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Pack your trunk: ride elephant-inspired rickshaws around London for free

Written by
Claire Tayler

Riding a London rickshaw rightly topped our list of 'Top 10 things not to do in London', but now they're facing a gorgeous makeover that'll make you fall in love with them.

The three-wheeled monsters are typically known for toddling around Soho, getting the way of buses, blasting out Rihanna and ripping off tourists (and even Boris Johnson's annoyed by them), but this summer they're facing a revolution. A 20-strong fleet have been given tuk-tuk-style engines and transformed into traffic-stopping pieces of art.

Travels to my elephant

Creatives including Diane Von Furtstenburg, Mulberry and Bompas & Parr have come together with the Quintessentially Foundation as part of the Travels to My Elephant conservation campaign, with elephant-based activity springing up across the city this summer.

First up: designing the humble rickshaw in the name of saving elephants. For two months you'll be able to hop on and tour the town on these mobile pieces of art for free, with a donation to the charity, if you're feeling generous. Find your nearest taxi rank now. 

Travels to my elephant

Once the parade around town has come to an end, you'll be able to bid on your favourite rickshaw. The vehicles are fully insured and lined with seat belts, so you'll be able to hit the city at a top speed of 30 mph if you're lucky enough to win. Bid online or join the conclusion live at a Sotheby's auction on June 30. Prince Charles and Camilla will be hosting the affair at Lancaster House.


Travels to my elephant

For children who might prefer something a little more stationary, join Sophie Dahl, Stephen Fry and a 10ft painted elephant creation in the Duke of York Square for story time and a painting session, all part of the elephant fiesta. It's all in the name of raising awareness of a once-in-a-lifetime race taking place later this year, in which 40 rickshaws hurtle their way through an epic Indian adventure. You can read more about the inspiration behind it all here.

Travels to my elephant


Find more days out for animal lovers in London.

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