Five of the best alternative tours

When you’ve ticked off the more familiar sights on your itinerary and taken the obligatory bus tour, why not try something a little different? Check out our top five alternative tours for inspiration.

Spirit Collection Tours, Natural History Museum, London
London’s Natural History Museum is famous for its life-sized model of a blue whale, an earthquake simulator and more dinosaurs than Jurassic Park. Less known are the countless specimens carefully catalogued behind the scenes. Book a tour to see the 27 kilometres of shelves seething with specimens collected by Darwin, scientific rarities and creatures including a giant squid called Archie.

Natural History Museum

Insider London Tours, London
If you think you’ve seen everything London has to offer, think again. Insider London offer quirky tours uncovering some of the capital’s more unusual corners. Take the Street Art Tour to see graffiti masterpieces by Banksy et al, explore the history of the world’s oldest underground on the London Underground Tour or learn all manner of amazing trivia on the Quirky London Tour.

Believe in the spraycan

Sewer Tour, Brighton
Brighton’s sewers are a Victorian engineering marvel built to cope with the town’s increasing waste as its population exploded in the 19th century. Bring sensible clothes and a sure footing as you venture underground to explore the extraordinary workings of the world beneath your feet.

Sewer Tour

Historic Toilet Tour, York
See the parts of York that others miss with York Walk, a team of knowledgeable locals that run entertaining tours round this beautiful historic city. One of their most entertaining walks is the Historic Toilet Tour, a jaunt through the pungent history of the public toilet. Learn about Viking toilets, Roman conveniences and try out a medieval garderobe. If you’d rather a less specialist tour, York Walk also lead general interest and history tours.

The Real Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh
Deep below Edinburgh’s historic Old Town is a warren of underground ‘closes’, narrow streets once home to people between the 16th and 19th centuries. Sealed off and forgotten for years the Real May King’s Close is now a fascinating attraction that’s a fine mix of history and hair-raising horror.

Mary King's Close

Images © Timparkinson, doyoubleedlikeme, Clive Flint

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3 Responses to Five of the best alternative tours

  1. Mark says:

    Mary King Close is definitely a spooky experience, not least because once you’ve started the tour there’s no way back.

    Highly recommended.

  2. And don’t forget the rather excellent and not too alcoholic London Literary Pub Crawl, led by the late Charles Dickens and the late Virginia Woolf!

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