Welcome to Busman’s Holiday – Pilot Route 221

Busmans Holidays are a series of travelogues about London. They are the story of the streets that we pass through on a London bus. Not the main tourist sites, but the stories behind the places the tourists miss.

Until the Covid pandemic, the Busman was a tour guide. But after the tourists stopped Busman trained to drive a London Bus, and currently drives a No 221 between Turnpike Lane and Edgware and back , about three times a day, five days a week. This is a suburban route between two largely residential parts of north London. Busman became aware of the extraordinary stories behind the places and objects on the way. There are heroes and villains, great and bad men and women, actors, musicians, murderers, social reformers soldiers politicians sportsmen and sportswomen. There is also the story of the bricks and stones – why are the streets how they area, what was there before, and some of the remarkable businesses that once thrived in north London.

Route 221 is a pilot route. There is a podcast to download and listen to on from Turnpike Lane to Edgware. This tells you what you are looking at and the story behind what you see. There are maps to download and print, so you can follow your journey. These have illustrations of some of the people and stories. There is also a youtube play list of music and videos about the people and events along the route.

The podcast lasts about the same time as the bus journey during the day- 70 minutes. Of course you can stop and jump off if you want to explore anything on foot.

At the moment the podcast only tells the story from Turnpike Lane to Edgware. The plan for the route back is to interview some experts on a selection of stories that deserver telling in more depth.

Please try the route and give your feedback!

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