top of page

Part One: The making of modern Britain

For centuries the East End was home to the poor, the downtrodden and those who were fleeing persecution and came to England in search of a better life. It was also home to its fair share of eccentrics and oddballs.

The East End’s dark and harrowing history is a microcosm of the formation of modern Britain. On this tour you'll investigate life in the formerly squalid district, covering the plagues of the Medieval period, the slums and rookeries of the nineteenth century and the terror of the Blitz, which rained destruction on London’s poorest quarter causing untold misery. You'll discover how all these experiences and the cultural melting pot of immigrants from around the world forged a unique “Cockney” culture which stood outside mainstream British society.

Part Two: Brick Lane - London's open-air art gallery

For over 20 years artists from around the world have flocked to London’s East End to use its walls as their canvases. On this tour you'll walk through one of the city’s most vibrant and exciting neighbourhoods in search of the latest murals, sculptures and paste-ups from upcoming artists. You'll learn the history of the East End’s street art scene and how what was once seen as graffiti and vandalism came to be embraced as an iconic part of the area. The street art of the East End is constantly evolving with new pieces appearing daily, so no two tours are alike. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

Part Three: Beyond the Ripper

A foreign land within the precincts of London, the East End has always been a haven for outlaws, murderers, and gangsters, and is the site of some of the most terrible crimes in British history.


You will travel back to discover a time when the East End was full of gambling dens, brothels, gangs and lone murders who stalked the night. The infamous murders of Jack the Ripper are just the beginning; you'll go deeper into the East End’s sordid history to hear largely forgotten tales of body snatchers who murdered the poor to sell their bodies for medical research and the shootout where Winston Churchill got a bullet through his top hat!

You'll also re-examine the evidence in some of Victorian London's most horrific crimes to see if the culprits can finally be identified over a century later.



  • Get off the usual tourist trail to experience the real East End of London. 

  • Investigate now forgotten crimes that once shook London to its core. 

  • Soak up some of the East End's vibrant street art scene. 

  • Learn about the eccentrics and oddballs who inspired the works of Charles Dickens.

  • Put your detective skills to the test by reexamining century-old cold cases.


What to bring:

  • Comfortable shoes as you'll be walking all over the East End of London.

  • Optional: Money for food; there will be a short break at one of the Jewish delis on Brick Lane (famed for their salt beef bagels), some of which only accept cash.

  • Optional: A camera to capture some of the ever-changing street art.

* Prices subject to a 5% booking fee.


The Great Black Pit:

 Crime, poverty and punishment in the East End

Dive into the dark history of London's historic East End to discover a world of disease, poverty and murder.

Itinerary: Tour of the historic East End | Brick Lane street art scene | Break at one of Brick Lane's traditional delis | 

Crime and punishment in the East End and more...

Prices*: £30 Adults | £20 Students & Seniors (18-21 or over 65) | £12 Children | Free under 5 years' old

Runs on Thursdays from 10 am to 1.30 pm (approximately) with a break 

Meets outside The Railway Tavern on Liverpool Street

bottom of page