I love a good day up in London and when we go we love to play tourist! I was lucky enough to be offered to places on a Jack the Ripper walking tour which I absolutely jumped at. We already had plans to head up to London on 6th August so we thought we could add it on to the end of the day and I am so pleased that we did.
London’s history has always fascinated me and when you start to delve into it the infamous killer of Whitechapel in 1888 is pretty easy to find. We met our tour guide, John, outside Aldgate East exit 4. It’s hard to describe where this exit is if you are heading there by foot but if you are standing outside the main exit it’s diagonal from you a few metres down. We didn’t have too much trouble finding where we needed to be but the exits aren’t clearly marked at street level. Our group was quite a large one but John was a great guide and kept us all in check as we explored Jack the Ripper’s old haunting ground.
Throughout the tour you visit key places of interest including where some of the bodies were found, which are now a little less atmospheric but with the use of photographs and an excellent story teller you can really picture what it was like back in the East End in 1888. We found out on the day we visited it was a sort of anniversary of what is thought to be one of the Rippers victims early on in August 1888 before the killer really started to terrify London. It was really interesting to learn about these as a possibility but obviously, like many things about the Ripper, there isn’t a lot of certainty and it’s a hotly debated suggestion.
As you go around other key locations in the investigation you do see some quite graphic photographs. John was great at warning people about these and they were handed around discreetly so if you don’t want to see you don’t have to. There was two photographs that were quite horrific and I thought it was great of the guide to warn before peeking. It really made you feel the absolute horror the people living in these parts must have felt and why there was such widespread terror.
Throughout the tour John welcomed questions and he answered everything really honestly. There were a lot of ‘I don’t knows’ and that’s because there really aren’t that many clear facts. I think that’s what makes the whole tour so scary, in a way. Is that this man or woman or monster, whatever you want to call them, did awful things to these women and was never found out. That is what will keep these amazing tours of our history alive really, isn’t it. The fact that we will never know who did it, why or why they stopped because it’s key to note they stopped quite suddenly.
I have to give lots of credit to John who was an excellent tour guide throughout the two hour walk. He kept everyone’s interest and really did get into telling a great story of the investigation that had everyone stumped 128 years ago. John has been working as a Ripper walking tour guide for around 8 years now and is clearly very educated in the subject – he really does know his stuff and if you’re planning on booking a tour, I really recommend him as a guide. If you’re interested in booking you can do so here. It is £10 per person. Some younger people do go on these tours but I personally wouldn’t recommend them for anyone under the age of sixteen, however the tour does allow those of the age of fourteen and leaves it to the parents discretion. When booking these tours as a family, you know your children best and what they will be able to handle. They also don’t have to see the photographs if you decide they’re not appropriate for them. The tour itself is a pretty easy walk and is on flat ground. There are a few cobbles and uneven sections to be aware of and a few crossings too but the guide explains everything before you set off. Just stick together and if you get caught in the traffic lights, the guide will wait for you.
We really enjoyed our walking tour and learning more about Jack the Ripper. I would recommend this tour to anyone that wants to learn all the facts about the case and really learn what it was like to live in London in those times.
Disclaimer: I received two tickets in exchange for this feature. All opinions remain my own.