The living, breathing, river below London | The Daily Dust delivering the best bric a brac, daily news and events with a British flavour

Peter Watts recalls his trip down the Fleet River.

Running from Hampstead to Blackfriars, the Fleet River used to be a main tributary of London. Now it’s been turned into a sewer drain, but it’s still there.

And Peter Watts decided to join two Urban Explorers, determined to walk the length of the river. Underground. Surrounded by the waste of human society. And hoping nobody flushes too many toilets.

After taking pictures, we head back. Immediately, we realise there’s a problem. It’s much harder to walk uphill against the flow of water. On the way down, the water was a stream, heading back, it’s more like a river. We labour onwards and upwards in the dark, but it’s tough work.

Stoop eventually says what we’ve all been thinking. ‘Is it just me,’ he asks, ‘Or is the water getting deeper?’

Water which before barely covered our feet is now above our knees, flooding downhill towards us at pace and rising slowly all the time.

The full story, originally for Time Out, is now on his blog.

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