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

(30 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
Saturday Weekly 7 pm 9.15 pm Winter Summer Book Now
28 October 2022 Special 7 pm 9.15 pm Summer Book Now

Here, below, is 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, every Friday and every Saturday evening. But do check the calendar because there are a few exceptions that prove the rule.

 

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

Price: £20 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 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. This is the only London tour to visit 4 of the 5 crime scenes.

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. Goulston Street and the doorway where the cryptic message was chalked – “The Juwes are the men that will not be blamed for nothing”.

And this guided tour will end at Mitre Square where Catherine Eddowes was put to death. Murdered less than an hour after Liz Stride had her throat cut in Dutfield’s Yard, Berner Street. Two women who go down in history as ’the double event’. Just two of a teaming multitude that deserved a better life and a better end.

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 Noel on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you.

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

  1. Mauro Cristoforetti

    Richard is a fantastic tour guide!
    We had an amazing couple of hours with him: he’s wit, funny, intelligent and has a knack for storytelling.
    Also, he knows how to navigate between the facts and fiction that surrounds Jack and his legend.

    Hugely recommended.

  2. Robert Kiely

    Richard provided a very informative and fun tour. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the Ripper murders and possible suspects.

  3. Joanne

    Group of 4, mum and 3 twenty somethings girls. Richard was really engaging and we thought he gave a balanced and carefully constructed insight. Thank you

  4. Charlie Panton

    Thanks Richard for a brilliant Jack the Ripper tour.
    The small group format worked brilliantly and Richard brought the both the story and the fascinating area of London to life. So much information and thought provoking ideas. It worked really well for both Londoners and an Aussie contingent of all ages!
    Would highly recommend doing it.

  5. Leslie Amos

    We had done a large group rippper tour before, but found that this smaller tour made it much more enjoyable and interesting. Richard was knowledgeable, informative and a very good story teller, who took time to describe the lives and deaths of the five in a sympathetic way. He also imparted a lot of other historical information as the tour progressed, using good images from the time to set the scene. This is the tour I would recommend rather than the large tours that begin at Tower Hill. Thank you so much Richard

  6. Joyce

    I’m really glad I booked the smaller Jack the Ripper tour. Richard was definitely knowledgeable and his background information of the time period was really interesting. His slides were great quality. I liked that the tour focused a lot on the victims and facts and less on the wild theories out there. There were three of us and it was more like a conversation where we could ask as many questions as we wanted.

  7. Yevgeny

    Richard’s knowledge of the subject as well as his amazing ability to present history and tie it to real locations make this walk a very unique experience.

    The iPad with the historic photographs and drawings of the people involved add something that’s often missing.

    I’ve done other Jack the Ripper walks, this one is definitely the best.

  8. Rolland Basant

    I honestly can’t rave about this tour enough. Richard offers so much new information that I’ve never heard, and does so with a great level of enthusiasm. This was exactly what I was hoping for with this tour. The smaller sized group is well worth the extra money. We saw some other groups on our walk and there were easily 40 people or so in those groups. It was certainly a highlight of my trip to the UK. You will not be disappointed!

  9. Jeffrey Hardin

    Knowledge, passion and gentility; Richard has it all! This is the best of the Ripper walking tours. What a treat!

  10. Patricia McConville

    The tour was fantastic Richard is a great guide. Very informative, interesting and engaging not to mention funny. He brought to life. The sad and poor lives of the people of that time.The great knowledge of their background.

  11. Nigel Gibson

    Knowledgeable, friendly and entertaining. Thoroughly recommended.

  12. Samantha Laing

    A truly fascinating tour. Richard was certainly knowledgeable and he gave us food for thought! Would certainly recommend his small group tour… might be a bit more expensive than the other tours but with no more than 12 this was just the perfect size for this type of walk.

  13. Lou and Herta Yonke

    Richard’s knowledge of the facts was incredible and that, together with his passion, made it an excellent experience. Felt like we were there in 1880.

  14. John Zittel

    We did a tour with Richard on the evening of October 28. It was very interesting and Richard did an excellent job of telling the story of Jack The Ripper. We highly recommend this tour!
    John
    Michigan, U.S.

  15. Rotem Yanai

    Richard is a great story-teller. The amount of research and information he had to share with us was brilliant! We live in the neighbourhood so it was lovely to learn some of the history of the area

  16. Søren B. Andersen

    Highly recommended. Richard’s Jack the Ripper tour has an original take on the story, also for those who already know a lot about Jack Ripper, is most informative putting the whole legend into a historical perspective.
    and well planned. Join it if you are visiting London.

  17. Emily Kraus

    This was a fantastic and easily accessible tour. Richard is very knowledgeable and transported us back with his narrative to a very different whitechapel of the 1880s. He was informative but yet low key and had a wealth of intelligence about both the Jack the Ripper murders as well as the history of the area. I would really recommend this tour for anyone with a spare few hours in an evening in London – you will learn a lot. As a logistics point, I very much appreciated that the tour started and ended at tube stops which made for easy integration with the rest of my evening.

  18. G Patton

    Richard does a fantastic job, he adds a little humor, a great deal of passion, and an intimate knowledge
    of the subject to his sympathetic, victim based narrative that is nothing short of compelling.

  19. Jo Follows

    Take this tour – you will NOT be disappointed.

    We attended Richard’s tour in Oct ’22. His insightful knowledge, storytelling abilities, facts, and pictures build a compelling tour that transports you back to Victorian London.

    You don’t just learn about the Ripper, but the lives of his victims and the era itself, all whilst delving down the dimly-lit alleys that can tell a story or two. He presents it all in the streets where the murders took place but also shows you places where the East Enders lived, and describes their daily lives in detail.

    Richard’s manner, enthusiasm and humour make this tour one of the best tours we’ve ever been on. We prefer small group numbers so you can hear what is being said. It also means that you can ask questions and debate. So spend that extra couple of quid – it is very much an investment in your experience.

    We went in October so it was dark, adding to the enchanting atmosphere of days gone by.

    Richard weaves a fantastic story. His unparalleled knowledge means that he will take all you think that you know about the Ripper and present a clear argument for several more suspects that will keep you thinking for days afterwards.

    Tips: Take a coat/hat/wrap up warm. Get your listening ears on, throw out all ideas/prejudices you might have around whodunnit – and get ready to return to Victorian London.

  20. Gilad Yarnitzky

    Our tour was wonderful. We highly recommend this tour over the large group tour. The personal touch adds a lot and the ability to talk with the guide makes the tour a lot more enjoyable. Richard was very knowledgable and the emphasize was not just about Jack the Ripper but also the victims and the era that led to this event.

  21. Ann Meyer

    I’m a closet Ripperologist, and think I can judge Richard as a superior tour guide on the subject. He knows all the facts, the numbers and the biographies. He seemed to have read every book on the subject, starting with publication in the 1890s, and knows which ones to recommend. His voice is understandable without the use of a loudspeaker. Richard brings along a tablet with relevant, useful photos.
    Our group lucked out in a way because the evening was dark, cold and very rainy for our tour. It really added to the 1888 atmosphere as we walked between the dark Victorian streetscape.
    I recommend paying a little more for the small group. That guarantees that the attendees are interested enough to pay a bit more to get a more personal experience with a guide who will have time to answer questions and interact with the group.

  22. Sarah

    Thoroughly enjoyable tour – even with the cold London wind blowing through our coats! I am sure that many of these tours can be salacious, but Richard avoids dwelling on the gruesome details more than is necessary, and instead paints a thorough picture of life in this area in the late 1800s, and how the conditions contributed to the deaths of these women. It was a grim place to be for many, and hard to reconcile with the trendy eateries that now line the streets, but Richard’s deep knowledge makes the Whitechapel of old seem not so far away.
    He also took us on a fascinating tour of Ripperology itself – a very contentious landscape – and gives some insight into how the “legend” of the Ripper grew from the tragedies that unfolded in Whitechapel over that Autumn in 1888.
    PS the small group is worth the extra five pounds!
    Thanks Richard!

  23. Elliott Crosland

    The tour was just great! Richard is an exceptional tour guide who has the courage to bring a very unique focus to this Ripper story. Instead of going into all the theories about who this Jack might have been, Richard gave us a sensitive picture of the lives of London’s poorest residents in the 19th century, especially women. He challenged many narratives about the Ripper’s victims by recounting their biographies in detail. Overall it was a great experience and highly recommended!

  24. Margo

    “5⭐️+++ – Excellent Guide – Interesting, Knowledgeable, and Thought-Provoking Tour – Highly Recommended!”
    Richard is an excellent guide. His tour of the streets of Whitechapel follows the path of Jack the Ripper’s crimes, recreating each scene drawing on eye-witness accounts, police reports, historical research, sensationalist headlines of the times, and photos on his laptop, which he shares with the group.
    He paints a picture of the terrible conditions in Whitechapel at the time – the abject poverty in which so many lived, and the impact that had on women, especially. Richard brings each of the women murdered into focus, restoring their identity, and telling their story. He shares many theories of how they met their fate, and shares lists of titles for those who would like to pursue the story further.
    Richard is charming, knows his subject inside and out, and skilfully weaves a story that keeps one riveted to his tale for hours.
    I learned a lot, had a thought-provoking and thoroughly interesting walk through the streets of Whitechapel, and enjoyed Richard’s tour immensely.
    I would highly recommend Richard and his Jack the Ripper small group tour!

  25. Ash & Josh

    We just did a tour tonight with Richard!!! It was so well done. We were engaged and he left us on the “edge of our seats” with anticipation of what was next! His story telling was amazing and very animated. He should do his own podcast for sure! Highly recommend!! We also appreciated the book recommendations he gave us!

  26. John

    This was an excellent walk. Richard was very engaging and brought out aspects of these tragic cases of which I was previously unaware.

  27. Natalya

    Fascinating story, facts and places! Richard is very passionate and knowledgeable about the subject! His stories are sucking you in to the past and your brain starts working out your own version and investigation of the crime without you noticing that.

  28. Robert

    Richard has a great command of all facets of Jack the Ripper. His excellent tour contextualised the world of late 19th century London. Highly recommended.

  29. Sandra Hüwels

    The tour was just great! Richard is an exceptional tour guide who has the courage to bring a very unique focus to this Ripper story. Instead of going into all the theories about who this Jack might have been, Richard gave us a sensitive picture of the lives of London’s poorest residents in the 19th century, especially women. He challenged many narratives about the Ripper’s victims by recounting their biographies in detail. Overall it was a great experience and highly recommended!

  30. Anne Heath

    I was very pleased to find an afternoon Jack the Ripper tour as the evening tours are rather inconvenient when only in London for a few hours. I really enjoyed Richard’s walking tour. He set the scene by talking about the history of Whitechapel giving an insight into the conditions people were living in at the time of the murders. We also learnt about the backgrounds of the victims which is often glossed over. All in all, an excellent tour which included some recommended book titles for further reading. Thoroughly recommended.

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