Monday 3 December 2018

Things to do in London // Jack the Ripper London walking tour

I never cease to be amazed by London and all that it can offer. With a wealth of things to see and do, the possibilities are endless. The other evening I was invited along to a special media-only walking tour based on Jack the Ripper and stood outside Whitechapel Art Gallery - next to exit three of Aldgate East Tube Station - ready for 7.30pm. We were due to visit each of the crime scenes with an expert Ripperologist (try saying that after a few drinks!) as our guide. Other than giving my legs a much needed stretch (much needed when you work 9-5 in an office all week long!), we were to learn all about the potential suspects and clues missed by the police,

We started off just around the corner from our meeting point, heading through an alleyway. This first stop really set off how it felt in Victorian London at the time, where a substantial proportion of the population were homeless and sleeping on the streets. Looking around at the current street lighting, it's hard to imagine how dark it used to be on the streets with the street lamps barely emitting any light (think like the glow from your refrigerator when coming downstairs in dark for a midnight snack with the lights off). The first stop was conveniently located as it means that if you are running late for the tour, you have an additional 10 minutes to get there and join the tour. Once the tour leaves the first stop, you are unable to catch up with it later. If you are ever running late or cannot make your slot, do get in touch with the Jack the Ripper walking tour team ASAP as they are really flexible with getting you re-booked in for another time so you don't miss out (see here for full FAQs).

We visited each crime scene of where the victims were found and our tour guide used Rippervision (essentially a projector) which allowed us to see how the buildings and streets we were standing in front of looked like in 1888 (some of the changes are mind blowing!). We even got to see pictures of the state the victims were in, both as they were found and in the morgue (those with a queasy disposition feel free to look away!)

Fun fact: did you know that Jack the Ripper wasn't always known as such? This very letter in red ink was the first time "Jack the Ripper" came about. Previous to this, the East London killings were referred to as the work of a "Leather Apron".

I don't want to give too much away as this was a really fascinating tour and the surprise elements are what make it. But let me tell you this now: the conspiracy theories about who the killer could have been are insanely interesting (did you know that Jack the Ripper was never identified?)

The tour takes approximately 1hr 45 mins and runs every day at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm. It's especially effective since the clocks have gone back and now that it's getting darker earlier!

To find out more and for ticket availability, visit

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