Last Friday we got a two star review on a well known travel site. But, as it transpired, the review wasn’t about our tour but about one of the London walks that depart from Tower Hill Underground Station. It was a case of mistaken identity!
The reviewer complained that there was nothing to see on the tour and that the best part of the evening had been after the tour when the guide finished by a multi storey car park and told them to visit the Ten Bells pub.
It ended with the reviewer telling readers to miss the tour and just head for the Ten Bells Pub!
From the moment the review appeared it was more than obvious to us that it wasn’t about our Jack the Ripper Tour.
The main reason being that we don’t actually end by the Ten Bells Pub, but rather we cover it half way through the tour when we’ve spent an hour or so walking the dark alleyways and streets that have survived from 1888. Our clients all comment on just how atmospheric, not to say creepy, they find streets and alleyways to be.
We duly messaged the reviewer and asked him if he would mind clarifying which Jack the Ripper Walk he had taken and we explained that ours starts at Exit Four of Aldgate East Underground Station and goes straight into the old dark alleyways which are, more or less, just as they were at the time of the Whitechapel Murders.
Well, this Monday we received a very gracious reply in which the reviewer apologised that he had, in fact, reviewed the wrong tour as his had started from Tower Hill Underground Station.
This is such an important point.
A constant complaint on travel review websites from those who have taken a Jack the Ripper tour is that the area is so very modern and not in the least bit atmospheric or authentic. Yet, these reviews are nearly always from those who have participated in the London walks tour from Tower Hill.
A huge amount of the area has survived and by starting, as we do, from Aldgate East Station we are not only in the heart of the area where the crimes took place, but we’re also able to follow the early Whitechapel Murders in a chronological order so that our tour participants get to see what the area looked like and are able to see the crimes as they unfolded and evolved.
You just cannot do this from Tower Hill Station and that is why so many people are complaining about there not been anything authentic to see from Jack the Ripper’s time.
Yet those who join our walk really do get to see the old streets and really do get the feel for the area as it was in the 19th Century.
So confident are we of the route that our tour follows that we actually provide you with a step by step guide to our route that includes photographs of the places you will visit. We can do this because we know that, from the start, you will be in the streets that have survived from the time of Jack the Ripper.
In addition are guides are experts on the subject. John Bennett, Philip Hutchinson and Richard Jones, for example have written acclaimed books on Jack the Ripper and have appeared as expert interviewees in almost every ripper documentary that has been produced in the last 15 years.
Finally, because we ask people to book for our Jack the Ripper Walk, we are able to allocate just the right number of guides that keeps our group numbers down to a sensible and manageable number of around 34 people. It’s better for you, better for the guide, and better for the locals who live in the area.
So, when you read about people joining a walk that just took them through modern streets that had no atmosphere, please remember that they are talking about the tours from Tower Hill.
For the true feel and flavour of the Victorian East End, join the original expert led Aldgate East Walk and, see for yourself, how much of the area has, in fact, survived.