Questions about London Walks

Jul 20th, 2005, 09:29 AM
  #1  
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Questions about London Walks

I am interested in going on the "Along the Thames Pub Walk" at night. Has anyone gone on this and how did you like it? How many pubs does it go to? And how long is the tour overall?

The other one I am interested in is the Jack the Ripper Walk. How is this one -does it get too crowded? (We'll be there early August.) Again, how long does it last?

Thanks!

Ginny
gopack is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Ginny.. I've gone on about 10 of these walks - and by and large I really like them. The Jack the Ripper tour was my least favorite... but many seem to love it - it was just a bit overly dramatic for me. And this area of London is not one of the nicer ones. I did the Chelsea Pub Tour and we stopped at 3 pubs. In each we had time for a very quick drink - if we wanted - and the bathroom. Some of the pubs were quite small - so it was a challenge to fit everyone inside. I really enjoyed it though - it was as much about the neighborhood of Chelsea as it was about the pubs. And the Chelsea area is lovely. I assume the other pub tours are similar.
julie_Colorado is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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>>>>
Some of the pubs were quite small - so it was a challenge to fit everyone inside
>>>>>

not my idea of the proper way to visit a nice pub. large, impersonal pubs can easily be found without a tour and it's only large, impersonal pubs that are not ruined by the rapid arrival of a pub tour.

Much better to get a pub guide or good recommendation and spend some time there without being part of a quick-stop group.

i agree about the jack the ripper tour...except for the comment on the neighbourhood...this area of the east end is well worth a visit. on a nice night in august, you can get hundreds (perhaps several hundreds) showing up for the j the r tour.
walkinaround is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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My daughter and I went on the "Along the Thames Pub Walk" a few weeks ago and we really enjoyed it. We visited 3 pubs (a very new pub, a 19th century pub and a 16th century pub). The pubs were great, but the best thing about the walk was our tour guide David. He was incredibly knowledgable about London and its history.

The tour was over 3 hours long.
mnapoli is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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I think the comments above are spot on if your primary focus is to find pubs and have a drink. That wasn't really what I was after - and that also wasn't what the pub tour tried to deliver. I think "pub tours" might be a catchy title to hook people in. We spent about 25% of the time in pubs and the rest of the time exploring highlights of the neighborhoods. The pubs gave us a really nice opportunity to stop and chat with the interesting people on our tour. They were night as great an opportunity to relax, have a drink, and absorb the local atmosphere. If all I wanted was to have a drink in a nice pub - there are better/easier ways to do this. All the guides I have had on the tours were outstanding.
julie_Colorado is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Oops.. that is "they were not as great..."
julie_Colorado is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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We're going in August and are planning on taking the Along the Thames Pub Walk. You're right, gopack -- we are more interested in the surrounding areas, and the tidbits of trivia about the places than getting the drink itself. We can drink anytime -- but how many times do we drink along the Thames?
GreenDragon is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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We went on the "Along the Thames Pub Walk" in April. David was the guide and was very interesting. It was a VERY large crowd, but he's a very good guide, so it's worth it. The pubs were fun for a drink and some chips,albeit very crowded, but the behind the scenes info is the primary reason to consider the tour. iId do it again in a heartbeat and it was pretty chilly outside! It lasted 4 hours.
Gree65 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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i've been on this walk, and agree with the others. I like pub walks because it gives a bit of a chance to mingle in between fun bits of history, trivia and a guide who will take you down alleyways you would never notice on your own.
it's worth it- just don't expect it to be a pub crawl where the primary focus is drinking.
I love london walks and have done many of them in the past few years.
emjoy is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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I've never been on the Thames Pub Walk, but I feel certain that for the Jack the Ripper Walk in August you WILL have crowds. My experience was that three guides split up the groups. I don't recall seeing the other groups after we left with our guide, Judith (who was wonderful). I enjoyed the Ripper walk a lot and saw parts of East London I would not have otherwise seen.
Poohgirl is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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i think there were about 200 ppl when i went.they divided them into 3 groups.the guide stops every 300m at a point of importance to the murders and addresses the crowd.although they yell (made me think of the locals trying to sleep) it does help if you try to stay near the guide as possible.
very amusing and educational for £5.50.
after the tour ended we didnt pay attention to the guides explaination of how to reach the tube and me & my wife got lost in the east end - very dark and creepy after 10pm, especially after hearing about those atrocities!
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Jul 20th, 2005, 04:50 PM
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Gopack, I was in London in May of 2004.
I did not do the "Along the Thames Pub Walk" but we did do a Jack the Ripper Tour through Evan Evans.

I thought that it was suprisingly interesting. I did not really want to go, but I was there with my friends and they wanted to. So I went along. My guides name was Mary, I believe. She was a confessed "Ripperologist" and was very knowledgeable. I thought that it was good.

We did not have a full tour bus of people, but there was a fair amount of people. Perhaps 30? After the tour we went to The Prospect at (of?) Whitby. Which is a very old pup along the Thames. It was very interesting as well. They served us Fish and Chips. It was freshly made, good and hot.

I would think that it started at 7pm, and I was back in my hotel at 11pm?

I actually wanted o read up on Jack the Ripper when I got home.

Maybe I thought it was good because I was expecting to not be interested and be bored?
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Jul 20th, 2005, 04:55 PM
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Interesting information about the pub tours. Can kids go on these? My kids will be 11 and 13 when we are in London in March, since the pub walks are not just about drinking can they come? Also, in March can we expect the crowds to be smaller? Breaking up 200 people into 3 groups still seems rather large to mel
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Jul 20th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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I've done both of those walks, and the Ripper walk is the huge crowd one which is broken up into groups. The Along the Thames Pub walk also gets a big crowd, but is very interesting, and a fun walk.
David was great. The Ripper walk is OK, but not as good as some of the other London Walks. Maybe because there are so many people!
Sue4 is online now  
Jul 21st, 2005, 06:34 AM
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My daughter went on the pub tour at age 11. It was fine. There weren't other children (it was February - and cold!) but since we spent little time in the pubs it was not an issue. And she was able to go into all the pubs.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 11:26 AM
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we did this walk in the winter with our 3 kids, the youngest being 12 and it was fun and fine with her.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 12:54 PM
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WMR
 
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We did the Hampstead Pub Walk in mid-June, and brought our 11-year-old along - no problems at all in any of the 3 pubs. I would say the Hampstead Walk was better than the Hampstead Pub Walk, but both were enjoyable.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 03:09 PM
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I did the Ripper walk in May 2003 and quite enoyed it. The guide was very knowledgable & amusing. It was early May & I think we had about 25 people in our group. So yes, it's very popular.
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Jul 21st, 2005, 05:06 PM
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Have done several London Walks and enjoyed all except the Ripper. This was on a Sunday night, with the famous 'Donald', author of a Ripper book. There must have been 200 people, just a huge mob walking from parking lot to parking lot, and no pub stops, but with 200 people, that would have been impossible.
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Jul 22nd, 2005, 01:46 PM
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My husband and I did the Along the Thames pub walk at the beginning of March. We were early for the walk, so we stopped in at the Blackfriars Pub to get food (which was very good, by the way). It ended up being the first pub on the walk. The walk went to 4 or 5 pubs. It also went past the globe theatre and some of the oldest houses in London. It also went through a couple of alleys that have been used in a number of different movies, including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Harry Potter. I think that the walk was about an hour and a half long, but there were musicians at the last stop, so we stayed there for quite a long time after everyone else had left.
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