Friday, 16 January 2015

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour - 11th January 2015

'It can be argued that Jack the Ripper was a social reformer.'

I didn't know all that much about Jack the Ripper, but this was definitely not what I was expecting to hear when I embarked on my first ever walking tour of London. It (or rather He - my lovely tour guide, Richard)  took me around the back streets of the East End, pointing out various unassumingly ordinary locations where the murders happened in the 1880s. And he clearly relished telling the stories in grisly detail, making the more squeamish of us (me included) make faces in horror. These murders were horrendously grim and I now know why he was nicknamed Jack the Ripper (I know - slightly obvious, but as I said, I know literally nothing about him).

Richard, the tour guide was informative and charismatic as he led us on the 1.5 hour tour. He told the stories of each murder with well practiced and eloquent skill, and the amount of detail he knew was amazing. He is a self proclaimed fanatic and has apparently been pretty obsessed about Jack the Ripper since the age of 12. Which really does show in his tour. He is so passionate and knowledgeable which makes the tour all the more entertaining. And the 1 and a half hours whizzes by as you are so keen to learn about all the victims.

He is aided by what he calls RipperVision, and his is the only tour which has this additional element within his tour. It is basically a little projector which he then uses to show us images from the time. He project these on to walls, sides of vans, anywhere that has a flat clear surface so we can compare the modern London to the Victorian London where Jack the Ripper caused havoc. This additional and unique element is fantastic as it really does bring the events that Richard talks about, to life. We are able to see the old versions of the street we are standing in, right before our eyes which I think is very important for the events to be seen as history rather than myth. So it was a nice touch.

The £10 fee for this tour is more than worth it. It's entertainingly spooky, very informative and can easily be booked online here Just a couple of tips for when you do go on the tour - firstly wear layers. I can not stress this enough. It is the middle of winter, it is dark and you are outside for the entirety of the tour. I completely underdressed, as usual and was absolutely freezing. Secondly - bring an umbrella. You know what the British weather is like, rain can strike at any minute. And it did for us. Despite this though, you are guaranteed a fantastic time. I certainly had more fun than I was expecting and it really is a great way to learn a little more about the history of the city that we think we know so well.

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  1. It was lovely to meet you last week-end! Hopefully see you again soon at a blogger event :)


    1. Hi, it was so lovely to meet you too. Definitely hope to see you again =] x