Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel Tour (Small group tour)

(114 customer reviews)

Whitechapel Underground Station (Whitechapel Road exit)

Guided by Richard Walker

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
Friday Weekly 7 pm 9.15 pm Winter Summer Book Now
Thursday Weekly 7 pm 9.15 pm Winter Summer Book Now
10 June 2024 Special 7 pm 9 pm Summer

THE ROLLS ROYCE OF RIPPER WALKS

We hold this truth to be self-evident…

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

This one’s the high-end Ripper Walk. Yes, it costs a bit more but you get more. A lot more.

You know the acronym USP – Unique Selling Point? Well, this walk has four USPs.

 

1. It’s sui generis. And it’s only available from London Walks

2. The unbeatable – and indeed unique – combination of a world-class guide and 24-carat, high-end technology.

3. The guaranteed small group. Twelve people maximum. It’s the ideal size. It makes for a more intimate, coherent group. There’s never a distracting, ragtag element. And if you have questions, well, you get a lot more individual attention from Richard, your – bears repeating,* this – world-class guide.

4. The huge advantage of the high-end sound system Richard uses. He doesn’t have to declaim, doesn’t have to belt the decibels out. He talks in a natural, quiet, conversational voice and you hear every word. It’s like walking with a friend who’s quietly telling you something for your ears only.

Huge advantage indeed. It’s magic: it simultaneously speeds the walk up and slows it down. If there’s something of interest in passing you hear about it as you go by. It liberates the tour from the confines – the straitjacket – of the ‘guiding’ only taking place at designated ‘stops.’

And it speeds it up because there’s no ‘dead time,’ no standing around for 25 to 30 seconds or so waiting for a slower walker to catch up. (And boy do those seconds add up over the course of a walk.) Or indeed waiting for someone who’s hung back to take photographs.

Whether you’re walking almost arm in arm with Richard – or bringing up the rear – it doesn’t matter. Everybody hears every word. And embarras de richesses, if there’s a ledge or a bench 40 yards or so from one of Richard’s stops and somebody wants to avail themselves of it – get off their feet for a couple of minutes – well, they can do so, they can have a sit down on that bench and they don’t miss out. They hear every word, as if Richard were at their side whispering in their ear.

So, yes, there’s a huge advantage. Correction: huge advantages plural. You pay £10 more but what you get in return is worth a lot more than that extra tenner.

*And it’s not just us “repeating” it; take a look at what the 112 five-star reviews say over and over again.

DON’T JUST TAKE IT FROM US

“It is absolutely worth the money and time, twice over!”

Here’s a recent (May 7, 2024) review.

“The wireless system works wonderfully and gives the opportunity to share even more facts, anecdotes, suspects and circumstances. A two-hour tour felt like 20 minutes and still I have the idea that he hasn’t shared a tenth of all he knows. It is absolutely worth the money and time, twice over! If there is one tour to do when you visit London and the East End, it’s this one, with Richard.”

Here, below, is nonpareil guide Richard Walker talking about his small group Ripper walk.

There are plenty of Ripper walks and you will probably only go on one.

London Walks guide Richard Walker will lead you through the murder sites starting right where Jack began . . .in the infamous Buck’s Row, Whitechapel.

Practicals:

The small group Ripper walk takes place at 7 pm every Thursday and every Friday evening. But do check the calendar because there are a few exceptions that prove the rule. And Richard’s put on an extra one on Monday, June 10th, 2024. The extra one because of demand – the Thursday and Friday that week are fully booked.

Meeting point: The starting point of this walk is Whitechapel  Tube Station and the tour ends near Liverpool Street station.

Price: £30 per person

Maximum of 12 per tour so you must buy your ticket online. To ensure group size only ticket holders can join this tour.

 

Whitechapel in the ancient parish of Stepney.

Stepney* olde English – ‘the landing place’.

For centuries the world supplied the City of London with all it required and it all passed through the Whitechapel docks in the parish of Stepney.

And it wasn’t just goods that arrived.

Refugees from the Huguenots of France, to the starving masses of Ireland, to the persecuted Jews of Europe all made their way to the lanes and alleys of Whitechapel and Spitalfields.

And so did . . .

Jack the Ripper painting with a skull shadow

The monster we call – Jack the Ripper

And the Whitechapel of the 1880s was made for Jack the Ripper.

It was a world of foul tenements, starving children and bottomless despair.

This is Whitechapel and this is the world of Jack the Ripper. It is one heck of a story and I want to tell it to you.

Click here to listen to The World of Jack the Ripper, another short scene-setter podcast by Richard.

Itinerary

I have been guiding for London Walks for 15 years and the Jack the Ripper walking tour was my first.

This is a new twist. I’m starting at Whitechapel Underground Station because this is where Jack the Ripper murders began. Right behind Whitechapel Underground Station in Buck’s Row – now called Durward Street.

Charles Cross and Robert Paul discovered the body of a 43 year-old mother of five children. Mary Ann Nichols known as Polly Nichols ended up walking the mean streets of Whitechapel in the early hours of the 31st of August 1888. A woman whose life was ended by a serial killer who killed at least 4 other vulnerable women on the streets of Victorian London.

Polly Nichols: a victim of a divided society; one of many who suffered in a black hole that festered in the richest city in the world.

We will head to 29 Hanbury Street where Annie Chapman became the second victim. We will get to Spitalfields Market and the Ten Bells Pub by way Brick Lane, Princelet Street and Puma Court. Back streets that still capture the feel of 18th and 19th century Whitechapel. We will see where the worst street in London once stood – Dorset Street. Miller’s Court where the brutal murder of Mary Kelly took place on November the 9th 1888.

Christ Church Spitalfields

Nicholas Hawksmoor’s magnificent church built between 1714 and 1729. An impressive landmark for the 5 ripper victims and still impressing.

The Ten Bells Pub

The Ten Bells pub that stands across the road from Christ Church Spitalfields. And it is from the ten bells that hang in the church steeple that the pub gets its name. It’s believed that at least some of the victims would have drowned their sorrows there. And almost certainly ‘Jack’ would have been seen propping up the bar there.

Image caption: Yes we can still see the Whitechapel and Spitalfields of bygone days. Dark streets light by gaslight.

Bucks Row & The Board School

Buck’s Row has changed since 1888 it’s now called Durward Street. But the board school building where Polly’s body was found is still there.

This is the board school as it was when Polly was found against the gates where the arrow points. And it’s the first location that we will visit.

The People Of The Walk

 

The People of the Abyss

Jack London spent seven weeks trying to survive the “Abyss”. He said he’d seen poverty in the USA but nothing like the poverty he saw in the East-end of London.

Courtesans of the 19th century

 

The Victims

Mary Ann Nichols (known as Polly Nichols), Annie Chapman, Liz Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly were dismissed as prostitutes by the police and journalists – though their judgement may have owed more to male attitudes to women than to hard evidence.

Four of them were over 40 and three of them had raised children before a combination of stress and alcohol left them sinking into the abyss.

Certainly Ripperologist Halle Rubenhold is reasonably certain that not all of these women sold sex. The Five is an excellent book which maybe should be compulsory reading for some tour guides who still like to dwell on the depths of depravity that they like to imagine these women sank.

It might be worth concentrating the spotlight onto what kind of society it was that left these women at the mercy of monsters.

From the Guide

I want to do justice to Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel especially the victims.

And I want to share the diverse and vibrant world that Whitechapel is today and in order to do that I have decided to restrict numbers to just 10 on this special walk. Please book online to secure your place!

There is nothing better than sharing London with visitors from near and far. I hope that you will be one of them.

Reviews

 Thanks Richard that was so interesting and what a great end to the week! You have a fabulous way of narrating and giving context to the mysteries that remain to this day about jack the Ripper. I really appreciated you bringing me back to remembering and bringing focus back to the women who were victims of his horrendous crimes.  – Lucy

Really enjoyed it! Fascinating. Thank you from North Carolina,. USA. – Kendi

I will definitely join you again – very interesting thank you! – Claire

Hi Richard, Really enjoyed the virtual tour the other evening, especially the 10 minute chat post tour. Actually I remember you now. Years ago I did a tour about the history of the financial system in the City, you were my guide, it was from you that I learnt about the Remembrancer. I have ordered your book it is due to arrive on the 5th of October. I will look out for your virtual tours in the future hope to see you then. God bless and keep you during these difficult times – Michael

Dear Richard, Thank you very much for the Jack the Ripper tour this evening Milly and James said it was brilliant!! Milly said she learnt more tonight than she did in her history lessons. Please can you let me know your bank details as I only transferred funds for Milly and not James, which we’d like to do. I think they are going to join you on a Saturday at some point soon. Many thanks again. – Susie.

London Walks Private Tours

If you can’t make the regularly scheduled, Jack The Ripper Whitechapel tour why not think about booking it as a private walk?  If you go private you can have this walk– or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. Ring Fiona or Niamh or Peter on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you.

114 reviews for Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel Tour (Small group tour)

  1. Wayne Richter

    Took the tour June 7th, what an AMAZING experience myself and our group had. Richard is an outstanding tour guide, his experience and his research into this matter are well evident. Loved that he started us at White Chapel station in East London, scene of the first Ripper murder. In addition to his amazing oratory skills, Richard uses an I-pad to further explain and initiate the group to not only the complete Ripper story but also the lives and conditions that existed during those times. He uses headphones so that every person in the group hears every word! Loved the small group atmosphere. Can’t rate this tour high enough, it was an enlightening and educational experience that we all thoroughly enjoyed! You will too!

  2. Anna

    The tour was a highlight of our London trip. Richard Walker was an excellent guide. He described the situation in which the people lived, and offered explanations as to which Jack the Ripper was not convicted. Easy to understand even for non-native speakers. Thank you. We would do the tour again.

  3. Jean-Francois Lehoux

    I have made several Ripper walks in London through the years. But the one my wife and I made with Richard as our guide last week was the best by far. Richard is passionate by this unique crime mystery and communicate his passion in a very instructive way. It is as you were in Whitechapel, between August and November 1888, in the different locations where the murders took place only a few minutes after the Ripper committed them. A great travel in time and mystery. Well done Richard.

  4. Ann Vitti

    The small group tour is the way to go. Richard was smart, professional and interesting. It’s such an atmospheric place at night, White Chapel. And Richard added to the mysterious aura with his deep knowledge of the facts and theories about Jack the Ripper. So much I didn’t know. Easy 5 Stars for this walk.

  5. Arjan Otte

    Once again Richard Walker demonstrated his vast knowledge about different subjects (I have had the pleasure of doing Harry Potter tours with him as well). The wireless system works wonderfully and gives the opportunity to share even more facts, anecdotes, suspects and circumstances. A two hour tour felt like 20 minutes and still I have the idea that he hasn’t shared a tenth of all he knows. It absolutely worth the money and time, twice over! If there is one tour to do when you visit London and the East End, it’s this one, with Richard!

  6. Beth Crowell

    We learned so much on this Jack the Ripper tour and the small group atmosphere is a huge plus! The in depth commentary about the climate in London at the time and not just sensationalized murder details was a unique perspective. I am hard of hearing and the personalized headsets were fantastic! I wasn’t straining to hear over the car and bar traffic. Thanks for a great evening!

  7. Peter Latham

    A thoroughly interesting trip around London’s Whitechapel.
    Richard’s knowledge on the subject was jaw dropping. So much detail and very well presented. The wireless connectivity was great. I would highly recommend this tour.

  8. Allyson Barabe

    We had a great experience with this small group tour on a very cold and chilly night! Richard was super knowledgable about all things Jack the Ripper and provided so much more info that the typical tour. My husband (a high school history teacher) was especially interested in all the historical details he shared about London at the time regarding the poverty, living conditions, policing, plight of women, etc. Thank You Richard for an unforgettable evening! Would highly recommend.

  9. Gaby

    Fans of the stories of serial killers, we couldn’t miss a tour about one of the most famous : Jack the Ripper. We found the tour on Internet and, as we want a little group, we chose the one with Richard, max 12 persons.
    Richard was on time on the meeting and very well organized. He’s got a tablet for pictures and earphones for his guests so it’s easier to hear him as he speaks in his microphone.
    Even when we walk, we can hear him very clearly. He is very interesting and the tour was awesome! He explains everything, has a very good sense of humor and is very documented. He’s curious and continues his readings about the theme !
    In brief, we had a delightful moment with Richard and highly recommend him 🙂
    Thanks again !
    Élodie and Gaby

  10. Ed

    One of the best history lessons you’ll ever have! I say that as a history teacher myself! I came to the walk with high expectations having read all the excellent (and accurate reviews). I left it thrilled by the experience of being taken back in time by a gifted story teller and in sheer awe at Richard’s incredible depth knowledge and intelligent questioning of the evidence. Like any great lesson, increasing the level of curiosity in the subject matter is crucial. I’m now totally hooked on the topic having just had a passing interest before. Richard’s superbly crafted narrative means this walk is a must for anyone with an interest in London, the events of 1888 or social history in general. Richard’s central focus is uniquely focus on the victims and the multitude of differing contexts that crucially manifested to determine their fates. This message resonates powerfully with many issues we are still struggling with today as a society. Do not hesitate in booking this incredible walk. You could not wish for a more capable, expert and friendly guide as you confront the many crimes of the past!

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