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The Nose at Admiralty Arch

When you think of visiting our wonderful capital, what sort of tourist spots spring to mind?

Big Ben? Buckingham Palace? Madame Tussauds? Tower Bridge? The list of quintessential London tourist attractions is endless and make for a jolly good holiday for the whole family.

Of course, when you head down to London, you’re going to want to see the big names and drink in the best of British, but some amongst us might be looking for the more alternative, niche and downright weird sights of the city.

With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to three of London’s stranger photo opportunities.

Jeremy Bentham’s Skeleton

For the morbidly curious amongst you, deep in the depths of University College London’s campus sits the clothed skeleton of philosopher, reformer and founder of modern utilitarianism Jeremy Bentham.

After his death in 1832, Bentham’s mummified body was, as per his request, placed in a cabinet for all to see. Unfortunately, the embalming process wasn’t as effective as hoped and inevitable decay set in, leading to a grimmer than anticipated sight. Now Bentham’s skeleton sits fully clothed with a wax modelled head covering his skull, meaning he’s still sat there for you go visit him – if you want to, that is.

John Snow’s Water Pump

If you, like all of us, have worried you’ll never get to see the origins of London’s deadly cholera outbreak of 1854, then fret no more.

If you head on down to western Soho, you’ll be able to see what has become known as John Snow’s water pump. At the time of the outbreak, Snow traced the beginnings of the epidemic that killed 616 people back to a modest pump sat in the middle of Broadwick Street.

While initially not appearing too worthy of note, Snow’s findings were vital to understanding the disease, which up until that point had been thought to be an airborne illness spread by the poor.

Again, one for admirers of the macabre, but also great sightseeing for those looking for thoroughly disappointed Game of Thrones fans.

The Nose at Admiralty Arch

Ask yourself: have you really seen London without viewing a mysterious plaster nose placed on a wall?

Admiralty’s Arch houses a curiously placed, life-sized nose situated halfway up the wall of its most northerly arch. Why? Plenty of folk tales and legends were developed around the who, what, when and why of the capital’s most popular nasal relic, but the answer was revealed in 1997.

The nose, along with others scattered around the city, is the work of artist Rick Buckley, who undertook the nose placing project as a protest of the increasing CCTV presence in the city. Whilst he may have failed to curtail the big brother state, he has successfully created one of London’s oddest attractions.

So, should you ever get bored of the capital’s traditional attractions, you can always fall back on the likes of a 200-year-old body, a killer pump and a plastered beak to keep you entertained. It doesn’t stop there either; London has plenty of the unusual to offer, it’s up to you how much you want to see.

 

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