The Great Stink & London’s Lost Rivers

2 days

Two thousand years ago the Romans enjoyed indoor plumbing at their villas but until a couple of hundred years ago Londoners were still throwing the contents of their chamber pots out of the window. The streets of London were shaped by its many rivers but, where once they served the city, as the population grew so they became its deadliest problem.


In 1858 the long hot summer became The Great Stink as raw sewage from the growing city emptied into the Thames turning into an open sewer. Something had to be done and that something was one of the most remarkable feats of civil engineering ever seen. Join us for a unique SleepOver that tells the story of London’s lost rivers with a visit to Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s Cathedral of Sewage on a special steaming day. On day two we’ll tell the story of London’s Lost Rivers with a Thames cruise, a short walk and a coach tour following the River Fleet up to its source on Hampstead Heath where we visit beautiful Kenwood House.


Come and meet the Blue Badge guide at midday on the Sunday for a 2-course lunch before we visit the Cathedral of Sewage to see the beautifully restored Prince Consort engine fired up and under steam. This is one of the most remarkable visits in all of London. It’s a short drive from Crossness to the Clarendon Hotel where we will arrive to check in at 5.00pm with plenty of time to brush up before a three course, three choice meal is served in the hotel restaurant.


On Monday morning the Blue Badge Guide will meet us in the hotel and after check out we’ll drive down to Greenwich to board a one hour Thames Cruise to Westminster to step ashore on Bazalgette’s Victoria Embankment built to house his massive sewer. We’ll tell the story of spending a penny from Roman times and track London’s lost rivers. There will be time to buy a light lunch before visiting Kenwood House, a grand 18th century house gifted to the nation by the Guinness family.


There will be time to buy a light lunch on arrival at Kenwood House and you’ll be all set to start the drive home at 3.30pm



The 3* Clarendon Hotel, Blackheath

The 178 room Clarendon Hotel has been owned by the same family for over 50 years. Overlooking Blackheath and just 8 miles from Trafalgar Square this friendly hotel is ideal for a London trip with neither the hustle & bustle nor noise of staying right in the centre nor the fuss and bother of driving in from the distant outskirts of the capital. The housekeeping is impeccable.


Call for Price Based on minimum 25 people


Available selected Sunday/Mondays

April to October

Total Tour Coach Mileage 35


Home Call 0208 692 1133 for more information about this SleepOver

A CITY & VILLAGE TOURS SLEEPOVER PACKAGE