Visiting John Snow

We’ve made some new friends in Zagreb and a few weeks ago, in a fit of drunkenness, I loudly exclaimed to them “I’m passionate about sanitation!” So it’s no surprise, really, that we went along to visit the John Snow pub in London.

John snow pub

After my exclamation, our new friends looked at me like I’d said something much worse. “Toilets,” I clarified. “One billion people don’t have toilets”. Suddenly, the table was much more relaxed. They thought I was a hygiene freak, one of those people constantly cleaning bacteria off every surface. Ha! Nothing could be further from the truth. However, regular readers will know that I really am passionate about sanitation.

(Just click here to see how much I bang on about all things related to toilets)

John Snow was one of the forefathers of epidemiology. He’s the guy who famously traced the outbreak of cholera to a well in Soho and removed the handle of the well – literally cutting off the supply of the disease. The well is long-since gone, but a pub stands near the place and is named in his honour. Normally, a replica well also stands near the spot, but because I am actually the world’s worst tourist, the well has been removed due to construction. So, alas, no daggy photo of me and the well.

Naturally, we stopped in at the pub and had a pint or several. All in the name of epidemiology, sanitation and toilets. And good health, of course.


The John Snow pub is a Wetherspoons (cheap beer, no music, not much atmosphere) on the corner of London’s Broadwick and Lexington Streets.

For more information about epidemiology and the important work of John Snow, I highly recommend the following online courses:

– “The Biology of Water and Health” – by EdX
– “Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health” – by Coursera


PS – I am aghast to discover that a google search for John Snow will bring up this:

john snow screenshot

Some dude from some TV show. WTF world. Seriously, WTF.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.

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