Things to Do in Covent Garden

This post explains what the Covent Garden district is in London, including things to see and do, dining options, theatre and opera productions, and how to plan your visit.

 

 


WHAT IS COVENT GARDEN?

Covent Garden was originally Convent Garden, an area set aside for the monks at the nearby Abbey of St. Peter (now Westminster Abbey) to grow fruit and vegetables.

Throughout the centuries it has had multiple incarnations: a public fruit and vegetable market; a residential area for affluent 16th century Londoners; a red-light district; a flower market; and the home of London’s West End theatre district.

 

Old Covent Garden London

 

Today, Covent Garden is dominated by a beautiful piazza, designed by architect Charles Fowler in the 1830s. 

Within this piazza are a myriad of shops, restaurants, and a pitch for opera singers and musicians. 

Surrounding the piazza are the iconic cobbled streets of Covent Garden, home to markets, museums, theatres, street performers, restaurants, bars, and shopping.

 

London Covent Garden street performance

 

Covent Garden is right in the heart of London’s West End, meaning this location has more theatres than any other part of the city, as well as playing host to London’s Covent Garden Opera House.

 


Back to top


 

TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE AND DO

This section lists the top 10 attractions, museums, and things to do in Covent Garden.


(1) See Street Performers and Artists

Covent Garden is well known as a hot-spot for street performers and street entertainment has been happening here since the 17th century. 

From first thing in the morning to the evening hours, there is always somebody putting on a show on the cobbled streets of the Piazza.

 

 

We recommend going between 18:00 – 20:00 as this is when the ‘headliners’ come out! 

Some of the performers have been working here for years – find out who’s playing/performing/creating while you’re in town HERE.


(2) Browse the Market 

Covent Garden has been a market location for centuries. Today, there are two main markets to visit: The Jubilee Market and the Apple & East Colonnade Market.

The Jubilee Market is where to go if you want to bag a bargain.

 

 

Selling anything from clothes to food, souvenirs to jewelry, wall art to antiques, it’s all here – depending on the day of the week.

Monday is an antiques market, Tuesday to Friday is general goods, and on weekends it’s all hand-made arts and crafts like candles, baubles, clocks and more!

The Apple & East Colonnade Market is where the original Covent Garden stood – under the beautiful roof of the Piazza.

This is a great place to explore, but note that it can be somewhat pricey to shop. Here you will find antiques and artisan pieces from traders that have been here for decades.


(3) Walk the West End Theatre District 

Covent Garden is the heart of London’s West End. This means you will be surrounded by theatres and opera houses as you walk through the streets. 

London’s West End brings in shows from all around the world, and some of entertainment’s biggest names. 

 

 

Each theatre has a unique story, look and feel so keep an eye out as you travel through Covent Garden to explore these wonderful venues.

For more information on finding cheap theatre tickets, check out our how-to post.


(4) Walk Down the “Real” Diagon Alley

Here’s one for our Potter-lovers! There are two contenders for the ‘REAL’ Diagon Alley here in London: Cecil Court and Godwin’s Court. 

Cecil Court is lined with bookshops highlighting the occult and also is in the location that matches JK Rowling’s description of the location of the Leaky Cauldron, which leads onto Diagon Alley.

 

 

On the other hand, Godwin’s Court is a tiny, windy little alleyway with small topsy-turvey buildings whose windows bow out at odd angles into the passageway.

This is very much how JK Rowling described the Alley and also similar to how it is depicted in the Potter films.

Take note that our Harry Potter Walking Tour includes both of these locations!

Find out more, and get all the info you need to visit on our post about Diagon Alley HERE.


(5) Explore the London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum is one of the city’s most unique museums – bringing the history of London’s transport network to life, with original examples of previous transport modes as well as hands-on exhibits. 

 

 

Beginning in the 19th century on to future transport plans, this museum covers it all: buses, trains, tubes, taxis and beyond. 

Here you can learn how London’s transport system evolved and how this impacted the expansion of the city for decades – and how it is still influencing the way we live today.

Tickets:

  • Adult – £18.00 (£16.50 online)
  • Concession – £17.00 (£15.50 online)
  • People 17 and Under – FREE

Times:

  • The museum is open from 10:00 – 18:00
  • Last entry is 17:15

TIP: To avoid crowds, visit the Museum in the afternoon rather than the morning, as with most other London attractions!

Find out more on their website HERE.


(6) Walk in the Footsteps of the Beatles

Monmouth Street is a pretty thoroughfare that leads from the iconic 7 Dials to Shaftesbury Avenue, but it also has a tiny nod to Beatles history that you may miss if you don’t look carefully!

Number 13 displays a small blue plaque that marks the former offices of the “fifth Beatle,” Brian Epstein.

 

 

In 1963 Brian moved his offices from the Beatles home of Liverpool to this location in the heart of Covent Garden where he would manage numerous acts – including the Beatles – for more than a year.

To find out where Epstein’s next offices were, or to learn more about the fab four, check out our posts on The Beatles London HERE or join us on our one-of-a-kind Rock n’ Roll Tour to see where the Beatles lived, recorded, and relaxed in London’s West End!


(7) Wander Leicester Square 

Covent Garden and Leicester Square are often visited together as the two areas merge into one another at Charing Cross Road. 

A small bit of trivia: the shortest distance between two stations on the London Underground is the Piccadilly Line between Covent Garden and Leicester Square! 

 

 

Leicester Square is home to a number of bars, restaurants and theatres, and plays hosts to red carpet film premieres. 

However, many Londoners consider it a ‘tourist trap’ so while we’d recommend strolling through (there is a very small but pretty green in the middle) or trying to pick up some discount theatre tickets at the TKTS booth (get more info on that from our post HERE), it’s best to avoid the bars and restaurants on the Square.


(8) Take a Walking Tour

If you really want to get to know Covent Garden, come along on a tour with us!

We offer a spectacular Covent Garden and the West End Tour that will take you through the history of the area and the evolution of London’s theatre scene, including tips on the best shows to see and how to get good tickets!

 

 

We offer a number of other walking tours nearby like the Soho, Piccadilly Circus and Chinatown Tour, the Westminster Tour and the Harry Potter Tour.


(9) Take a Photo at Seven Dials 

Seven Dials is a unique junction, where seven streets converge at a single point. 

In the centre is a sundial, a 1980’s replica of the 17th-century original, around which traffic can travel.

 

 

In times gone by, it was an area of disrepute and authors such as Dickens and Keats wrote about it’s salacious reputation. 

Today it’s surrounded by theatres, shops, and restaurants like much of Covent Garden but is a beautiful unique place to visit and take some interesting photos!


(10) London Film Museum / Bond in Motion

One of London’s newer museums, the Film Museum was founded in 2008, dedicated to the British film industry.

The museum exhibits original props, costumes and sets from films created in Britain – going all the way back to the silent era.

However, since 2014 the Film Museum has been entirely dedicated to the world of James Bond. 

 

 

Their semi-permanent exhibition is called Bond in Motion, the largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles – containing over 100 original vehicles and artifacts from all the two dozen official James Bond films.

To learn more about James Bond’s London, check out our post for more information!

Tickets:

  • Adult – £14.50
  • Child (5 – 15) – £9.50
  • Concessions – £9.50
  • Family – £38.00
  • Under 5’s – FREE

Times:

  • Open hours from 10:00 – 18:00 
  • Last entry at 17:00

Find out more on their website HERE.

 


Back to top


 

PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK

Getting food near Trafalgar Square is easy as there are so many places to choose from:

Quick Bites to Takeaway/Picnic: 

Casual Sit Downs: 

Pubs: 

Cocktails: 

Great Views: 

Covent Garden is also a short walk away from the foodie havens of Soho and Chinatown – but make sure to avoid Leicester Square as it is full of ‘tourist traps!’ 

There are many delicious places to eat in London but a good rule of thumb is that if you can see Leicester Square from the restaurant, you are best to avoid it. 

 


Back to top


 

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

This section lists attractions and places of interest that are easily accessible from the Covent Garden area.


Trafalgar Square

Just to the west of Covent Garden sits Trafalgar Square – a hub of art and culture in London. Built in the 19th century, Trafalgar Square has been London’s ‘common room’ ever since. 

 

 

It is a popular spot for protests, public celebrations, concerts, parties and events throughout the year. 

It’s flanked on the north by the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery – two of London’s most magnificent art galleries.

It’s also a popular spot to get selfies with the famous lion statues!

Learn more about visiting Trafalgar Square in our blog post.


St Martin-in-the-Fields

St. Martin-in-the-Fields sits on the western edge of Covent Garden, overlooking Trafalgar Square.

Built in the 1720s by James Gibbs, it’s a beautiful example of Neoclassical design and is the burial place of Nell Gwyn, John Parkinson, Sir John Birkenhead, and Robert Boyle.

The crypt below the church is charming and actually has a cafe inside.

Today the church is more popularly known for its orchestra and near-daily musical performances and lectures.

Also, there is also a kid-friendly brass rubbing centre below the church.

Find out what’s on while you’re visiting HERE.


Visit the National Gallery for Free

The fourth most visited art museum in the world, The National Gallery, flanks the north side of Trafalgar Square. 

 

National Gallery in Trafalgar Square

 

Inside are works by masters such as Van Gough, Monet, Holbein and Turner. The gallery runs numerous talks for guests, as well as tours for groups of 4 people or fewer.

If you’re part of a larger group, get in touch with us, as we can help to arrange a private tour with one of our fabulous guides!

Find more information on the National Gallery here


Visit the Freemasons Museum for Free

A museum, library, and archive held within Freemasons Hall, this museum houses a collection of ceremonial Masonic objects and regalia, as well as a huge collection of everyday objects with Masonic decoration such as furniture, jewellery, and clocks.

Find out the true history of Britain’s most famous Freemasons such as Winston Churchill and even King Edward VII, as you learn what exactly it means to be a Freemason. 

To make visiting even better, the museum offers regularly scheduled tours that are free to take!

Times:

  • Monday to Saturday from 10:00 – 17:00

Find out what’s on when you’re in town HERE.


See the National Portrait Gallery for Free

The National Portrait Gallery contains beautiful works depicting great British figures from across the centuries as well as some universally recognised names and faces.

 

 

For those travelling with kids, take note that the Gallery has special activities for children (which you can read more about HERE) and kids can enter all exhibitions without charge!


Somerset House

Originally the site of a Tudor palace, Somerset House is a Neoclassical building erected for the Duke of Somerset in 1776, and expanded in the 1830s and 1850s.

The building itself is worth a walk by just to see.

During the Christmas holiday, one of London’s most iconic and popular ice skating rinks sits in the centre courtyard. The courtyard transforms into an outdoor theatre during the summer.

Contained within the building now are the British Fashion Council, the Royal Society of Literature, and huge exhibition space with ever-changing contents and events.

They describe themselves now as, “London’s working arts centre…home to the UK’s largest and most exciting creative community.”

Find out more on their website HERE.


Go to the British Museum for Free

One of the world’s most fascinating museums, the British Museum is a repository of amazing artefacts spanning nearly 2 million years of human history.

With over eight million works in their permanent collection, this is one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in existence.

 

 

Housed in a beautifully magnificent neo-classical building, the Museum holds world-renowned pieces such as the Elgin marbles, the Sutton Hoo helmet and the Rosetta stone.

Throughout the year a number of temporary exhibitions are held here, and there are always kid-friendly activities and workshops on offer. 

If the thought of visiting the museum seems daunting, consider joining us on our British Museum Tour to get the behind-the-scenes stories on some of the Museum’s most captivating artefacts.

Times:

Saturday to Thursday 10:00 – 17:30 / Fridays 10:00 – 20:30


See the Cartoon Museum

Covering the history and development of British cartoons throughout history, the Cartoon Museum contains over 900 pieces of related exhibition material.

Despite the name, the museum isn’t necessarily for children – although there are kid-friendly activities throughout the year, there’s also a comprehensive collection of political satire and academic information, as well as popular lectures aimed at adults.

And although not free, ticket prices are affordable!

Tickets:

  • Adult – £8.50
  • Concession – £5.00
  • Student – £3.00
  • People 18 and Under – FREE

Times:

  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10:30 – 17:30 
  • Thursdays from 10:30 – 20:00
  • Sundays from 12:00 – 16:00

Find out what’s on while you’re in town on their website HERE.


Take Our Old City of Lonon Tour

Just a short walk from Covent Garden sits Temple Underground Station, the start point for our City of London Tour.

Explore London’s oldest (and newest) neighbourhood as you travel through 2,000 years of history.

 

 

From Fleet Street to the financial district, from Temple to the Tower of London and the Thames, this is a great introduction to some of London’s most iconic sights.

Check out London Bridge, St. Paul’s, and the financial district along with everything in between!

Get more information on the tour here. Sign up HERE.

If the tour doesn’t fit into your schedule, download the GPS-Enabled audio Guide HERE and explore the City with us at your own pace!

 


Back to top


 

WEST END THEATRE

Opera and Theatres

Covent Garden is literally the heart of London’s theatre district.

 


This photo of Gielgud Theatre West End is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

There are countless theatres in the area but some of the major ones are as follows:

  • Aldwych Theatre
  • Palace Theatre
  • St. Martins Theatre
  • Playhouse Theatre
  • Vaudeville Theatre
  • Wyndham’s Theatre
  • Adelphi Theatre
  • Noel Coward Theatre
  • Lyceum Theatre
  • Ambassadors Theatre
  • Duke of York’s Theatre
  • Duchess Theatre
  • Novello Theatre
  • Fortune Theatre
  • Savoy Theatre
  • Garrick Theatre
  • Theatre Royal Drury Lane
  • Cambridge Theatre

The West End – TKTS

If you want to get your hands on discount tickets for London’s famous West End shows, then the TKTS Booth in Leicester Square should be your first stop.

Known on both sides of the Atlantic, TKTS has one of the largest collections of discounted tickets to be found in London.

Selling tickets for shows on the day-of, the day after and the day after that, their website HERE gives you the up-to-date information on which tickets are being sold, and how big the discounts are.

However, they are only sold in person so make sure to get down to Leicester Square to snap them up!

Times:

  • Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 19:00 / Sunday 11:00 – 16:30

Royal Opera House Covent Garden

Since 1858, the home of British Opera and the Royal Ballet have been here in Covent Garden.

If you’re not planning on attending a show, there are still a few ways to enjoy this iconic building.

 


This photo of ‪Royal Opera House‬ is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

Throughout the year on selected dates, the Royal Opera House opens its’ doors to the public for exclusive backstage tours, and there is a pizza restaurant inside, as well as numerous other places to eat and drink.

Our top tip is to get yourself to the Piazza Terrace Bar for stunning rooftop views!


English National Opera

This is Covent Garden’s largest theatre, and the current version was constructed in 1904, and is featured a mock Renaissance frontage, topped by an iconic revolving globe.

This building is home to the English National Opera as well as the English National Ballet and has seen the footsteps of some of the world’s most famous performers on its’ stage – which is impressive, given the fact that tickets to some performances can be as cheap as £10!

The venue holds multiple places to eat and drink, as well as an opportunity to take afternoon tea.

 


Back to top


 

AREA DISCOUNTS AND DEALS

If you love a bargain as we do, take note that there are numerous discounts to be had near Trafalgar Square…

 

 

For cheap theatre tickets check out the TKTS booth just opposite Covent Garden in Leicester Square. (also consider joining our Covent Garden and West End to get even more information on nabbing yourself some seats!)

Attractions Included With the London Pass and Other Discount Passes:

 


Back to top


 

PLAN YOUR VISIT

This section will help you find Covent Garden and its amenities.


Transport Links

Covent Garden is easily accessed by public transport as it sits right in the heart of town.

 

Where Exactly is Covent Garden

 

Nearest Underground Stations:

Nearest Rail Station:

  • Charing Cross

Bus Routes:

  • 9, 13, 15, 19, 23, 24, 29, 38, 139, 153, 176, RV1

Tour Buses:


Public Toilets

Covent Garden is home to some of London’s nicest public loos! The toilets are operated by an organisation called 2theloo and cost £1.00.

There are also toilets near St. Paul’s Church which cost .50p and a disabled toilet to the side of the Jubilee Market.


Where to Store Your Luggage

If you’re exploring Covent Garden before your check-in time at your accommodations or after your check out on your way out of town, why not store your heavy bags at one of these convenient storage locations around the neighborhood?

 


Back to top


 

RELATED POSTS:

 

 

Beefeaters at the Tower of London

No visit to the Tower of London would be complete without seeing a “Beefeater”, officially known as a Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, Member of the Sovereign’s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary.

 

 


OVERVIEW

The Beefeaters are often confused with ‘Yeomen of the Guard’, a distinctly different corps of Royal Bodyguards.

Becoming a Yeoman Warder is not easy. At present, there are 37 Yeomen Warders at the Tower of London.

A candidate must have at least 22 years of service in the Armed Forces.

In addition to the length of service, all Yeomen Warders must also have been awarded the ‘Long Service and Good Conduct’ medal during their time in the armed forces.

You can also check out the Yeomen Warders’ webpage on the official website of the British Monarchy.


WHY ARE THEY CALLED BEEFEATERS

Beefeaters at the Tower of LondonNobody knows for sure. The most popular speculation is that the term originated from the fact that the Yeomen of the Guard were allowed to eat as much beef as they liked from the King’s table.

‘Beefeater’ eventually became a term used to distinguish between the Body Guard at the Tower of London, and the Royal Bodyguards working in other locations.

Yeomen Warders have been in service at the Tower of London since 1485 when the corps were formed by King Henry VII, although their origins date back even further.

Traditionally Beefeaters had been men. But Moira Cameron of Argyll, Scotland made history when she became the first female Yeoman Warder ever in 2007.

Today, Moira is still the only female member of the Beefeater team!

The job of Beefeater has its’ perks, of course; Yeomen Warders have the unique privilege of being able to live in the Tower!

A portion of their salaries is given over as rent and many of the apartments in the Tower date from the 13th century.

Although an interesting place to live, the wife of one Beefeater says it’s impossible to order a pizza to be delivered to the Tower because nobody ever believes that is where they live!

 

 


Back to top


 

TOP TIPS FOR SEEING A BEEFEATER

Just seeing the Yeomen Warders can be exciting enough, but to get a true Tower of London experience, join along on a tour of the Tower of London led by one of the Beefeaters themselves!

The tours are of no additional cost on top of your admission ticket, and joining a Beefeater tour is the only way to get admission into the church in the Tower – St. Peter ad Vincula.

Entertaining, engaging, and charming, nobody knows more about the Tower than the Yeoman Warders and since tours leave every 30 minutes, you’ve got no excuse to miss it! 

 


Back to top


RELATED POSTS

 

Jack the Ripper Suspects

Top Jack the Ripper Suspects

This post lists the top 4 suspects the police were investigating in the Jack the Ripper murders, as well as some suspects who ended up being cleared by the police.

 

 


WHO WAS JACK THE RIPPER?

Jack the Ripper is the name given to an unidentified serial killer who was active in the Whitechapel area of East London in 1888.

At first, the killer was known as the “Whitechapel Murderer” and “Leather Apron” until a taunting letter arrived at a police station in which the writer claimed to be the killer who signed his note with the name, “Jack the Ripper.”

The victims of Jack the Ripper are all linked together by the following:

  • All were prostitutes
  • All had their throats slashed
  • All suffered mutilation to their bodies
  • At least three had the removal of organs after they died

It is generally agreed upon that Jack the Ripper is responsible for five murders in the Whitechapel area, beginning in August 1888.

These women are known as the “Canonical Five” as most historians can agree that they were all viciously murdered by the same perpetrator.

His victims were:

  • Mary Ann Nichols
  • Annie Chapman
  • Elizabeth Stride
  • Catherine Eddowes
  • Mary Jane Kelly

However, from the 3rd April 1888 to the 13th of February 1891, the Metropolitan Police service recorded a number of attacks – 11 in all – against women and many brutal murders.

This has led to some speculation that Jack the Ripper may be responsible for other murders than the Canonical Five. These 11 murders are known as the “Whitechapel Murders.”


Witness Accounts

No witness has ever come forward with a clear, verifiable description of the killer.

Hundreds of people were interviewed in the subsequent murder investigations and various descriptions have been given, but none have ever proved useful.

Interviewees have reported seeing the Canonical Five on the nights of their murders with men described as: “shabby-genteel,” wearing numerous types of hats (deerstalker, a hard felt hat, or a peaked cap), being of “foreign” appearance, wearing an overcoat (or a jacket), with a mustache (or without), being “stout,” or being blonde (or dark-haired). 

It is likely that the true identity of Jack the Ripper will never be known.

Here is an audio clip (from our self-guided Jack the Ripper Tour) of an FBI profile made of the perpetrator.

You can also read the FBI profile in PDF.

 


Back to top


 

JACK THE RIPPER SUSPECTS 

With the killings taking place during the fledgling years of police crime scene investigation, much evidence has been contaminated or lost, meaning the exact identity of the killer is unlikely to ever be known.


The Top Four Suspects

  • John Pizer / “Leather Apron”

A Polish Jew living in the area, John Pizer made footwear from leather and was known in the area as “Leather Apron.”

He was arrested shortly after Annie Chapman’s murder as a piece of a man’s leather apron was found in the backyard.

The apron piece was later determined to belong to a man called John Richardson whose mother lived on Hanbury Street.

 

 

Pizer was released but was called to testify at the inquest into Annie’s murder to clear his name and abolish the rumours swirling around Whitechapel that a man “Leather Apron” was the killer.

  • Aaron Kosminski

Aaron Kosminski was a Polish Jew living in the area. His name was discovered in the 20th century in contemporary documents written by police officials who had investigated the Ripper case.

He was described as having “a great hatred of women…with strong homicidal tendencies.”

 

 

Many years later, a shawl belonging to Catherine Eddowes – said to have come from the scene of the murder – was DNA tested and was said to have matched Aaron Kosminski’s DNA.

Many experts dispute this finding, saying no shawl was present at the scene and any item tested now would carry with it decades of cross-contamination, making it impossible to accurately test.

  • Prince Albert Victor

A son of King Edward VII, Albert was named a suspect by a number of biographers and writers.

 

 

Conspiracy theorists claim that the Prince had an affair with a prostitute whom he secretly married, and the prostitutes friends were murdered by Albert to silence them.

However, Albert does have strong alibis for the nights of the killings, but many still believe the crimes were all part of a royal cover-up.

  • Francis Tumblety

A notorious figure, he was an outspoken misogynist and quack living in the United States.

He had been connected to the death of one of his patients as well as the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

 

 

He was in England in 1888 and famously had a collection of wombs preserved in jars that he showed off to guests at dinner parties.

He was arrested on the 7th of November but while awaiting trial, fled to France and then to the United States.

As the murders stopped when Tumblety left, many believe he was indeed the killer.


Suspects Cleared by Police

The following suspects were all ruled out by the police after being interviewed.

  • William Henry Piggot

A ship’s cook, William was detained by police after being found in the possession of a blood-stained shirt around the time of Annie’s murder, while making misogynist remarks. He was investigated and released.

  • Charles Ludwig

Arrested after he had assaulted a prostitute and attempted to stab a man at a coffee stall. While he was in custody, another murder was committed and he was released.

  • Ted Stanley

Annie’s lover and partial benefactor was eliminated as a suspect because of his alibis for the nights of Mary Ann and Annie’s murders.

  • Michael Kidney

Elizabeth Stride’s on-again-off-again lover. He was quickly eliminated from the inquiry and police files suggest he took her death badly.

 


Back to top


 

THE MURDER VICTIMS

These are the Canonical Five that the majority of Ripper experts, historians, and investigators agree are victims of Jack the Ripper.

 

 


  • Mary Ann Nichols

Mary Ann was a Londoner, born in 1845. She and her husband separated around 1881 for disputed reasons, but he claimed the marriage ended because of her alcoholism.

 

Mary Ann Nichols

 

Just after midnight on the 31st of August 1888, Mary Ann had walked out into the night, hoping to earn the money to pay for a bed in the doss house for the evening.

By the time the inquest into her murder was completed, another woman had been brutally killed in the same fashion.

  • Annie Chapman

Eliza Ann Smith, nickname Annie, was born in London, likely sometimes in 1840. After the death of their daughter, Annie and her husband John both took to drinking heavily and their marriage collapsed.

Annie moved to Whitechapel and lived on an off with two men. She made money through crochet work and flower selling, subsidized by occasional prostitution.

At 1:45 am on the 8th of September 1888, Annie went out to earn money for her lodging for the night. She was last seen around 5:30 in the morning speaking to an unidentified man.

Her mutilated body was discovered in the public back yard of a house on Dorset Street.

  • Elizabeth Stride

Elizabeth Gustafsdotter was born in 1843 in Torslanda, Sweden. After a failed marriage, Elizabeth took to prostitution to support herself.

In 1869 she moved to London, where she was temporarily married to John Stride. 

 

Elizabeth Stride

 

On the evening of the 29th of September, 1888, Elizabeth was out with a man – potentially a client – near Berner Street in Whitechapel.

Around 1:00 am the next morning her body was found in a stable yard.

She had been murdered by a slash of her neck, although her body had been left undisturbed aside from that. 

Investigators believed the Ripper had intended to mutilate her body but after an interruption, he fled the scene.

  • Catherine Eddowes

Born in 1942, Catherine Eddowes moved across England a few times.

By 1880 she had abandoned her family, took to drink, and was living with a new partner in a common lodging house. 

After being picked up by police for public drunkenness on the night of the 29th of September in 1888, she was released from the jail at 1:30 am.

At 1:45 am, Catherine’s heavily mutilated body was discovered by PC Edward Watkins, doing his rounds in the area.

The swift, skillful, removal of her organs in a dark alleyway led investigators to theorise that the killer had some sort of medical or anatomical knowledge.

  • Mary Jane Kelly

Mary Jane Kelly’s early life is not well documented. 

She moved to London in 1884 and found work in an upmarket brothel in London’s West End but by 1888 she was working the streets in Whitechapel, living with her boyfriend Joesph Barnett.

 

Mary Jane Kelly

 

Around 10:45 am, Thomas Bowyer, assistant to the landlord went to Mary Jane’s door to collect her rent.

When she didn’t answer, he walked outside and looked through her window – finding her horrifically mutilated body on the bed. 

Investigators believe this is because Mary Jane was the Ripper’s first indoor victim – which meant he could take his time.

 


Back to top


 

JACK THE RIPPER TOURS

If you would like to learn more about Jack the Ripper, consider taking one of our regularly scheduled walking tours of the Whitechapel area.

 

 

On our pay-what-you-wish Jack the Ripper Tour you will visit crime scenes, learn about the women who were brutally and tragically killed.

You will also hear descriptions of the acts committed by the culprit, and walk in the footsteps of the world’s most famous serial killer.

If you can’t attend our walking tour, consider downloading our GPS-led audio tour. Listen to a sample audio clip.

 


Back to top


 

OTHER LONDON NIGHT TOURS

If you’re looking for something else to do in the evenings, consider joining one of our other London tours after-dark!

Year ‘round we offer the Dark Side of London Ghost Tour, exploring the grim side of history and the ghosts that haunt our city.

In the holiday season, we run the spectacular Christmas Lights Tour that not only showcases the glittering decorations of London but also the unique and quirky Christmas habits that Britain holds dear.

Seasonally we also run the Night Tour: Twilight on the Thames a fabulous walk along the Thames river showcasing 2,000 years of history as the lights of London switch on around you.

 


Back to top


RELATED POSTS:

 

London Christmas Lights

Where to Find London Christmas Lights

This post explains where to find the best London Christmas lights and holiday displays. You could also join us for our London Christmas Lights Tour.

 

 

Our tour runs every day but Thursdays @19:00 (7 pm) from November 23rd until December 31st and it visits most of the locations listed below. Get more information.


1) Leicester Square

London’s iconic Leicester Square plays host to a traditional Christmas market during the festive season.

Expect sparkling lights, garlands, baubles, and trees along with shopping, hot mulled wine, and delicious Christmas snacks!

 


 

Enjoy the views from the 9th of December. 

We visit Leicester Square on our pay-what-you-wish London Christmas Lights Tour, so let us take you there.


2) Oxford Street 

Perhaps the most famous place to view Christmas lights in London is Oxford Street. Read more »

London Christmas Markets

6 London Christmas Markets

This post covers 6 top London Christmas Markets, where to find them and what you will see, updated for 2019. Also, check our full guide to Christmas in London.

 

 


LEICESTER SQUARE CHRISTMAS MARKET

Read more »

7 London Christmas Lights Tours

This post will provide a breakdown of the most fun and interesting Christmas-themed tours available to you in London, including out pay-what-you-like holiday lights tour

 

 


WALKING TOURS

Read more »

London Soho

Top 10 Things to Do in Soho Lonodn

One of the most vibrant, eclectic and exciting parts of London, Soho is the kind of neighbourhood that is great both during the day and in the evening hours.

From family fun to adult entertainment, Soho has the widest variety of restaurants, clubs, venues, and shops you can manage to fit into such a small area.

Check out our list of some of the best things to do when you’re in Soho.
 

 
Before we get into the top 10, we want to make you aware of our pay-what-you-wish Rock N Roll London Tour, which takes place on Thursdays and Saturdays at 15:00 (3 pm). Read more »

Beatles Tour London

Tour of The Beatles’ London

This post is a self-guided tour of Beatles London sights as well as a list of guided tour options. From recording studios to concert venues, shops to roof-top performances, London is filled with hot-spots for fans of the Fab Four. 

 

 


BEATLES SIGHTS IN LONDON

These sights are organized by neighborhood so that if you are exploring London one neighborhood at a time. you can check out a few significant Beatles locales during your outing.

You can, of course, visit all the sights in one day. This will take you about a half-day depending on how much time you’d like to spend at each location and mode of travel.

You will likely be taking the London Underground or public bus, so we suggest you read our guide on using the London Underground and which Oyster Card to buy.

Read more »

London roman wall

7 Roman London Ruins

This post covers Roman London, including what was Londinium, 8 top Roman sights and where to find them, as well as how to take tours of a few of them.

 

 

Read more »

Snow In London Banner

When Does It Snow in London?

This post covers when it snows in London, how much snow to expect in any given month, as well as tips on things to do and how to dress for the snow and cold.

 

Youtube Subscribe

 

OVERVIEW

Winters in London are generally cold and often rainy. But don’t fret! There is plenty to do in London when the weather is not cooperating! Read more »