Considering getting inked? Unless you want "I love bananas" spelled out on your bum in pigeon sanskrit, take a look at our top five (well, six actually, as there were too many good ones to leave out) tattoo parlours. It could save you a hefty plastic surgery bill - and some embarrassment.
The oldest tattoo parlour in London's West End, Diamond Jacks opened in the 70s and has been going strong ever since. Decorating some of the capital's biggest characters, owner Darryl Gates counts Pete Doherty among his famous fans.
5 Walkers Court, Soho, London, W1F 0BT 020 7437 0605
Middleton Tattoo Studio
Middleton's website may resemble that of a low -rent hairdresser, but resident artist Lou Molloy's three decades in the business – alongside his celebrity-clogged client list - has any unpleasant preconceptions shot.
327 Oldham Road, Middleton, Manchester, M24 2DN 0161 655 3909
Les Skuse Tattoo Studio
The Les Skuse Tattoo Studio has been around in one form or other since 1928, passing through three generations of the Skuse family. Be sure to stop in on the Skuse Family Museum, which houses memorabilia from their 80 years in the business.
40 Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1EH 0117 986 2001
Cherry Blossom Studios
Ticking all the requisite tattoo parlour boxes, Cherry Blossom studios comes complete with flames on the walls and checks on the floor. Combining Rockabilly style with award-winning design, the Essex studio's resident artist Lee Symonds is the UK's leading specialist in Japanese art tattoos.
86 High St, Walton-on-Naze, Essex 01225 850 462
Skunx Tattoo Studio
Home to world-renowned tattoo artist Dan Gold (who counts Kate Moss and Mariah Carey among his admirers) Skunx Tattoo Studio has built an enviable reputation over the years. Unsure of what tatt to have? We'd recommend considering one of Gold's trademark designs, which take inspiration from his early career as a graffiti artist.
11 Chapel Market, Angel, London, UK, N1 9EZ 0207 278 6960
The Family Business
Tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta founded this parlour back in 2003 with the aim of offering something unique. Judging by the mix of art and religulous iconography inside, and the loyalty of its eclectic following, the plan worked. This year it's the subject of a coffee table book 'Tattooed by The Family Business' published by Pavillion.
58 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QE 0207 278 9526