Hey Dude(ette)s,

I'm going down to London tomorrow and will be there for a few days.

Anybody know of any interesting sounding places to visit? Galleries, museums, train stations, underpasses? General London soundmarks?

Anything you can think of, really.


5 Answers 5


Good call,

The Tate modern turbine hall springs to mind for large acoustic spaces, as does St Paul's cathedral and the O2 (millennium dome)

The water fountains (if they're running) and general ambiance of the square at the Barbican

Trains coming into underground stations sound great - be covert about this though as you usually need permission

Borough market with the trains rumbling overhead

Perhaps there are more ideas at the London sound survey, you might even want to contribute?

You could also visit Longplayer if you're here at the weekend

Will add more if I think of them,


EDIT: A few more ideas.. this is starting to turn into my to do list!

There's a dedicated sound art gallery opened recently called SoundFjord. I've been meaning to get there myself. A bit out of the way, but there's an exhibition on till Friday 22nd.

For markets there's also Smithfield meat market, Billingsgate fish market and Columbia Road flower market. These are more wholesale markets so probably sound a bit more industrial. These are all indoors.

The science museum currently have the oramics machine which was part of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It's a small display, but it's an interesting museum anyway.

  • Dude. Longplayer. Awesome.
    – g.a.harry
    Feb 21, 2012 at 20:58

Market Ambiances:

Borough Market on Fridays or Saturdays.

Columbia Road Flower Market - Sundays (awesome "five geraniums for a fiver" type cries in a cockney accent).

Portobello Road market - Saturday.


Around borough market, but not on market day, there is the London Bridge trainline which passes overhead.

Embankment (same kind of effect).

London taxis - perhaps the iconic sound will one day be extinct!


Southbank - people, riverside opportunities

London wetland centre for some bird action.

All museums are free - often a great place for crowd wallas without music.

Hampstead Heath - awesome park!

And last, but not least...BIG BEN!!!!!


Might be cool to somehow record the changing of the guard at buckingham palace. I saw it when I was 8 years old, so don't take my word for it, but I remember the crowd was silent and the guards would yell out commands. Might be cool to get them.


Greenwich Foot Tunnel its a nice echo space...


Assuming that the recordist is using discreet recording equipment rather than brandishing a Rycote windshield and a Sound Devices 702 in a bag with EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT IN HERE! written on it, the following places are worth visiting:

The West End in general with Soho, Covent Garden and Villiers Street/Embankment in particular worth visiting at night.

Brick Lane and Petticoat Lane markets on a Sunday morning. They are both quite near to each other in east London, try to get there by 11am at the latest.

Best echoes are in the long pedestrian tunnel leading from South Kensington tube station.

Speakers Corner in Hyde Park on a Saturday or Sunday.

Whitehall end of St James's Park fairly early in the morning. On the hour the bells of several churches and towers can be heard striking within a few seconds of each other.

Brixton by day, especially the area outside Brixton tube station, the arcades and street markets, Atlantic Road, Railton Road, Electric Avenue.

Great sounds at two museums in Brentford: the Steam Museum (has working stationary steam engines) and the Music Museum, which has player pianos and other mechanical, self-playing instruments.

  • Great idea for the Kensington tunnel - sounds great when there's some electric busking going on. Also thanks for pointing out the Steam and music museum, I've not been to either but they're now on the list. Feb 29, 2012 at 0:39
  • You're very welcome Mark. The Steam Museum is run by enthusiasts and it's great fun when they have several of the engines working at once. The Music Museum is a strange and interesting place. The man in charge is quite friendly and if you ask nicely he may set some of the instruments to play for you. Mar 1, 2012 at 13:16

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