London Walks

Jun 5th, 2006, 07:42 AM
  #1  
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London Walks

Does anyone know the difference in the Original London Walk tours vs. the Jack-the-Ripper Tours? Price is the same, but the latter suggests they limit their groups to 36-39 and from what I have read of the "Original", groups can be up to 200. We will go on a Saturday night in July. Your comments would be very appreciated!
missatlanta is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Do you really want to use up a Sat. evening in London walking through an area where essentially none of the original bldgs still stand? "And on that corner was the site of Mary's killing", "Here used to stand the pub . . . " and so on. And in a neighborhood where nearly every single resident resents your group walking through and gawking.

I know it didn't answer your question, but it sure isn't how I'd spend a summer Sat night.
janisj is online now  
Jun 5th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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If you search you will find that this was discussed quite recently (I used to do this walk as a guide and I wouldnít recommend it). Some walks can have huge numbers attending Ė 200 may be a bit on the high side but 100 isnít that uncommon.

Although a company may say that it limits itís numbers Ė to be honest this wonít help much, as all the walks have to follow the same route, so you will still be a part of the same pack of tourists.

I honestly think that the JTR walk is, by some distance, the worst of the walks offered in London. Itís your evening so do as you want, but I would recommend either the pub of ghost walks as being far better than JTR.

Others may have different views of course.
david_west is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 08:00 AM
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I think the consensus on this forum is that the Jack the Ripper Tours are a rip-off ( pardon the pun). I've done
a number of London Walks and they've all been excellent, but have no experience with J.t R.

Perhaps someone will give you a more definite answer to your query. If not go with the smaller group. I can't even image 200 on such a walk, in fact I think it's not very likely. They probably break the group up...surely.
historytraveler is online now  
Jun 5th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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OK itís time to Ďfess up. Ladies and Gentlemen. My name is David and I have been a JTR tour guide. So hereís the truth from the inside.

Groups of 100 are the top end Ė but 50 is pretty common, and no they donít split you up. There isnít one brick on top of another from the time Ė the only authentic bit is the cobbles of Mitre Court.

Unscrupulous guides (who will remain nameless) often take people to the few old buildings in the area and let the people assume that these are the sites (for instance the Kelly site is actually the motorbike bit of a multi-storey car park, but itís nears an old courtyard soÖÖ)

The people who live there will hate you with a vengeance and itís a rather dull bit of town.

Also the guides will take you to pubs etc that pay them rather than the rather more authentic ones (and donít get me started on the Ten Bells).

Itís a tourist trap. Fifty punters at a fiver a head is £250 for a couple of hours work (and the yanks tip on top, bless their cottons).

Really; do one of the others Ė youíll get better guides and have a better time.
david_west is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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We loved the JTR walk. We felt it gave us just enough of a taste of what London might have been like back in Jack's day. I have also taken the Ghost walk and while it was interesting I didn't enjoy it as much as the JTR tour. Saturday night might be busier (more in the group) but if that is the night you have available to do it, go for it. Just try to get up to the front of the crowd so you can hear the guide well.

Historytraveler, I think the idea of the forum is to get a variety of takes on the subject, not a concensus.
AisleSeat is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Please read david_west's posts. AisleSeat may have enjoyed it - but the guide was probably laughing behind their backs, was getting a kickback from the pubs, and probably making up what they were were seeing.

And the "The people who live there [hated] you with a vengeance" - really isn't an exaggeration. Loudmouthed tourists traipsing through your neighborhood late at night - totally inconsiderate even IF there was anything left to see.

The JTR groups are smaller but the London Walks ones CAN easily get up to 100 or 150 or more.

Why pay someone to show you non-existant places when there is so much else to see/do in London?
janisj is online now  
Jun 5th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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And why spend your precious time in London visiting the site of horrible crimes? A hundred years from now, will we pay guides to walk us around Littleton, Colorado, and tell us about the Columbine massacre?

Merseyheart is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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I don't know how often it happens, but yes the numbers can exceed 200.

The night I took the tour, there were two guides, Molly & Donald. Molly had about 70 people, Donald had about 300.

I went with Molly. When Donald's group passed us, they seemed to go on forever.

Keith
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Jun 5th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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David, Thanks for the information.

AisleSeat...I was making a statement not offering an opinion. Most people who post on this particular subject do not recommend the JTR tours. However, there are still some who find it enjoyable. Enough said.
historytraveler is online now  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Since I don't like large crowds, it sounds like a no go for JTR. Just thought my teenage girls would enjoy something like that. What would you suggest then for our first night (a Saturday) for something easy to do while we recuperate from jet lag? Something that will give us a flavor of what's to come on our visit. We will be heading toward Tower of London on Sunday and Westminster/Parliament area on Monday. Don't want to visit those areas twice.
missatlanta is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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I loved most of the London Walks I took; however, not the Jack the Ripper one - too many people,even tho they split up into 2 groups. The Ghost walk was more fun, and I think your girls might enjoy that one evening.
Sue4 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2006, 07:20 PM
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We did the London Eye the first evening we were in London with our 17 year old daughter. You will get a great overview of the city as you see the prominent buildings and the Thames. The Eye is on the South Bank and we really enjoyed the street performers and festive atmosphere in the Jubilee Gardens nearby. The views are great at sunset and also after dark. You really don't need to stay awake all that late on the first night - we aim for 9:00 at least. For a summer weekend, you will want to buy your tickets in advance. We bought our tickets the day we left for London, when we saw that the weather was going to be good. Picking them up was a cinch and avoided the queue at the ticket purchase desk.

An alternative might be late hours at the Tate Modern (open Saturday evenings until 10:00pm). You could do St. Paul's in the afternoon, and cross the bridge and see the Globe and after dinner pop into the Tate Modern.
noe847 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 02:56 AM
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I had to laugh at the post above about "Donald". This is Donald Rumbelow, a soi disant "expert" on the subject. He's written a few books on the subject (one of which isn't a bad primer). He is also rather short on "people skills" (ie he's a grumpy bugger with a bad case of piles). However he has a fan club, as he's the only person who has any real standing that does these walks (and he will relentlessly try and sell you his book). Hence the crowds.

The daft sod thinks it was Maybrick - as if.

David (who does know who it was and is keeping it as his pension plan).

If you want to see a bunch of middle aged men who still live with their mums arguing the toss about this you should look here (which will also tell you all you really need to know about JTR). If you want to know what this evil bastard did, have a look at the Kelly crime scene photos and ask yourself if you really want anything to do with this.

Casebook.org

But really, in short, don't bother.
david_west is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 04:04 AM
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Gee, I'm really relieved that Jack the Ripper was STRAIGHT!!!
Intrepid1 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Yes -- I read about "Donald" in various places. He sounds downright famous! I will check into the ghost walks and also appreciate the suggestion for London Eye. We are staying right across the river in Charing Cross. Thought we might spend the afternoon in Covent Garden letting them do some shopping after we get in a nap!! Thanks for all the info. It always keeps me digging for more!!!!
missatlanta is offline  
Aug 26th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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why are just about all the london walks companies called "London Walks"? a bit confusing for the customer. it seems that one company www.walks.co.uk built itself a very good reputation and just about all the other companies are trying to cash in on this. i am not associated with any tour company. just wondering. ripperguide???
walkinaround is offline  
Aug 28th, 2006, 05:57 AM
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I would assume it so they are more likely to come up in search engines.

Keith
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Aug 28th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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It could be that we do walks in London? Not New York or Oxford. As for the accusation of cashing in, if you look at the site you will notice that all the walks on the site are actually free. You can print them off and do them yourself at no charge. Hardly cashing in!!!!
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Sep 2nd, 2006, 07:59 PM
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Ripperguide, thank you so much for your link to the walks one can do oneself. I have enjoyed the guided walks, but I love to just wander around myself, and your printed guides will be extremely helpful. I wish I had known about your Ripper walk before I wasted my time with "Donald's", which was just mostly a sea of people and not enjoyable. I have taken some other London Walks, and the ones I least enjoyed were the crowded ones.
Sue4 is offline  

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