The Shocking East End
The now fashionable East End was once a sprawling mass of closely built houses that created a labyrinth of lanes, snicketts and alleyways. It was enough to confuse and unnerve even the most intrepid traveller. Mix in some fog, soot and pollution ‐ the famous London smog ‐ and you can really start appreciating how the area became notorious for pickpockets, crime, mobs and gangsters (e.g. The Krays), unsolved mass murders ( e.g. Jack the Ripper) as well as a place where freaks and misfits (e.g. The Elephant Man) could hide almost unnoticed. It gained notoriety as an ‘exotic’ nation of its own and was usually left off Victorian maps of London.
On this tour, we learn the origin of the names of Brick Lane, Houndsditch and Spitalfields, we see a mosque that was once a synagogue and, before that, a church and find out why Petticoat Lane is now called Middlesex Street. It’s a tour that tells the story of the people of the East End and their lives, particularly highlighting the plights and legacies of immigrant groups from all over the world, including Jews from Portugal, Spain, Poland and Russia as well as refugees from Ireland, France, Bangladesh and not forgetting the most recent arrivals – the hipsters!
"This tour was so brilliant. Emma was so knowledgeable and shared this with us in a fun way. We were fed really well too! Emma is a brilliant natural guide and I'm looking to book up another tour very soon I really felt I had learnt so much at the end of this tour. Would recommend this to anyone!!"
- A TripAdvisor Review