy to the well-heed’s stools.
For the romantically inclined there is a Loo Tour Date Night. I suppose if the friendship doesn’t work out you could always ’dump’ your partner.
Book your tour at London Loo Tours or, be a ’privy’ to Rachael’s toilet facts @londonlootours which gives such ’wee’ gems as: How many years does the average person spend on a toilet in a lifetime?
Photo: London Loo Tours © James Morgan
A Rubbish Trip
[I]t must be the question on everyone’s lips: “What happens to our rubbish”. Rosie Oliver founder of Dotmaker Tours offers a walking tour described as ’a rubbish trip’. Starting at Mudshute (its purpose self-evident) the tour offers a winding 2-mile trail of ’muck and rubbish’ taking in the delights of historic dumps and landfills. You will be invited to examine the City’s waste past and present and marvel at its transformation. Photo: Horse manure heap, Mudchute Farm ©Marsha Bradfield 2013
A shrine to sanitary ware
[L]ondon’s most famous plumber, Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers has started a small museum at his Sail Street headquarters. Classic Crappers, art-deco basins from the 1930s some donated by his ’A’ list clientele. Admission is free (presumably there isn’t a charge to spend a penny), but a charitable donation is requested.
Crossness Pumping Station
[I]f you wish to see the treatment of effluent on an industrial this is the place to be. Open occasionally during current improvements this Shrine to Sanitation shows where Bazalgette’s system was plumbed into – see here for open days.
London’s Lost Rivers (and Sewers)
[W]alking the streets of London with Paul Talling. He’s the author of two books – London’s Lost Rivers and Derelict London. He walks groups up the old river Fleet, which essentially, is hidden in a sewer underneath Farringdon Road. A 3-hour walk with tales of the Fleet mostly involving nasty smells, carcasses floating down the river, and of putting women in barrels and rolling them down the hills either side of the Fleet. Up to Smithfields and on to Clerk en Well, where you can lie down in the middle of the road to peer a down a drain and hear and see the fast flowing river.
Main photo: Dogpoo Lane, Moseley by Manuel Ebert CC BY-SA 2.0