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Unseen tours – London tours guided by homeless people

Written by 14 April 2011 5 Comments

Want to challenge your view of what it means to be a person living in London? Unseen tours gives you the opportunity to see the city from a completely different, and often shunned perspective. Let a homeless person be your guide for some hours, and challenge yourself to broaden your own horizon. The guides own stories and experiences from the city introduces a social consciousness to commercial walking tours. And who could possibly know the streets of London better? Have a look at the introduction video for a presentation of the Sock Mob and Unseen tours.

The project is inspired by The Sock Mob, a group of volunteers handing out warm socks to homeless people. The socks work as a way to break the ice and being able to reach out to the the often lonely and isolated homeless people . After chatting with the homeless, the Sock Mob realized the extensive knowledge they have about the city and came up with the idea of the Unseen tours.

photo by Michael Carøe Andersen

Personally, I think I’ve walked past too many homeless and never really found it natural to reach out and talk to them except when buying the occasional newspaper like Strassenfeger and Motz home in Berlin. This is why, next time I’m in London, I’ll definitely go on a Unseen Tour.

Click here to book tickets, or just show up at the given times. The Sock Mob is also currently looking for volunteers, so if you’re living in London, consider signing up! You can follow the Sock Mob on Twitter and Facebook.

In Copenhagen, a similar project called Project Poverty Walks was started in 2010 to celebrate the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. If you know about similar projects in other cities, please let us know!

Kathrine Opshaug Bakke Kathrine Opshaug Bakke, editor at Travelettes from 2009 to 2013, wrote this post. Originating from Norway, she has been living in Berlin, Lisbon, and Stockholm the past 6 years.

She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.

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  • katja said:

    i’ve lived in london for over a year, but i have a feeling these guys could show me a lot i havent seen. will try this next time i go!

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