The Krays’ East End

Bethnal Green tube station (West exit), London

Guided by

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
19 July 2020 Tour du Jour 10.45 am 12.45 pm Summer

Short read: London’s answer to Al Capone.

Long read: When people are afraid of you, you can do anything.  This was the maxim of the Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Having twins made Violet Kray feel special, and she rewarded her boys by instilling in them a sense of infallibility.  Violet Kray had given birth to a legend; a legend we re-live on every street corner on the Krays’ East End Walk.

We visit the site of ‘Fort Vallance’, the Kray family home and the very war-time air raid shelter where granddad nightly lead a convivial knees-up as outside the bombs hurtled out of the sky. By day the tearaway twins honed the art of running a gang as they ran wild in the original ‘adventure playgrounds’ of East End bombsites.
We see the church where Reggie married his ‘East End Princess’ and a second church that formed the backdrop to the most ostentatious of East End gangland funerals, and hear how, apart from the funerals of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana, for the send-off of Ronnie Kray, the local streets were lined with the largest number of mourners that London had ever seen. As for bodies in the Kray story that have never (ever!) been accounted for, we visit the sites that, according to gangster lore, are their most likely resting places.
And pubs! We visit (of course) the landmark Blind Beggar, scene of Ronnie’s cold-blooded murder of a rival gangster, but also the typical East End pub from which the twins set out to butcher Jack the Hat Mcvitie and the atmospheric hostelry where the intrepid detective who finally unravelled the Kray case first clapped eyes on his quarry.

True legends are never laid to rest.  The Kray story is constantly being reworked as ‘new’ revelations, recollections and confessions filter up from the underworld making the time ripe to walk a while in Krays’ shoes before the streets that shaped their destiny are lost forever to gentrification, and before the quaint Whitechapel Underground Station, where our walk ends, is modernised to accommodate Crossrail.


The Kray’s East End takes place at 10.45 am on Sunday, July 19. The meeting point is just outside the West exit of Bethnal Green Tube. The walk is guided by Jane.


The Kray’s East End is one of our occasionals, one of our From the Repertory walks. I.E., it only comes up a couple of times a year as a just-turn-up, public, Tour du Jour walk. If you can’t catch one of the dates we run it as a public walk – well, it can always be booked as a private walk. You can have it as a private walk on a day (or evening) and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. Just give us a ring – on 020 7624 3978. Or email us at: [email protected]


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