An Alternative Guide To London

Published: 16th February 2006
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London Bus Tours are an essential part of sightseeing in London. They may be slightly tacky but there is no better, more cost effective way of seeing London in all its glory than by a big red bus. If London Bus Tours are too run of the mill for you, why not take an executive ride in a London limo or a daring helicopter ride for two, or experience the tube (London Underground) in rush hour? There is so much more to London than the norm. We are here to show you what else you can do. Here is our alternative top ten of what to do in London.

1. Taunt a Buckingham palace guard. It's not like they get it every day! Try something different from the usual pulling funny faces. Why not see if they are ticklish? Or if you tickle their nose, will they sneeze? Please refrain from groping them, all though they may enjoy it you may end up in court.

2. Talk to a tramp. (Official definition - a foot traveller; a tramper; often used in a bad sense for a vagrant or wandering vagabond). If you can bypass the smell of urine and special brew you may happen upon a wonderfully enlightening conversation. Or you may get your pockets felt.

3. Visit London's secret gardens. Well they are not really secret, everyone knows they are there, however for 364 days of the year they are closed to the general public. For one weekend in June we get to see what all the fuss is about. Visit the main website here, www.opensquares.org

4. Visit a cemetery. A little morbid perhaps? Bear in mind there are no queues, no fees to get in and people are dying to get in there! Highgate cemetery down Swains Lane, N6, nearest tube Archway, is our favourite. Many a famous dead person is in here, including, Faraday, Karl Marx, George Eliot, and Sir Ralph Richardson.

5. Tramp/bum fighting. Ok this is bit extreme and may exploit those involved but hey, you're on holiday! What you do is, find a tramp, preferably one a little the worse for wear as this makes it more exciting, then find another one. They generally hang around in groups so it should be easy. Then you offer them money to fight each other. Winner takes all! Be ready to run as us Londoners are a bit protective of our tramps. (Disclaimer: 24-7 London does not endorse tramp/bum fighting, any persons indulging in this activity do so of their own free will. We do not recommend it especially as a recent episode of Casualty featured a tramp who died as a result of this sport)

6. Visit a concert for free. Our favourite is St Martins-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square, WC2, nearest tube is Leicester Square. They have free classical concerts on Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays at 1.05pm. You can combine this with the tramp fighting as there are generally loads asleep in the side doorways of this church.

7. Get on TV in London. Many of our most popular comedy shows give tickets for free. However you do need to book well in advance. Try www.hattrick.co.uk or www.sroaudiences.com and www.tvrecordings.com. Americans beware; these shows will contain English humour in all its glory.

8. Go on a 'Jack The Ripper London sightseeing tour'. Not for those with a weak stomach and sore feet. This involves walking around London, visiting the murder sites of this horrible mans' victims and getting to view genuine Victorian photographs of the streets and murder sites. You also get to take home a fact sheet to help you remember every aspect of each murder. The stuff nightmares are made of.

9. Go on a ghostly adventure. London has several underground stations that have been the subject of some rather peculiar and unnerving phenomenon. Aldgate Station on the Circle Line has had a variety of strange sightings. At Aldgate the line crosses over older sections of underground rail, and strange sightings are so frequent that they are recorded in the station log.

10. Visit Speakers corner in Hyde Park on a Sunday morning or early afternoon. Basically people get up (sometimes on their soap box) and whinge about anything and everything. This is great fun as arguments are common and you do get to see the odd student get slapped. Sunday morning or early afternoon is the best time to catch them (drunk from Saturday night or Sunday lunch time.)

Failing that, follow the crowd and check out hundreds of things to do in London by going to our website www.24-7london.co.uk. 24-7 London is an online entertainment guide to London. We try to feature the run of the mill stuff to do in London as well as the more unusual. Check out our website for further details of things to do in London. http://www.24-7london.co.uk.



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