Your tour through the London’s gritty criminal underworld begins in Whitechapel, an area brimming with illicit histories from the Jack the Ripper rampage to the dark negotiations of London’s most infamous gangsters. Meet your guide Vas Blackwood there for your 2-hour afternoon walking tour—and bring your questions!
As you head into Whitechapel’s warren of alleys and backroads, hear about the famous Kray twins, brutal mobsters who ruled the East End in the mid-20th century. Before being imprisoned for life, Reggie and Ronnie Kray made their mark in the area, from training to box at Repton Boys’ Club to opening glamorous nightclubs—hotspots for famous performers and members of parliament. Learn about Ronnie’s rise to celebrity after publicly murdering his arch rival at Blind Beggar pub, and about beloved London actress Barbara Windsor, who had a fling with Reggie Kray before marrying his feared associate, Ronnie Knight.
Along the way, indulge in Vas’s colorful storytelling. Learn more about cockney criminals like Brown Bread Fred, a cockney play on words where ‘bread’ translates to ‘dead’ – the unfortunate fate of many that met him – and ‘The Guv’nor,’ Lenny McLean, a former bareknuckle fighter and gangster who left the dark side to perform in the British classic, Eastenders.
Finish with a behind-the-scenes tour of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels film locations. Soak up little-known tales of production as you visit sites like Samoan Jo’s pub and Hatchet Harry’s office, workplace of Harry Lonsdale.
Your fascinating insider tour ends at Columbia Road in Shoreditch.