The experimental study of tidal phenomena in the solid Earth has been pursued for a century and, in particular, the last 15 years since the I.G.Y. has seen a spectacular growth in activity. The geophysical significance of the work has remained limited however, and it is necessary to study possible reasons for these shortcomings. Work in the U.K. on tilt and gravity variations has helped to identify some of the relevant problems associated with the philosophy of instrumentation and its deployment, calibration, experimental repeatability, and analytical procedures. Here the importance of the oceanic influence is clear, whereas elsewhere it has not always been accorded sufficient attention. The future of the discipline may lie in a decline in interest in body effects and a greater concentration upon the mantle, the crust and their inhomogeneities in which experimental and theoretical studies proceed in parallel.