Your evening tour begins at Victoria Coach Station, where you’ll board a vintage double-decker bus and take off through the city’s darkened streets.
Pass Westminster Abbey and the Banqueting House at Whitehall, the execution site of King Charles I in 1649. Immerse yourself in the tales of execution etiquette in the 17th century, when beheading was the favored act. Learn of skilled executioners and the spectacle that would unravel during bloody public executions at Tower Hill. Then zip past Old Bailey – site of public hangings in the 19th century – and Fleet Street to see where the barber Sweeney Todd gruesomely butchered clients and packed them into meat pies to be guzzled by local patrons.
Your next stop will be London’s Smithfield Market. A historic site that began as a meat market in the 10th century, Smithfield witnessed many brutal executions over the centuries. Wander the building and surrounding lanes as you hear about historical figures that met their end here such as Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasants' Revolt, and Scottish patriot William Wallace. Visit Wallace’s memorial and learn about how grave robbing became a popular money-making scheme in the 19th century.
As night falls, arrive at London’s East End, where Jack the Ripper stalked his victims more than 125 years ago. Pass locations where the Ripper’s five victims were found by horrified Londoners. Disembark to follow the murder trail, and discuss theories and suspects that have come and gone, leaving the Jack the Ripper story a great unsolved mystery.
The 2.5-hour tour concludes with a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Pub near Trafalgar Square. Explore Holmes memorabilia and warm yourself with a drink and some crispy English fish and chips (own expense).