16 Warning Signs You Only See In London

By M@ Last edited 37 months ago
16 Warning Signs You Only See In London

A celebration of  'thou shalt nots' peculiar to London.

1. Do not fall off lions

If we're interpreting this Trafalgar Square sign correctly, it's OK to clamber on the lions, but refrain from plummeting.

2. Do not feed the flying rats

While we're in the area, here's another forbidden activity. Pigeon feeding was banned in 2003 by Mayor Ken Livingstone.  

3. Do not touch the pelican

It's easy to run up a massive bill in London, but you should never touch one. At least not according to this sign in St James's Park, where a colony of pelicans has presided since the time of Charles II.

4. Do not touch the walrus

The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill is famed for its mal-stuffed walrus. Equally instagrammed is the sign telling you not to touch it.

5. Warning: tigers think you're steak

London Zoo's tigers have some pretty serious cataract problems, judging by this typeface-juggling notice.

6. Warning: micro-chipped fish

Thamesmead is often labelled as dystopian. This sign does nothing to combat the stereotype.

7. London's aquatic answer to the Berlin Wall

The Thames Barrier is presaged by this mighty warning sign. Someone needs to paint a 'NOT YOU, PEDESTRIANS' on the bottom.

8. Danger: Olympic Park

Shocking juxtaposition of signs at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

9. Shite escalator warning

Who says health and safety has to be all top-down authoritarian? The talented staff at Blackfriars station have bypassed professional design options and slapped something together in Microsoft Paint. Just look at the detailing on the escalator treads.


Admittedly, we've seen these commanding notices in other towns, but we will forever associate them with London. Each one is gagging for somebody to graffiti 'OK' underneath.

11. Warning: TARDIS landing zone

London has appeared countless times on Doctor Who. It's effectively the Doctor's holiday home. We can't remember where or when we photographed this sign, but we suspect it's the near future.

12. Do not trust robots

It feels whimsical now, but this Shoreditch window will be considered offensive and racist in a few decades.

13. Random forbidden oblongs

Oxford Circus tube platform. Next time, we're going to take seven friends and cluster around the perimeter.

14. Abbey Road punning signs

The walls outside Abbey Road recording studios are famous for Beatles graffiti. The wall next down has suffered by proximity. Punning signs warn would-be scrawlers to Get Back to the studio wall.

15. Good Behaviour Zone

As opposed to an "Ill behaviour Zone"?

16. Gentrification zone

A street art reaction to gentrification.

Last Updated 06 April 2018