Tower Hill Tube (meet by the Tower Hill Tram coffee stall) | Map
Short Version: "splinter-sharp guides, gripping history"
Click here for a bang up to date review of the walk in the Canadian Jewish News
Long Version: Traces the history of London's Jewish community in the East End. A tale that embraces the poverty of the pogrom refugees and the glittering success of the Rothschilds; the eloquence of Prime Minister Disraeli and the spiel of the Petticoat Lane stallholder; the poetry of Isaac Rosenberg and the poetry-in-motion of Abe Saperstein's Harlem Globetrotters. Set amid the alleys and back streets of colourful Spitalfields and Whitechapel, it's a tale of synagogues and sweatshops, Sephardim and soup kitchens. Whenever possible we visit the historic Bevis Marks synagogue (for which there's a small entrance fee). It's one of the highlights of the tour. Maurice, who's in charge there, lays on a fascinating talk, fields questions, etc. What's not to like? Guided by Shaughan, Steve, Rachel (the author of Jewish London, Secret Whitechapel and Whitechapel in 50 Buildings) or Judy (winner of the London Tourist Board's Guide of the Year Award). Harry – "Britain's favourite guide" – makes the occasional guest appearance.
The Old Jewish Quarter Walk takes place every* Sunday, every Wednesday and every Friday. The meeting point is just outside the exit of Tower Hill Tube. Meet your London Walks guide and fellow walkers by the Tower Hill Tram coffee stall. N.B. the Walk ends at Spitalfields Market, a short walk from Aldgate Aldgate East and Liverpool Streetstations.
*Except Sunday, April 28
Want a preview of the walk and the guiding? Watch the video.
If you can't make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, public Old Jewish Quarter Walks do think about booking one as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Old Jewish Quarter Walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We'll tailor it to your requirements. And – always – we go to great lengths to make sure the guide-walker(s) "fit" is well-nigh perfect. And for this walk in particular, it's a dream team of guides. There's Rachel, the author of Jewish London (see below), Secret Whitechapel and Whitechapel in 50 Buildings. There's Judy, winner of the Guide of the Year Award. There's Shaughan "the cantor" – no guide's more captivating, more entertaining, more fun than songbird and actor and top-flight Blue Badge Guide Shaughan; there's Steve, London Walks' fizziest guide (nuff said?); there's to the manor born Harry, voted "Britain's Favourite Guide" on Radio 4 – well, you get the idea.. So if you want a private Old Jewish Quarter Walk (or the Jewish West End or Jewish Hampstead) just ring Fiona or Noel or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk is good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group. And the clincher: a private London Walk makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.
A private London Walk makes a very special (and unusual) gift – be it a birthday or anniversary or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that's special. Memories make us rich.
"If you want to know London better, if you want to learn some things about the world's most cosmopolitan city that most people who spend their lives there never learn... I can think of no better investment than London Walks" The New York Times
"London Walks puts you into the hands of an expert on the particular area and topic of a tour..." The New York Times
"Our guide this morning is named Harry; he is a middle-aged man with a trim grey beard and a handsome Roman profile. His beat is the Old Jewish Quarter, a shtetl called Whitechapel. On the way, he will tell us about the history of Jews in the East End, a district much changed by the Blitz, subcontinental immigration and recent gentrification. Harry's grandparents lived in the neighborhood." The New York Times (Sarah Ferrell, Travel Editor, The New York Times)
"Service doesn't get much better" The New York Times
"The original and best – there are several companies offering walking tours of London but London Walks (London's oldest) is easily the pick of the bunch" London, Cadogan Guide
Don't just take it from us or The New York Times