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London Walks Jack the Ripper Tour without Donald

London Walks Jack the Ripper Tour without Donald

Feb 9th, 2004, 09:56 AM
  #1  
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London Walks Jack the Ripper Tour without Donald

We will be in London for three days and Donald will not be doing the Jack the Ripper tour on those days. Any opinions on the other guides for this tour..I know Donald is the best, but is it still worth doing without Donald?
glsebs is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 10:12 AM
  #2  
JonJon
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If you've never done it then how do you know that "Donald is the best?"
 
Feb 9th, 2004, 10:19 AM
  #3  
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I have read many posts that rave about the tour with Donald! Obviously, I don't have first hand knowledge of any of the guides...just wondering if anyone has taken this tour with someone besides Donald and their comments.
glsebs is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 10:20 AM
  #4  
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I have read many posts on this forum that rave about the tour with Donald! I don't have first hand knowledge of any of the guides...just wondering if anyone has taken this tour with someone besides Donald and their comments.
glsebs is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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We arrived one night along with what must have easily been 150 or more other people. Donald was there but had already arranged to take one group of 35 or so. Two other guides took the rest of us. Our guide was a young woman who spoke softly and was very difficult to hear and understand. She told us the same story over and over again at about five different stopping points -- we think it was the only story she remembered. The fifth time, a bunch of us got the "giggles" when she started in repeating the exact same spiel. It was a terrible tour!! We left the huge group by the time they got to the pub, as it was overflowing with people anyway. Meanwhile, I'd say half of our group had already split from us in boredom of the whole thing.

The next year we did a "Mysterious East End" tour with Donald and it was a joy -- so educational, so detailed, and so much fun.

I'm sure there are other good guides -- but ours was definitely not one of them.
Patrick is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 11:03 AM
  #6  
 
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Several years ago, I took the Ripper tour with a guy who turned out to be not even affiliated with London Walks. After I saw a caveat posted on their website about not going with anyone who doesn't have a certain badge and who leaves one minute before the appointed time. Our guy left 15 minutes early.

That said, let me tell you he was GREAT. His name was Tony and he was a Beefeater by day. He was extremely knowledgable and our group was very small. He seemed friendly enough with the official guides, with whom we crossed paths a few times on our journey and they with him. At the end, he asked us to just pay what we thought our tour was worth. I would go with Tony again in a minute. The best part was the very small size of our group and the ability to engage Tony in conversation as we walked along.

Try it, you just might like it!
Grasshopper is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 11:21 AM
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I took the London Walks' Ripper tour with Molly. She and Donald were both there that night. I tried her tour because she had about 70 people, while Donald had about 4 times as many. I wasn?t that impressed with her tour, but at least part of that was the group was too large.

Keith
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Feb 9th, 2004, 12:43 PM
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Hearing of these vast numbers makes me all the sadder that our favorite guide quit, after more than 10 years, because he couldn't get the numbers. I'm not sure why, but I do know that our B and B type hotel wouldn't keep his brochures in their front hall [although they had many others] and he said that his brochures that were out sometimes mysteriously disappeared. He was an excellent guide. There is no way that we would take a tour with one of those mega-groups!
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Feb 9th, 2004, 01:02 PM
  #9  
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Message: Daph, I presume you are talking about John Muffty? When did he throw in the towel? I think the last time I saw him, he was waiting in vain for even one customer at I don't remember which tube station on a Sunday night in October 2002.

While I do not think John had much business sense -- he could never seem to put together a website -- he was also facing the might of American entrepreneurship (David Tucker, co-owner and brains behind Original London Walks is from Wisconsin).


ron is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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The Donald doesn't do the JtR tour any longer? Was he fired?

It's been a bad day, folks.
michelleNYC is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 05:04 PM
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My wife and I took this tour in late December and Donald was on vacation that week. They had 3 other people giving the tour. It was a Sunday night and is apparently the busiest night for this tour. We had Stephen and he was fantastic. If we were there any longer I would have gone on another tour he gave.
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Feb 9th, 2004, 05:31 PM
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There were four guides the night we went but, alas, no Donald. The groups were HUGE, probably at least 50 people in each, and we also had a woman. It very well could have been Molly and I thought she did a decent job. Well, at least the part I could hear was good. With so many people it was often hard to get close enough to hear and if there was any traffic noise at all it was hopeless. But she seemed knowledgeable and I would have liked to take the walk again in the hopes I could fill in the lost parts. Unfortunately, time did not allow a repeat. I believe we went on a Sunday night which, as someone else stated, seems to be the busiest night.
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Feb 10th, 2004, 04:37 AM
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Wow, glad I found this thread! I'm going to London in April with my family (3kids under 12 and husband) and we were planning the Sunday night Jack the Ripper tour...now that I've read about the crowds I don't think it's the right tour for us. Since I'm the only one who even knows about the Ripper, perhaps a less crowded tour would serve us better. Any suggestions? We'll be there on Saturday and Sunday,
thank you
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Feb 10th, 2004, 05:10 AM
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Carlamarx,
You can get an idea of the variety of walks offered by The Original London Walks if you take a look at their web page http://london.walks.com/
The winter schedule posted on the web page will change to the summer schedule on March 10.
The walks begin near a tube station and generally end up near a different tube station.
There is no way to predict how many people will show up for any particular walk.
I have enjoyed most of the walks I've been on but also have been on a couple that I thought were real snoozers.
Just be aware that the walks generally last for two hours and there is a lot of standing in one spot while the guide talks. The standing about could induce the fidgets if any of your children is pre-school age or simply not interested in the subject matter.

starspinners is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 07:00 AM
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We did two walks the last time in London, The JtR walk without Donald and a Kensington Village walk. I would recommend both, though they were quite different...
Dkamstra is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 08:39 AM
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I'm a big London Walks fan but would like to tell my impression of the Donald tour. We were in London last March and took the famous tour on a Sunday night--there were probably 200 of us and we basically walked from parking lot to parking lot while Donald told the grisly tales. There was nothing to see as the neighborhood has drastically changed over the years. As it was a Sunday night the pubs weren't open--but then a mob of 200 couldn't have all been accomodated anyway. So I wouldn't feel bad about missing Donald as when he's leading, the masses follow.
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Feb 10th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Ron - Yes, it was John. The Sunday evening Pub Walk, meeting at Green Park Underground, was our favorite and we had been on it many times. I think that if John had been able to have a website going he would still be in business.
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Feb 17th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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We have been taking walking tours offered by London Walks since 1985 and highly recommend them. Since we have done almost every walk with them, we were looking for new options in November 2003.

We took the "Blood and Tears Walk" offered by Declan McHugh and it was truly wonderful. He presented a theoy on Jack the Ripper that we had never heard before; it really got us thinking.

The walking tour leaves from Barbican underground station on Fridays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm, Saturdays at 11:30am and 2:30pm, Mondays at 2:00pm, Wednesdays at 7:00pm, and Thursdays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. He cautions that the walk is not suitable for children under the age of 12 due to the discussion of gore and violence. The walk costs 6 pounds.

We did not pre-book even though it is encouraged. The website to prebook is www.365london.com (click on City Secret Walks). Declan's website is www.shockinglondon.com. There were only four of us on the walk. Declan involves a lot of interaction. He asks you questions and tries to get you to figure out how things could have happened. We really felt like we were on a walk with a friend and not a tour guide. It was the best walking tour we have been on in years.

He also does a Shakespeare walk that we will be taking the next time we are in London.

If you want personalized treatment, small groups, and the opportunity to learn a lot about London, then take Declan McHugh's walk.
Dorothy01 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2004, 06:06 AM
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Daph,I'm so sorry to hear that John Muffty is no longer doing tours. We went on many of his tours over the past 15 years and loved them all. I did wonder why he didn't have a website. So important now-a-days. It's really too bad, he had to throw in the towel. I was recently in London and wondered why I didn't see any of his brochures. I wish him good luck.
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