The Unseen Tours are tours around London Bridge or Shoreditch which are led by homeless people who give you facts, titbits, and the homeless experience of the area. I had read about them through other people’s blogs, but hadn’t gone to one. However, after hearing from a friend we met last weekend who was going to the one in London Bridge, yesterday Michael and I (and her and another 30-odd people) made it in the rain to the tour starting point.
Our two guide were Hazel (left) and Viv (right). They greeted us with a cardboard sign marking the meeting point and off we went. The tour took as around the London Bridge area, first towards the Thames, Southwark Cathedral and Borough Market, then inwards towards the Rose Theatre, ending up at the Blue Eyed Maid for a pint.
I was impressed by how vivacious and entertaining the two guides were. I was expecting a doom-and-gloom story of homelessness, and while we got a bit of that it was only a fraction! The rest was all titbits, facts (Viv especially really remembers her facts! WAAAAY more than I can ever be bothered to!), and a positive look at what other people do to help homeless people, e.g. a park where the benches have no armrests for the express reason that homeless people can sleep on them then.
It is definitely not your standard tour! You don’t get a well-oiled spiel of everything you’re seeing with a very slick guide. Instead you get a tour which two people have worked hard at to develop and who are trying their hardest to provide you with something which is entertaining and educational. If you’re in London this month I would definitely urge you to go along! You can book here, or just go along on the day as we did!