Get us in your inbox

Search

Top five alternative London sightseeing attractions

By
Eddy Frankel
Advertising

Nathan James Page

1. The Changing of the Bins

Forget the Changing of the Guard, if you really want to see the beautiful majesty of London in full flight – the elegance, the ceremony, the pomp, the costumes – just look at your window early every Thursday morning, or whenever bin day is where you live. The bright colours, the odours, the ritualised smashing of the bins into a wall, the unintelligible yelling: it’s enough to bring a tear to your eye.

2. The East London Zoo

If you want to see primal beasts in action, forget the Zoo with all its cages. Go to Dalston at 2am on a Friday night and you’ll be able to walk among some of the most fearsome specimens on earth. No, not hipsters, they’re long gone from these parts. Instead, you’ll see hordes of people from Essex who’ve somehow stumbled across The Alibi and are now vomming openly down their pants in front of Birthdays, or gaggles of wild City boys hammering mai tais and starting unwinnable fights with bouncers. It’s like going on a dickhead safari.

Nathan James Page

3. The Towers of London

The Tower of London has seen centuries of brutality and imprisonment, and is one of the most fascinating sights in London. If you want to recreate that but with a more real edge, just take a trip to any office building in the City. The Square Mile is filled with thousands of people imprisoned in high-rise buildings, suffering and being tortured at their desks as they try desperately to pretend they understand how the stock market or banking works. It’s brilliant, a proper treat.

4. The London Eyesore

The true gyratory masterpiece of our fair city isn’t the whacking great Ferris wheel on the Thames, but Elephant & Castle roundabout. It’s a staggering work of planning genius, where visitors can watch cyclists try desperately to not get smashed by articulated lorries and pedestrians dice foolishly with death when trying to cross the massive spinning four-lane monstrosity. You just stare at it and think: Wow, someone actually designed this, and then redesigned it, and it’s still awful. All in plain sight of a church, some horrible high-rises and a decrepit shopping centre. It’s London in microcosm.

Nathan James Page

5. The Home Phone Box

Recreate the historical loveliness of the traditional red London phone box at home by peeing in a cardboard box, covering the inside with pornography and putting a fax machine in it. All the sights, sounds and uselessness of a proper phone box, but without having to go outside. Perfect.

By Eddy Frankel, who one day will be a London attraction to rival the Crown Jewels.

Illustrations: Nathan James Page.

Take a look at the top five signs of London gentrification.

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next

        Advertising