13 things to do in Whitechapel, London

Whitechapel’s one of the best parts of London. With art, street food, shops, and even a farm – here are the best things to do in Whitechapel.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.

Updated: February 19, 2024

Whitechapel: Things To Do

One of the coolest areas in London is Whitechapel, right in the heart of the East end. Here are some of my tips for things to do in Whitechapel.

You wouldn’t know it from visiting Whitechapel these days, but this used to be one of the dodgiest parts of London. Go back in time just a few decades and Whitechapel was the heart of the East End of London, once known for poverty and unsavoury behaviour.

These were the streets where Jack the Ripper stalked his victims.

It was where low-class workers found employment on the nearby docks and factories.

It was where immigrants, arriving in England with almost nothing, made their new homes.

But now? Well, Whitechapel these days still has reminders of those days (and I’ll mention them shortly), but this part of the East End has become the domain of the cool Londoners.

When you’re thinking about the things to do in Whitechapel, it’s all about the street art, the trendy cafes, the hip bars, and the vintage shops.

There are even really interesting tours that will show you all these cool local hangouts.

You see, the ‘poor’ workers and the ‘poor’ immigrants have been joined by the ‘poor’ artists. And it’s this wonderful mix of cultures and creativity that has made Whitechapel one of the best parts of London.

Wombat’s Hostel in London

I’m in London this time for a project with wombat’s hostels – and they’re based just on the edge of Whitechapel.

The hostel itself is fantastic, with comfortable rooms and friendly staff.

It’s also got one of the best bars you’ll find at a hostel in Europe, spread out over a huge area on the bottom floor, with a courtyard, games tables, and cheap drinks.

When your blogger friends come and join you for a drink at @wombatshostels in London – A great way to celebrate a fun trip!! #WombatsTraveller pic.twitter.com/19stiGZBqe — Time Travel Turtle (@michaelturtle) June 10, 2018

But it’s the location I want to focus on right now, because the wombat’s hostel in London is in a perfect position to discover all the best things to do in Whitechapel. With just a short walk, you’re in the centre of all the action.

I’ve put together a list of Whitechapel things to see and do, to help with your planning. You can use the map below to find out where they’re all located.

Now, even if you’re not staying at the wombat’s hostel in London, I hope you find this list of things to do in Whitechapel useful.

Whitechapel Gallery

Let’s start with one of the best things in the area – the Whitechapel Gallery. It was opened as a public gallery in 1901 and has been going strong ever since.

Even though it still has a local focus, it is one of London’s most important cultural institutions.

The gallery has quite a few rooms over several floors and it uses them to show a variety of exhibitions.

What I love about it so much is that it encourages local artists and artists from disadvantaged backgrounds – but also has some big names on display sometimes.

Entry to the Whitechapel Gallery is free and it’s easy to spend an hour or so here.

Of course, Whitechapel has more art than just what’s on display in the gallery. The whole suburb has become an exhibition, with street art all throughout the area.

What started as an underground movement has moved into the mainstream, with some of the world’s biggest street artists displayed here.

It’s easy to find a lot of the art without any directions. Just explore all of the side streets off Brick Lane, have a look around the Nomadic Community Garden, and also check out the streets around Village Underground.

You’ll get a lot more with a guided tour, though. One of the most popular East End street art tours is this one .

There are a few other good options here:

Street food

As well as street art, you’re going to find street food in Whitechapel.

Remember the immigrants in the East End I mentioned earlier? Well, those original newcomers have left their mark in this part of London and it’s one of the most multicultural areas you’ll find in the city.

There are a few places in Whitechapel that offer a great selection of ethnic street food – particularly on the weekends or when there are special market events.

The best advice I can give is to head to Brick Lane, where you’ll find various stalls depending on the day and time of year. But I think the best place to head to is the Brick Lane Food Hall, which is open every Saturday and Sunday.

There are more than a dozen different cuisines at the Brick Lane Food Hall to choose from – and you’ll get a huge feed for a low price. Plus, in the warmer months, there’s an outside area with a bar!

Brick Lane curry

The most famous cuisine in Whitechapel, that deserves a special mention, is the Indian food. Walking along Brick Lane, you’ll notice that there’s a huge amount of Indian restaurants, each with a sign claiming to have been named the best in a particular year.

You’ll get some great lunch deals at most of the restaurants and, at night, the whole area will be busy. It’s definitely a typical Whitechapel experience to have a meal at one of these places.

I would love to be able to recommend specific restaurants but it’s not that simple because things change a fair bit. But two of the consistently high-rated options are Brick Lane Brasserie and City Spice.

You can also do a tour of the Indian food around Brick Lane .

I’ve usually always thought of the area around Whitechapel as a good place to get authentic meals from a whole range of cultures – but in recent years it has also become home to some fantastic modern British restaurants.

Places like The Culpeper, Poppies Fish and Chips, and St John Bread and Wine are some of the best places to eat in Whitechapel. But there are plenty more because this has become a very popular part of London for a night out.

If you’re interested in trying a range of food and learning more about the history of this area, a food tour is one of the best things to do in Whitechapel. I would recommend one of the following food tours:

Spitalfields Farm

Let’s not think too much about food when I mention the next place – Spitalfields Farm.

This is not what you would expect to find in the middle of the city but Spitalfields Farm is a breath of fresh air. The farm was started in 1978 and these days it has plots growing crops and a whole heap of animals.

It’s free to go in and you can see (and maybe pat) the animals and speak to some of the volunteers who help out here. Quite often, on the weekends, there are demonstrations going on.

I think kids will particularly love this place but, even as an adult, I really enjoy popping in. The donkeys are my favourites.

Nomadic Community Garden

For a different kind of garden, it’s also worth visiting the Nomadic Community Garden, just on the other side of the Overground track. This one is aimed more at adults, although the kids will enjoy it too.

The Nomadic Community Garden is an organic community where the members have made different spaces out of things they have found, creating a peaceful and colourful environment.

It sometimes feels like an art gallery, sometimes like a farm, sometimes like a cafe, and sometimes like a performance space. Which is not a surprise – seeing as all of those things happen here.

It’s free to pop in and you’re welcome to just have a look around. But you may also like to have a rest, grab something to drink, and meet some of the people who have helped create the space.

Vintage shopping

If you’re interested in shopping, then you’re going to love what you’ll find around Whitechapel. There aren’t many of the normal high street chains here – you’re much more likely to find boutique and vintage clothes shops.

To check out the best boutiques and vintage shops in Whitechapel, I would suggest starting at the Old Truman Brewery, which has been converted into a space with some good shopfronts.

From there, many of the best vintage shops are within a block or so. Most of them are open all week but you’ll find special pop-up markets on the weekend as well.

Speaking of pop-up markets, it is well worth checking out BoxPark. It’s on the edge of Whitechapel and Shoreditch, where the hipsters and tech entrepreneurs meet. (I haven’t really included anything in this list that’s in the main part of Shoreditch – I think that can wait for a dedicated destination guide).

The BoxPark opened in 2011 and is a small shopping centre made out of refitted shipping containers. On the ground level, along the street, each of the containers has a different shop inside and they change quite regularly.

The upper level now has bars and restaurants and is a good place to stop for a drink.

Old Spitalfields Market

Another great place for shopping – and even just to have a look – is the Old Spitalfields Market. There has been a market on this space for more than 350 years, since 1638 when King Charles allowed it in what was then a rural area.

The oldest buildings that you’ll find here today are from 1887 but there are also more modern extensions and renovations. Inside the large complex are almost 50 shops and stalls, with a focus on small producers and local artisans.

There are also more than 40 food and drink options and it’s a particularly popular spot for lunch.

If you’re interested in markets and the other cool things to do around Whitechapel, then this guided local tour could be a fun way to discover it all!

Christ Church, Spitalfields

Across the road from the Old Spitalfields Market is one of the most striking churches in East London – Christ Church, Spitalfields.

It was built between 1714 and 1729, and was intended to be a grand Anglican statement in a part of London that didn’t have a loyal Church of England following. It dominates the area today, so you can only imagine how it looked 300 years ago!

I would suggest you take a moment to have a look inside because it’s a rather pretty building.

The highlight, though, is the organ. It was added in 1735 and was the largest organ in England at the time – a title it kept for more than a century!

Dennis Severs’ House

You’ll find one of London’s most interesting small museums here in Whitechapel. It’s in an old Georgian terrace and it’s called Dennis Severs’ House because in the 20 years he lived here, between 1979 and 1999, he turned it into a time capsule.

In each room of the house, a different time period has been recreated, showing what it would have been like to live in this part of London at that time.

He used a style called “still life drama”, which is supposed to make it feel as though the occupants have just walked out of the room.

The museum isn’t open every day so be sure to check before you go. The entrance fee is £10, which is quite high, but it’s certainly an unusual experience.

Jack the Ripper tour

In the blocks around Dennis Severs’ House, you’ll see some traditional East End architecture… perhaps the kind of house that Jack the Ripper lived in?

It was here in Whitechapel that Jack the Ripper killed his victims in the late 1880s. He was never found and the mystery about his identity and his motives still interest people more than a century after he claimed his last victim.

There are quite a few ways to hear the stories of Jack the Ripper and see some of the places related to his murders, like this walking tour .

If you’re interested, then I would suggest one of the following experiences:

I hope all of this gives you some great ideas of what to do around Whitechapel, especially if you’re staying at the wombat’s hostel here.

London is a big city and it’s easy to get lost when it comes to sightseeing. I think there’s something quite nice about focusing on just a small area – and Whitechapel has more than its share of history.

If you have any other suggestions for things to do in Whitechapel, please let everyone know in the comments section below.

Time Travel Turtle was supported by wombat’s Hostels in partnership with  iambassador  but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

13 thoughts on “13 things to do in Whitechapel, London”

I visited Whitechapel ages ago for a Jack the Ripper tour. There was not street art around then, nor were there any other artsy places. It looks like a fun area to visit nowadays, I should really make my way back there one day!

Haii…very informative michale. Good work. Hope you remember me Ruma

such an interesting and helpful post you have created here, thank you for all the great ideas! There are so many things to do there in your list. Loved your pictures. Thank you so much for sharing this post and experiences.

A friend told me about this place months ago. I’m visiting London in a few weeks and I’ve been trying to remember this place that he was telling me about. I also heard that Shoreditch was a must visit aside from Whitechapel!

As a Whitechapel resident, I find your attempts to claim that Spitalfields/Liverpool Street and Shoreditch are in Whitechapel really quite funny. Ditto when you suggest it’s cool, or isn’t dodgy any more; why in all seriousness do you think it’s so cheap to live there?

The suggestion that Brick Lane is a place to be for Indian food, rather than a place to have an average curry in one of 50 identikit restaurants – as opposed to Tayyabs, say, which is legitimately excellent – also marks the author out as someone who doesn’t know what they’re on about.

Tgabk you for telling the truth. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

What a fantastic post you shared. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

fantastic post you shared. Thank you so much for sharing this post

Superb blog thanks for sharing amazing post.

I been living in London for the last 6 years and I can say that its the best city to live in, lots of opportunities, food, education and life in general. Beautiful written again, thank you !

I love the brick lane, and I’m fan of different street food options. I love the culinary choice and always try to find something new to eat. Also, can recommend the farm, it’s great for kids. Thanks for sharing!

Absolutely! There are even really interesting tours that will show you all these cool local hangouts.

Amazing blog post,thanks for amazing information with us.

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Whitechapel area guide

For bustling markets, fiery curries and diverse art exhibitions, multicultural Whitechapel is well worth exploring

Although this was once Jack the Ripper’s east London stomping ground, the closest you’ll come to peril in today’s Whitechapel is by dining out on authentically fiery Bangladeshi or Punjabi curry. The multicultural area has them by the bucketload in joints as popular as long-standing Tayyabs  – the restaurant has been going strong since 1972, doubtless thanks to its cheap eats and BYO policy. Bustling Whitechapel Market offers just as much in the diversity stakes, or you can take in culture the traditional way, with a browse around Whitechapel Gallery ’s contemporary exhibitions.

What are your favourite Whitechapel hangouts? Let us know in the comments.

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Kolapata

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Stepney City Farm Cafe

Stepney City Farm Cafe

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An impressive little eatery at the Stepney City Farm. Expect freshly baked breads and salads and sandwiches made with vegetables and herbs produced on the...

The Urban Chocolatier

The Urban Chocolatier

Selection boxes, truffles, bars and drinks – if it’s brown and sweet, you’ll probably find it for sale at this luxury chocolate shop

Genesis Cinema Whitechapel

Genesis Cinema Whitechapel

Lucky old Whitechapel. They get to have the gorgeous Genesis as their local. Not only is it cheap, but it's also been beautifully renovated in the past two...

The Horn of Plenty

The Horn of Plenty

A traditional Stepney Green boozer close to the station. The food selection includes bar bites, small plates, burgers and a selection of subs. There are Sunday...

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Needoo Grill

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Miss Chu

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Lupita East

Lupita East

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Things to do in Whitechapel

Whitechapel Market

Whitechapel Market

Stretching between Vallance Road and Cambridge Heath Road, the lively Whitechapel Market has every type of speciality Asian ingredient you’ll ever need. It's...

Whitechapel Gallery

Whitechapel Gallery

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This East End stalwart reopened in 2009 following a major redesign and expansion that saw the Grade II listed building transformed into a vibrant, holistic...

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Apples & Pears

Apples & Pears

This slick little bar at the unfashionable end of Brick Lane hosts club nights, live acoustic music, comedy, film screenings and variety events. Serving wine,...

Ten Bells

Firmly on the Shoreditch circuit, this prominent, stripped-down corner pub is party central, a century or so after its clientele included Jack the...

Culpeper

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The ‘seasonal and local food’ mantra is taken to silly heights at this gastropub in the heart of London’s East End, where salad leaves and some herbs for the...

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Pride of Spitalfields

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The Top Things To See And Do In Whitechapel

whitechapel tourism

Once one of the poorest districts in London, Whitechapel has grown over the past century to become one of the most historically diverse and culturally rich. For lovers of art, history, shopping and even animals, there’s plenty of ways to while away your weekend in Whitechapel. Here are Culture Trip’s top five not to be missed.

whitechapel tourism

Petticoat Lane Market & Whitechapel Market

Dating back to the 1750s, Petticoat Lane market is one of Whitechapel’s most beloved landmarks. Every weekend around a thousand stalls line the pavements, mainly selling fashion, clothing and accessories. The market is famous world-over for its buzzing atmosphere and always gets very busy – not just when the main market runs on Sunday, but throughout the week, when a smaller, select group of stalls operates. A short walk from Petticoat Lane is Whitechapel market. Stretching halfway down the high street, Whitechapel market offers a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as just about every Asian ingredient you care to name. You’ll also find flowers and fabrics on display at the market, which is open all day, every day (except Sundays).

Whitechapel Road, London, UK

Petticoat Lane, London, UK

whitechapel tourism

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour

No visit to Whitechapel would be complete without learning a little about its most famous resident – mysterious Victorian serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Despite brutally murdering five prostitutes on the streets of Whitechapel in 1888, the Ripper was never found, and never identified, though rumours abound to this day about his true identity. The Jack the Ripper walking tour offers the perfect opportunity to explore the mystery a little more in depth, and is accompanied by grizzly post-mortem photographs and tour guides dressed as Victorian policemen. If you’re in need of refreshment after the walk, drop in for a drink at the Ten Bells, favoured drinking spot of final ripper victim Mary Jane Kelly. Jack the Ripper Tour, London, UK, 078 0306 7544

©Phil Clark / Flickr

1. Whitechapel Gallery

Building, Art Gallery, Museum

Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel High Street

Standing on Whitechapel High Street is the Whitechapel Gallery. Founded in 1901, the gallery was one of London’s first publicly funded exhibition spaces, and over the years has hosted some of the world’s most significant artists. Picasso’s Guernica was displayed at the gallery on its first and only trip to the UK, and big names including Pollock, Rothko, Gilbert & George and Frida Kahlo had their first introduction to London audiences in Whitechapel. The gallery remains one of London’s premier players in the contemporary art scene, hosting regular retrospective and modern, multimedia exhibitions. One not to be missed for lovers of all things art.

2. Spitalfields City Farm

Farm Shop, British

Spitalfields City Farm, London

3. Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Whitechapel Bell Foundry, 34 Whitechapel Road

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Things to Do in Whitechapel: A Local’s Itinerary for First-Time Visitors

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Alexander Meddings

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Jack the Ripper Tour See all experiences

Situated smack bang at the heart of London’s East End, Whitechapel is one of the capital’s most vibrant and multicultural districts, steeped in history and brimming with contemporary culture. London’s first-time visitors are likely to find themselves nearby since Whitechapel is located just a short distance from the Tower of London and is not too far from St. Paul’s Cathedral. 

If you’re visiting London for the first time, and are looking to get an authentic taste of life in the British capital, Whitechapel is one of the most rewarding areas in London. Here’s an insider’s recommended itinerary for a full day of activities in and around Whitechapel.

Grab Breakfast at Exmouth Coffee Company

Start your day the right way with delicious coffee and pastries at the Exmouth Coffee Company . Located on Whitechapel High Street (no. 83), this cosy café offers a delectable range of flaky croissants, hearty quiches, cocoa-rich brownies and more – all baked on-site. Coffee lovers should also rejoice since its baristas roast their coffees in-house on a small 2kg Toper coffee roaster, and use a specially created house blend for all espresso-based drinks.

A range of sweet and savoury treats from the Exmouth Coffee Company in Whitechapel

Visit Whitechapel Gallery

Whitechapel Gallery has been a staple of the East End’s art scene since soon after its foundation at the beginning of the 20th century. The gallery houses nine exhibition spaces, a fully equipped auditorium, and a variety of study and studio spaces, as well as a specialist bookshop and – if you’re still hungry – the acclaimed Townsend restaurant. 

Entry to this – and all –  of London’s galleries and museums is free. 

Explore Spitalfields Market

Viewing and absorbing art can be tiring work, so what better way to decompress than by browsing the brik-a-brak collections of the nearby Spitalfields Market . Established in 1638, this long-standing market is a treasure trove of antiques, vintage and contemporary clothing, and unique crafts. Spitalfields Market is just a 10-minute walk from Whitechapel Gallery. 

Try to resist its food stalls though, since our lunch recommendation is a treat. 

View of Old Spitalfields Market

Check out our Guide to London’s Food Markets

Get Lunch at Dishoom Shoreditch

Whitechapel enjoys a reputation for fantastic Punjab cuisine and exceptional curry houses, and wherever you go in the area you can’t go wrong. (A quick read through some reviews on Google or Tripadvisor never hurts, however, and can help avoid disappointment).

Our favourite curry house is Dishoom, a small Bombay-inspired restaurant group with several locations throughout London. Dishoom Shoreditch is just a 10-minute bus journey (or 20-minute walk) from Whitechapel Gallery, and its menu is truly special. Whether you choose their famous bacon naan roll or the hearty house black daal, you’re in for a treat.

Take a Trip Down Brick Lane

The best way to walk off your lunch is with a leisurely stroll down Brick Lane . Famous for its vibrant street art, vintage shops, and diverse culinary offerings, Brick Lane is a cultural hotspot. Keep an eye out for works by famous street artists like Banksy , and explore the eclectic shops that line the street.

Man wheeling a bike down Brick Lane Road in Whitechapel

Immerse Yourself in the History of the Ripper

Dive into Whitechapel’s darker history with a visit to the Jack the Ripper Museum . This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the life and times of the infamous serial killer and Victorian London. It’s a must-visit for history buffs.

Not sure what to do in the evening? Indulge your inner detective and see if you can solve the mystery of the Ripper’s murders on our adults-only Jack the Ripper Tour . 

Carpe Diem tour guide reeanacting the Whitechapel murders on the Jack the Ripper Tour

Venture up to the Sky Garden

One of the best ways to appreciate London’s unique architectural beauty is to soak in a sweeping panoramic of the city from above. We think the best place to do this is at the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, a public garden situated at a height of 525 feet (160 metres).

Entry is free, but we recommend booking a time slot in advance.

Visit a Historic Pub with a Sinister Past

Although situated a little outside Whitechapel, the Prospect of Whitby pub is well worth visiting. At first glance, this seems like any other historic British pub, with 18th-century panelling and a 19th-century façade. Delve further into the history, however, and you’ll be shocked to learn that this was a popular site of public executions — and that the hangman’s noose remains outside.

Hangman's noose outside the Prospect of Whitby Pub

The pub overlooks Execution Dock , which, according to John Stow, was “The usual place for hanging of pirates and sea-rovers, at the low-water mark, and there to remain till three tides had overflowed them”. For around 400 years, until 1830, pirates, smugglers, and mutineers were executed here in full-view of the merchants and patrons who frequented such public houses as the Prospect of Whitby. 

Enjoy Dinner at Tayyabs

Return to Whitechapel for dinner at Tayyabs , a beloved local restaurant known for its Punjabi cuisine. Indulge in dishes like lamb chops, tandoori grills, and flavorful curries. The vibrant atmosphere and delicious food make it a perfect dining spot.

Explore the Nightlife around Shoreditch

End your day by exploring the nightlife in nearby Shoreditch . This area is famous for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues. Check out the Queen of Hoxton for a rooftop bar experience or visit the Blues Kitchen for live music and a lively atmosphere.

Check out our Insider’s Guide to London’s Nightlife

TIPSY TOUR OF LONDON

Just jump on the Elizabeth Line, head east for 30 minutes to Covent Gardens, and join the fun!

Talking to the guide on the London Tipsy Tour

Get the Most out of London with Carpe Diem Tours

Our  London Tours  offer the most authentic way to explore the UK capital. Our licensed guides are tested and trusted on  TripAdvisor , and we’ve selected them because of their passion for their city. Feeling peckish? Get a real taste of London on our  Borough Market Food tour . Looking to meet other travellers on a fun night out? Check out our  London Tipsy Tour . Want to immerse yourself in Whitechapel’s dark history? Join our immersive, investigative Jack the Ripper Tour .

Alexander Meddings Carpe Diem Rome

Alexander Meddings is a professional copywriter and postgraduate in Roman history from the University of Oxford. After graduating with his MPhil, he moved to Florence and then Rome to carry out his research on the ground and pursue his passion at the source. He now works in travel, as a writer and content consultant, and in education as a university lecturer and translator.

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9 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel – London

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (7)

Now, although Whitechapel has had quite a dark spell in history, it’s now one of the most up-and-coming areas in London . With some pretty fun and easily some of the best things to do in Whitechapel dotted all across the neighbourhood, it’s a great place to explore for a few hours when in London.

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (3)

You see, once upon a time, this area of London terrorised by ‘Jack the Ripper’ and the cruelty inflicted upon its most famous resident, the ‘Elephant Man’. Thankfully, it’s murky past has long since gone and we’ve got a heap of yummy restaurants, art galleries and lots of history to explore in my old stomping ground.

Now, to give a little context into Whitechapel, it was long a working-class area of London, with a sizeable Jewish community and Commonwealth residents that have all called this area home. Plus, let’s not forget the overflow of hipsters (from Shoreditch ) that now call this area of London home. 🙂

Like many other London neighbourhoods , Whitechapel has become a pretty exciting melting pot to explore and there’s now an ever-growing list of the best things to do in Whitechapel when you visit. This all makes for a few hard choices when it comes to whittling down your favourites.

And you know what, this is why I wanted to share a few great spots that I love.

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (12)

Take a look at some of the best things to do in Whitechapel when you visit. 

1.) Join a ‘Jack the Ripper’ tour

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (10)

Let’s put this right out there… these are the kind of tours that totally suit you if you’re into that dark tourism or more macabre history of London.

Step back in time and experience one of the original Jack the Ripper Tours that happen most evenings in Whitechapel. Join forces with a Victorian police force and members of the   Victorian London to try and solve one of the most infamous serial killer cases in London’s history. Though, if I’m honest, there’s a fat chance you’ll get any luck in catching the perpetrator now! 

Top tip : Book online, as certain dates fill up fast, especially around weekends and holiday periods. 

Oh, and don’t take grapes from strangers… that’s how the ripper seduced its victims!

Read more: Best areas in London to explore 

2.) Gorge on the best curries

Best Curry Houses in London (16)

Okay, so Whitechapel and the nearby Brick Lane are well-known for housing some of the best curry houses in London . 

For instance, places like Tayyabs was founded some 40 years ago in the very area it still occupies on Fieldgate Street.

Conjuring up some of the yummiest Punjabi cuisines, it’s a haven for anyone that’s worked up an appetite after exploring. Tayyabs is also reasonably priced and is all about the dishes (rather than the setting). Here, you’ll grab a main meal and drinks for under £20. 

Now, one of their signature dishes is the Dhal Gosht , made with lentils, lamb, chilli, garlic and masala. Yum! It really is one of the best things to do in Whitechapel if you love a good curry.

Also, don’t forget Brick Lane which is filled with an array of Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani and Bengali food that’ll leave your taste buds buzzing. Plus, if you fancy a snack, grab some Bonda (spicy potatoes filled snacks) that are served by many of the vendors and restaurants on Brick Lane.

Top tip: Visit early in the evening, giving you lots of time to choose the food and place that’s right for you.

Read more: Best places for curry in London 

3.) Explore the Whitechapel Gallery

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (11)

Reopened in 2009, The Whitechapel Gallery is one of London’s most prized and intimate art galleries. Though much smaller than the Tate Modern or National Gallery, it hosts some pretty pioneering art from around the world and is easily up there as one of the best things to do in Whitechapel.

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (7)

In the early 20th century this gallery posted some of the more fringe artists who have now become known throughout the world. The gallery even housed some of Picasso’s work back in 1938. Over the years, the gallery has built its name and reputation of being one of the most forward-thinking galleries in the world and it’s easy to see why when you step inside. 

Top tip: The gallery is completely free so it’s perfect for anyone wanting to experience some of London’s best art.

Read more: Best coffee spots in London

4.) See the East London Mosque 

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (8)

Another one of the best things to do in Whitechapel has to be seeing (or visiting) the East London mosque. East London mosque is integral to the makeup of Whitechapel and is a reminder of how beautifully diverse this area is. Each day, you can hear the call to prayer and it’s something that is so beautiful to hear. I used to live close by and loved it. 

Top tip: Check out their website to find particular open days where you can tour the mosque and learn more about its history within Whitechapel.

Read more: Best palaces to visit in London

5.) See the Whitechapel Bell Foundry 

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (6)

Although closed, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry is easily one of the best things to do in Whitechapel and one of London’s secret haunts .

Plus, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the world’s most famous bell producer, which can’t be sniffed at. With over 500 years of history, this little Foundry actually crafted Big Ben (yup, the very same on in Westminster) and the Liberty Bell, a famous symbol of United States independence, too. 

Read more: Best things to do in Covent Garden

6.) Visit the Truman Brewery

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (4)

Over the last 10 years or so, the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane has been transformed with an eclectic mix of vintage stores, microbreweries and delicious wine pop-ups that’ll keep you deliciously merry all evening! Take a wander through it’s many unique stalls and eat, drink and explore everything in sight!

It’s the perfect place to explore on a lazy weekend trip and easily up there as one of the best things to do in Whitechapel. 

Top tip:  Visit first thing in the morning or last thing in the afternoon (before or after the crowds).

7.) Eat at the tastiest spots 

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There’s a whole heap of yummy restaurants in Whitechapel that go way beyond what lots of people expect of this up-and-coming area of London. 

Once here, head over to Treves & Hyde for some tasty terrines of duck and beef. That being said, for some of the best pizza in the area, stop off at Pizza Union (Aldgate). If it’s a tasty brunch you’re after, hop into Grounded that make some of the tastiest poached eggs and salmon in East London. 

The restaurants in this area are so diverse and they’re easily one of the best things to do in Whitechapel if you’ve worked up that appetite. 

Read more: Best bars in Shoreditch 

8.) Spitalfields Market

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If it’s a vintage market you’re after, filled with; crafts, antiques and everything else under the sun, then pop over to Spitalfields Market. Now, yeah, I hear you… it’s not technically Whitechapel but it’s an easy walk and a great place to stop when you’re this side of London.

Take a wander around all the stalls, look for some goodies but don’t be surprised if you can’t find any bargains. It’s much more ‘fashionable’ than ‘flea’ market. 

Read more: Best markets in London 

9.) V&A Museum of Childhood

10 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London (5)

Technically perched within Bethnal Green, I still easily count the V&A Museum of Childhood as one of the best things to do in Whitechapel as it’s right on the fringe of the neighbourhood. 

Once inside, take a wander around the huge exhibitions ranging from dolls, historic furniture and lots of cute Victorian handmade toys. It’s a pretty relaxing and chilled out museum that’s quite a bit different from the likes of the British Museum or the Natural History Museum. 

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Things To Do In and Around Whitechapel

Updated: Feb 19, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission from the discount codes used or when a link/ad is clicked. All purchases made will come at no extra cost to you, and I only include products and services that I have personally used and would recommend.

Whitechapel is one area of London that I hadn’t thought of visiting before. It’s not your usual tourist destination and doesn’t have as many attractions as other areas of London . But it’s not without its charm. I was surprised to find so many things to do in Whitechapel, as well as nearby in Spitalfields. It has a great food scene, and a lot of unique vintage shops to hop between. It also has a large artistic community which brings the streets to life. Not to mention its multi-cultural history that’s still very present today.

The history of Whitechapel isn’t the most pleasant. In the Victorian period, Whitechapel was considered to be the worst district in London’s East End, with sweatshops, slums, and overcrowding making it a no-go part of the city. And it didn’t help when Jack the Ripper came on the scene. Today though, Whitechapel is a vibrant area of London and a bustling part of the city’s East End. There are plenty of things to do near Whitechapel as well which are easily accessible by foot. We spent quite a lot of our recent trip to London exploring this area and really enjoyed ourselves. Here are some ideas for things to do in and around Whitechapel.

Whitechapel Gallery

Front view of Whitechapel Gallery next to orange brick buildings.

The first attraction in Whitechapel that you’ll come across, if you’ve taken the underground, is the Whitechapel Gallery. Opened in 1901, the gallery has played host to a number of important temporary exhibitions, and even exhibited Picasso’s Guernica in 1938. It was one of the first publicly funded galleries for temporary exhibitions in London, and visiting it is still one of the best things to do in Whitechapel. Entry to the Whitechapel Gallery is free, but they do host a couple of ticketed exhibitions every year.

A vibrant street in London's East End on a cloudy day.

Brick Lane gets its name from the 15th century brick and tile manufacturers who set up shop here, and today walking along Brick Lane is one of the best things to do in Whitechapel. It’s now considered to be one of the cool areas of London, with its vintage shops, vibrant art, and extensive exhibition spaces. Of course, you can’t forget about the curry shops along here either. The 18th century Brick Lane Mosque is an important feature of the street as well. You’ll also notice the large chimney of Truman Brewery towering over the street. The brewery was established in the 17th century, and its warehouses are now home to over 250 businesses. No Whitechapel tour is complete without exploring Brick Lane!

Brick Lane Vintage Market

Inside a vintage market with clothing stalls.

If you like vintage clothing, you’re going to want to check out the Brick Lane Vintage Market . They have over 40 independent shops to choose from, making them one of London’s biggest vintage retail markets. You can find pretty much anything here dating from the 1920's onward. It’s not cheap though so don’t expect massive bargains. They’re located in the basement of one of the Truman Brewery warehouses and are open every day. If you have time, ATIKA is a vintage clothing shop spread out over two floors in a Victorian warehouse which is pretty interesting to shop in.

Audrey Hepburn painted on the wall of a brick building on Brick Lane.

One thing you’ll notice about some of the areas of Whitechapel, particularly around Brick Lane, is the street art . Brick Lane runs right through the heart of the East End, connecting Whitechapel to Shoreditch, and has long been a popular spot for both local and international artists. It’s one of the most famous spots in the country for street art, so I would highly recommend checking it out even if it’s not necessarily your thing. If it is your thing though, there are a lot of urban street art tours in London that you can go on which cover Whitechapel and Brick Lane.

Inside a French bistro with modern furnishings.

Wondering where to eat in Whitechapel? Look no further than The Buxton , located along Brick Lane. This modern pub serves seasonal dishes, which are both British and European inspired. They use local food suppliers to ensure their products are of the highest and freshest quality, and also make good use of the garden on their rooftop. Make sure you order three courses so you can taste a wide variety of flavours! The Buxton also doubles as a hotel, so not only is it a unique place to eat in London, you can also enjoy a relaxing sleep in the comfort of one of their modern rooms.

The Beigel Shop

A beigel being held up in front of a yellow shop sign.

At the far end of Brick Lane, as you make your way towards Shoreditch, you’ll come across a couple of beigel shops. Brick Lane is known for its beigels, so while we were in the area we knew we had to stop and try one. We chose to visit The Beigel Shop , with its yellow storefront. It dates back to 1855 and claims to be the first beigel shop in London! They still use their original recipe and offer a variety of different beigels with fillings - and desserts too!

You’re probably wondering if beigels and bagels are the same thing. Beigels come from the Jewish community and are boiled first before baking, and typically aren’t served toasted. Whereas bagels are more Americanized and are the standard ones you’d find in a store. Pretty similar but slightly different. We arrived at The Beigel Shop just after noon and they only had plain bagels left, so if you want a choice of bagels make sure you get there earlier. I opted for a cream cheese filling which is always my go-to. It’s also not a bad idea to take one of their desserts with you to snack on as you explore Brick Lane.

Bell Foundry

Yellow door at the front of a brick building.

Visiting the Bell Foundry is something you have to do in Whitechapel. Although it’s now closed to the public, it’s played an important role in both British and American history. Not only is the foundry the original manufacturer of the Liberty Bell in America, it also re-cast Big Ben. The foundry made bells for more than 450 years, and was located in Whitechapel for over half of that time. Even though you can’t take a tour of the foundry anymore, it’s a very unique tourist attraction in Whitechapel to say that you’ve been to.

East London Mosque

Large mosque in London on a sunny day.

Just next to the Bell Foundry is where you’ll find the East London Mosque . It’s a very impressive building to look at, and is the largest mosque in the UK. Not only that, it’s also one of the largest mosques in Europe, which is pretty remarkable. With its close proximity to other key attractions in Whitechapel, it’s worth taking a short walk to and taking a photo of from across the road.

The Gherkin

A tall rounded shaped building on the London skyline.

The Gherkin is one of the most recognizable buildings along London’s skyline. It’s only a short distance from Whitechapel, so you can easily get to it on foot. Although the building is not open to the public, you can still visit its panoramic restaurant and cocktail bar on the top floor. It’s a unique thing to see near Whitechapel if you have some spare time.

Rinkoff Bakery

Rainbow bagel and croissant-donuts in a box.

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Whitechapel, one of them has to be a quick visit to Rinkoff Bakery . This Jewish family-run bakery was established in 1911 and is still producing some of the best handmade baked goods around. There are plenty of things to choose from, including traditional challah bread, but what we went for were the crodoughs. These croissant-donut hybrids were born in New York City, but have been perfected at Rinkoff Bakery. They have a lot of flavours to choose from, so it’s probably going to be the most difficult decision of your day. As if this wasn’t enough, they have rainbow bagels. And you really can’t say no to such a colourful bagel. Especially filled with cream cheese.

The Culpeper

Two cocktails on a table in a modern pub.

Less than five minutes from The Buxton is its sister pub, The Culpeper . It’s named after a 17th century botanist and physician who helped treat people who weren’t able to afford medical care. The interior is very modern but still in keeping with a traditional English pub. Upstairs you can dine in their restaurant, and they also offer a few bedrooms for guests to stay in. We visited for cocktails which were being served in the pub on the ground floor, which were delicious. It’s a great place to meet friends for a drink or two!

Christ Church

A symmetrical church between red brick buildings in Spitalfields.

Not far from Whitechapel, near Spitalfields market, is the impressive 18th century Christ Church . It’s one of the most well-known churches in London, and is often used for events such as opera and classical music performances. In the 1980's, the church’s crypt underwent an excavation that helped to change how archaeological dating is done, with 1000 bodies being found. Even if the church isn’t open, it should definitely be on your list of things to do near Whitechapel.

Old Spitalfields Market

Entrance to a Victorian market with a large wreath hanging from the ceiling.

If Victorian Market Halls are your thing, then you’ll love walking around Old Spitalfields Market . It was built in 1876, but a market has stood on this site since the 1600's. There’s a great mixture of handmade goods, clothes, and other accessories for sale at the various stalls. The big draw for us though was the food. We visited this market several times during our trip to London so that we could sample the different cuisines. Make sure you try the Dumpling Shack while you’re here!

Dennis Severs' House

A Victorian house decorated with pine branches at the doorway.

Very close to Old Spitalfields Market is a very odd tourist attraction near Whitechapel - Dennis Severs’ House . The house itself dates back to 1724, and was lived in by Dennis Sever between 1979 and 1999. He transformed the house into a living museum, with each room recreated in a different historic style. The house is exactly how he left it when he died, and guests are asked to imagine they’re taking a journey to another time. It’s one of the most unique and bizarre things to do near Whitechapel. The area around Dennis Severs’ House is lined with Victorian-style houses too, which make for great photo opportunities.

Jack the Ripper Tour

Victorian street with a vintage car parked on it.

For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the name Whitechapel is Jack the Ripper. From 1888-1891, eleven murders were committed in London’s East End, and it’s believed that at least five of these murders were the work of the notorious serial killer. It goes without saying that one of the best things to do in Whitechapel is to take a Jack the Ripper Walking Tour then. There are a few companies who do this tour, so make sure you do some research beforehand and pick the best option for you.

Where To Stay in Whitechapel

If you’re looking where to stay in Whitechapel, The Corner Hotel is a great base to lay your head at. It’s located less than five minutes from Brick Lane and the nearest metro station, and is less than ten minutes from the Old Spitalfields Market.

The Corner Hotel orange seats in the lobby.

It’s a very modern hotel with self check-in services, a popular bar and restaurant, and quirky hotel rooms that offer ultimate comfort. The Corner Hotel is also one of the best eco-friendly hotels in London, with its sustainable rooms made from recycled materials, solar panels, free bikes, and the option of foregoing room cleaning in return for a free drink at the bar. It’s a stunning forward-thinking hotel in the heart of London’s East End.

Plush Room with a large poster of a woman making cupcakes behind the bed.

We stayed in one of their Plush Rooms which is big enough to sleep three adults. The organic bed is extremely comfortable to sleep in, with a large poster behind it, a TV attached to the end of the bed, and mood lights to help save on electricity usage. The designer bathroom includes a rain shower (which is amazing), organic toiletries, and fluffy towels. There was also a bowl of fresh fruit and a bottle of filtered water on the desk for us which was a nice added touch. There’s a coffee and tea making station at the end of the hallway rather than one in each room. The bed was so comfortable that we struggled to leave it in the morning!

Breakfast at a hotel with pancakes.

There are a lot of places to eat breakfast at in Whitechapel, but you’d be hard pressed to beat the incredible buffet breakfast on offer at The Corner Hotel . There’s a great selection of continental items, fresh juices, hot food, and fruit available. You can even make your own pancakes at the press of a button with their pancake machine! They also have a good lunch and dinner menu available, which is open to everyone, not just guests of the hotel. We stayed here for four nights, after visiting Camden , and ate dinner at the hotel for two of those nights, that’s how much we enjoyed the food. The Pale Ale Mac ‘n’ Cheese is delicious and is one dish I would recommend. It’s definitely one of the best places to eat in Whitechapel - and it’s a bit of a hidden gem! The next time you’re in London, give Whitechapel a try and check-in to The Corner Hotel for a fantastic experience.

>> Click here for the most up to date prices at The Corner Hotel <<

Whitechapel may not be one of the most visited areas of London among tourists, but it’s certainly worth adding to your list if you’ve never been before. You can easily spend a day in Whitechapel and see all of the main attractions, but to really get a feel for the area and explore it in more depth, I’d recommend spending at least two nights here. It’s a great base to explore other parts of London from, such as Euston Square and Bermondsey , as well!

Have you been to Whitechapel before? If so, let me know what you enjoyed the most about the area in the comment section below. And please stay in touch through Instagram , where you can keep up to date with my latest adventures and travel tips.

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Lady’s 7 Things to Do in Whitechapel

Today I want to bring you my guide to things to do in Whitechapel, London. This part of the East End is packed with hidden gems, and it’s worth spending time to get to know the neighborhood.

Things to Do in Whitechapel

Things to Do in Whitechapel

I’m not sure I’m in the right place. The building looks abandoned and the giant green doors are covered in graffiti.

But when I peer around the corner, I find myself looking into the achingly hip interior of the Chicken Shop in Whitechapel.

Chicken Shop Restaurant in Whitechapel, London

And the restaurant isn’t the only thing in the neighborhood that’s hidden behind a less-than-obvious exterior. In fact, the best things to do in Whitechapel feel like secrets waiting to be discovered.

I’m here for the afternoon with a friend that recently moved to the area. She took me on an amazing walking tour of Wapping a few months ago, and today I’ve convinced her to do the same with Whitechapel.

Whitechapel, London

Whitechapel, London

This neighborhood in east London lies just beyond the City and close to Spitalfields . Centered around Whitechapel Road, it’s an architectural mishmash of historic brick buildings, modern constructions, and sleek new skyscrapers.

And that’s to say nothing of the cultural and socioeconomic diversity that makes the neighborhood unique.

Red Phone Box in Whitechapel, London

1. Whitechapel Gallery

At the start of our tour of things to do in Whitechapel, I meet my friend by the Aldgate East tube station, which is at the west end of the area.

The Whitechapel Gallery is our first stop, not least because it’s one of the most famous landmarks in the neighborhood. The gallery, which is on the corner of Brick Lane , is known for its great contemporary art exhibitions.

Whitechapel Gallery in London

2. Whitechapel Restaurants, Cafes, and Hotels

Down Whitechapel Road, new cafes and restaurants have popped up everywhere. Exmouth Coffee Company, a trendy cafe with no sign, lures in passers-by with a mouth-watering window display of pretty cakes and pastries.

Exmouth Coffee in Whitechapel, London

On Leman Street, Leman Locke draws visitors in with its stunning pink spiral staircase. It’s one of the most unique hotels in London , and a photographer’s dream.

Treves and Hyde, Whitechapel, London

Off the main roads, Whitechapel has a number of other restaurants tucked away for locals and those in the know.

One of them is one of Whitechapel’s most famous restaurants, Tayyabs. Along with nearby Lahore Kebab House, it’s one of London’s most famous no-frills curry houses.

Both restaurants draw people from all over the city, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that first ventured out to the area for dinner at one of the two. It’s one of the most delicious things to do in Whitechapel.

Whitechapel Sweet Shop, London

3. Cultural Highlights

Back on Whitechapel Road, my friend shows me some of the non-culinary highlights of the neighborhood .

East London Mosque

The area is rich in history and culture, as evidenced by the 18th-century Royal London Hospital and the East London Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre.

Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel

The hospital reopened a number of years ago in a gleaming skyscraper set behind the original building. Next door in a pretty red brick church is the Royal London Hospital Museum.

It’s a small but well-curated space dedicated to the history of the hospital and famous figures like Florence Nightingale and the Elephant Man. Exploring it is one of the most unique things to do in Whitechapel.

Royal London Hospital Museum in Whitechapel

4. Whitechapel Bell Foundry

But perhaps the most beloved piece of the area’s history is the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Opened in 1570 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the foundry is where both London’s Big Ben and America’s Liberty Bell were made.

A working church bell foundry until recent years, it had a small museum inside with information on the famous bells that were created there.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London

Out back, one could even catch a glimpse of the action through an open door where you could see new bells being made in the foundry. The future of the building is now uncertain, but many hope it will be saved.

Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London

5. Whitechapel Market

Farther along Whitechapel Road, we walk through the daily street market. Whitechapel Market takes over the sidewalk near Whitechapel station in a whirlwind of colorful fabrics and fragrant foods.

Despite being in close proximity to the hip markets on Brick Lane, it’s managed to retain a traditional atmosphere. Exploring it is one of the best things to do in Whitechapel for market lovers and those wanting to live like a local.

Fabric at Whitechapel Market

6. Whitechapel Pubs

As we make our way down the road, we pass by beautiful historic almshouses and the famous Blind Beggar pub. It’s notorious for being the place where 1960s gangster Ronnie Kray shot and killed a rival.

Beyond its infamous history, the pub has a great decked pergola for outdoor drinking in the warmer months and a fireplace for indoor entertainment in the cooler ones. Coming here is one of the best things to do in Whitechapel for pub lovers.

After our visit, we make our way along the neighborhood’s other main street, Commercial Road.

It’s home to the George Tavern, one of London’s oldest pubs. It has 700 years of history and is famous for being a favorite of literary figures. Some famous bands got their start here, too.

The George Tavern, London

7. Stepney City Farm

Eventually we head down Stepney Green to Stepney City Farm. The little space is packed with everything from goats and donkeys to vegetable gardens and cafes. It provides a welcome respite from the urban environment around it.

Stepney City Farm in London

Best Things to Do in Whitechapel

Back at Chicken Shop, we settle in for a well-earned lunch. A half chicken with sides of fries and corn go down a treat, and the cool ambiance in such an unexpected place is the perfect way to end our day of discovering things to do in Whitechapel.

Whitechapel Sunset

If the restaurant and everything else we’ve seen today are any indication, there’s a lot more to discover in this east London neighborhood .

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18 Comments on Lady’s 7 Things to Do in Whitechapel

I’m going to be in London for a few days in July. I love finding gems like these. It’s definitely on my radar of places to see.

That’s great. I hope you enjoy your trip!

I love love love Tayyabs! And I’m so excited that Chicken Shop has opened in East London, I’ll be heading there far too often I’m sure!

Yeah, it’s definitely worth a visit!

I love the Foxcroft & Ginger in Soho, so now I’ll have to check out the one in Whitechapel as well!

Yeah, it’s really cute!

As someone’s who’s lived in the area for over 5 years, I think you’ve actually managed to discover everything Whitechapel has to offer, though not too long ago it didn’t even have that so I’m sure it will soon have many more things! And there’s always Bethnal Green or Victoria Park to explore…

Thanks! I would love to explore more!

What gorgeous pictures you really have a talent for uncovering the essence of places

Thanks Becky!

This is right across the street from our flat! I’ve been to Exmouth Cafe a few times since it’s opened and Liebling is a big fan of Miss Chu!

That’s great! There’s so much going on there right now!

The bell foundry sounds so neat! What a great find.

Yeah, it was really cool!

What about Genesis Cinema?!

We passed by there, but I didn’t get a chance to check it out. I will have to go back soon!

I don’t think I’ve ever been to Whitechapel before, I’m not much of an East London girl being based in the West, but it looks like a really fun place for a day of wandering. Added bonus if I get fed chicken after all the walking!

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THE 10 BEST Things to Do Near Whitechapel Station

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Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Where Big Ben Started

Oli Scarff / Getty Images

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry made the Big Ben bell for the Houses of Parliament and the original Liberty Bell . They have a free museum you can visit on weekdays to find out more.

About Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Whitechapel Bell Foundry is Britain's oldest manufacturing company as it was established in 1570, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. They still produce bells and fittings and have a shop, next to the foyer museum, with some hand bells, music and other merchandising.

They use many traditional skills alongside modern technology and you can walk around the side of the building and see the foundry in action. There are weekend Foundry Tours but they are incredibly popular and you may well have to book up to a year in advance.

I've been on a foundry tour and can recommend it. I booked six months in advance when the following year's tour dates were released so this does require some forward planning. The Foundry Manager took a group of about 30 people around the buildings and explained the manufacturing processes in an informative yet witty style. ("I employ three men to make mud pies and two men to make sand castles".)

I found out why industrial manufacturing industries were always on the east of cities: because of the prevailing wind from the west keeping the smells out of the city, and I was surprised to discover there are no molds and every bell is therefore unique.

The specialist workforce at the foundry have unusual jobs and many stay for their whole working life. The foundry motto is: "Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself."

Famous Bells

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry has produced bells for many churches and cathedrals around the world but the most famous two bells I associate them with are the original Liberty Bell from 1752 and Big Ben which was cast in 1858 and the bells of the Great Clock of Westminster first rang on 31 May 1859. Two months later the bell cracked as it was being hit was a hammer that was too heavy. The hammer was changed and the crack is still there and has not worsened over the years so all is good.

Big Ben is the hour bell in the middle and there are quarter bells too. Big Ben's official name is the Great Bell but nobody calls it that.

Big Ben is still the biggest bell they have ever made. Today, their business is 75% church and tower bells and almost 25% hand bells. Bells are not cheap but they are made to last and should be maintenance free for 150 years and should last 1000 years.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry's museum is in their foyer, is open on weekdays and is free to visit. I found the staff very welcoming. They were willing to explain more about the exhibits and were happy for me to stroll around on my own too.

There are newspaper clippings, video footage, paper records, honors and awards, so lots to see. Do look for the full-size Big Ben bell template over the doorway on the inside. Wow, it's big!

Visitor Information

Address: 32/34 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1DY

Tel: 020 7247 2599

Museum Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4.15 pm

Official Website: www.whitechapelbellfoundry.co.uk

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6 Things to Do in Whitechapel

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Whitechapel Gallery: Wikimedia Commons

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1. whitechapel gallery.

whitechapel tourism

80-82 Whitechapel High Street

Nearest station: aldgate east (hammersmith & city  and district lines). the gallery is located next door., the gallery is open tuesday – sunday 11am – 6pm (it is open until 9pm on thursdays). it is open all year round apart from 24-26 december., entry is free (some special exhibitions may require fee), 2. spitalfields city farm.

whitechapel tourism

Goat at Spitalfields Farm

Spitalfields City Farm

Buxton street, london, england, e1 5ar, united kingdom, nearest station: whitechapel (disctrict/hammersitmih & city line/overground) and shoreditch high street (overground), open tuesday – sunday 10-4pm. more info can be found here, 3. royal london hospital museum, the royal london hospital museum st augustine with st philip’s church newark street london e1 2aa, nearest station: whitechapel, open every friday from 10-12:30 and 1-4pm. entry is free., 4. museum of childhood.

whitechapel tourism

V & A Museum of Childhood: Wikimedia Commons

V&A Museum of Childhood Cambridge Heath Road London E2 9PA United Kingdom

Nearest station: bethnal green, open daily 10 – 5:45 (closed 24 – 26 december), entry is free, 5. jack the ripper walking tour, the tour runs every evening from 7pm. tickets cost £10., further info can be found on the website ., 6. wilton’s music hall.

whitechapel tourism

Wilton’s Music Hall: Wikimedia Commons

Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley (pedestrian access only) London, E1 8JB

Nearest station: aldgate east, opening times can be found here.

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Alex is a graduate of photography from London. He has a strong interest in visual arts and culture and enjoys visiting different exhibitions around London. He has also spent time living in Japan.

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Exclusive Whitechapel Travel Guide, United Kingdom

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Whitechapel is a district in the East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is located 3.4 miles (5.5 km) east of Charing Cross and roughly bounded by Middlesex Street and Mansell Street to the west, Fashion Street to the north, Cambridge Heath Road and Sidney Street to the east and The Highway to the south. Because the area is close to the London Docklands and east of the city, it has been a popular place for immigrants and the working class. The area was the centre of the London Jewish community in the 19th and early 20th century, and the location of the infamous Whitechapel Murders believed to involve Jack the Ripper in the late 1880s. In the latter half of the 20th century, Whitechapel has become a significant settlement for the British Bangladeshi community, particularly on Whitechapel Road and Brick Lane.

Whitechapel in United Kingdom offers a unique experience to travellers. Whitechapel is located at a short trip away from London a major city in United Kingdom. London is bestowed with interesting set of attractions like The London Eye , British Museum , Tower Of London . Popular vacation packages of Whitechapel are of 1-2 days.

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Plan your customized day by day trip plan for Whitechapel. Choose from various experinces categories as adventure, romantic and family and kids friendly for your trip using using Whitechapel trip planner.

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  • Whitechapel • 3 min walk

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WHITECHAPEL ROAD: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

The original terror tour - established 1982

Jack The Ripper Tour logo

When, Where & How Much?

  • 7 Chilling Nights a Week at 7pm
  • Meet Outside Exit 1 of Aldgate East Underground Station
  • £15.00 per person

Find out more Book your place

THE ORIGINAL JACK THE RIPPER MURDERS TOUR

A walk worth investigating.

Since Richard Jones began our Jack the Ripper Tour in 1982, we’ve always strived to offer the best walks in London. Today, with our unique combination of expert guides, who have written books on the case, our appearances on virtually every television documentary on the subject, our truly atmospheric route, our limited numbers, and our passion for the history of the East End, we really believe that we have achieved that objective, and what’s more, our customers seem to agree.

STEP INTO THE AUTUMN OF TERROR

As the night falls, and the long shadows reach into the darker recesses of the streets of Whitechapel and Spitalfields, our Original Jack the Ripper Crime Scene Investigation sets out  to join the Victorian police as they hunt history’s most infamous serial killer through the crooked, cobbled alleyways of the Victorian abyss.

Step by blood-curdling step, you will find yourself spirited back to the mean streets of the 19th century East End where every corner turned and every step taken will lead you further in to a murder mystery that has been baffling and terrifying people for more than 125 years.

VIEW BEFORE YOU DO – SEE US IN ACTION

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A JACK THE RIPPER WALK LIKE NO OTHER

Guided by published authors.

Each night, lots of tours set out to explore the mean streets where the Whitechapel Murders occurred. But this is the one on which you will be taken round by guides who are published authors and who are internationally recognised as being amongst the World’s leading experts on the case.  Indeed, their collective contribution to the field of ripper studies is unsurpassed. 

Consequently, you will have seen us on almost every television documentary on the mystery over the last 20 years. Our guides have appeared on The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, BBC1, Sky One, ITV1, Channel Five and the Travel Channel, to name but a few.

Our guides know the subject of the Whitechapel Murders inside out and, as a result, they are familiar with every twist and turn of this fascinating case. You can, therefore, rest assured that, on our tour, you will be brought up to date on all the latest findings on the crimes.

OUR ACCLAIMED JACK THE RIPPER DOCUMENTARIES

We remain the only one of the Jack the Ripper tours to have made our own acclaimed documentaries on the mystery.

We like to give our clients a real insight into the area they will be exploring, as well as what lies beyond, so these videos are intended to give you a real feel for the East End as it was in 1888 and as it is now.

You can find some of them on our dedicated video page.

On these videos you will actually be able to see and hear the guides you will be joining, and you will, therefore, be in a position to make an informed decision as to whether or not you fancy spending two hours in their company! We feel confident to do this because we honestly believe that, once you see them in action, you will find their enthusiasm contagious and their knowledge inspiring.

And, having watched them on film, we hope that you will then wish to meet them in the flesh, so to speak, and invest two hours of your precious time in allowing them to lead you through the sinister streets of Victorian London on an exciting voyage of genuine discovery that will provide you with an unrivalled insight into the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888.

YOU’LL VISIT MORE OF THE MURDER SITES

Of course, you can be the greatest expert on the planet, but if you conduct a tour that visits very few of the actual murder sites, and which follows a route that takes participants along modern streets, lined by 20th century office blocks, then your clients aren’t going to enjoy their evening much and they are going to be left disappointed.

Our tour begins by passing beneath this old arch into the cobblestoned Gunthorpe Street.

Indeed, after the quality of the guiding , the route that the tour takes is the most important ingredient for a truly memorable Jack the Ripper Walk.

That’s why we begin our tour of Jack the Ripper’s haunts at Aldgate East Underground Station.

This start point means that you can commence your investigation right in the heart of the area where the Ripper’s crimes occurred and are, therefore, able to follow a truly atmospheric route that was first paced out by Richard Jones in 1982.

On our walking tour you will be taken straight into the cobbled alleyways and dimly lit passageways that have hardly changed since those long ago nights when an unknown killer, lurking in the darker recesses, brought terror, panic and revulsion to the very thoroughfares that you will be exploring.

YOU’LL BE TAKEN BACK TO 1888

From the outset it will be as if you’ve been transported back in time to the 19th Century East End and, because our walk is structured like an investigation, you’ll get the distinct impression that you have joined the Victorian detectives as they race against time to catch Jack before he kills again.

Collage of images from the Jack the Ripper Tour.

And, because we follow a chronological route that begins with the first Whitechapel Murder, you will move through the events of that long ago autumn of gaslight and terror as they unfolded.

You will see how the people of the East End gradually came to realise the full danger posed by the monstrous maniac lurking in their midst and you will get a sense of the panic that gripped the area in the wake of each murder.

You will also gain an understanding of how, as the weeks went by, and the ferocity of the crimes increased, a surge of genuine terror coursed from the neighbourhood and sent shock waves reverberating through the whole of Victorian society.

THE THINKING PERSONS JACK THE RIPPER TOUR

This is, very much, the thinking persons Jack the Ripper Tour on which your questions and opinions will not only be welcomed but also encouraged.

We like to think of ours as being a guided discussion as opposed to a guided tour.

A blindfolded Victorian Police man being taunted by criminals.

To that end you will, effectively, become a Victorian CSI as you visit the murder sites, sift the evidence, uncover the clues and, with the assistance of your expert guide, put the murders into the context of the streets and era in which they occurred.

You will gain a true insight into the problems that beset the original Metropolitan Police Investigation into the case, as the Victorian detectives pitted their wits against a cunning killer who was leaving no clues and who was able to use the warren-like complexity of the dark passageways and courts through which you will walk on the tour to escape from the scenes of his crimes.

OUR GUIDES ARE GREAT STORYTELLERS

Of course it’s one thing to be a World authority on a subject it’s quite another to have the ability to put your knowledge across in a thought provoking, entertaining and engaging way.

Our guides are born storytellers who realise that a quality tour must be both informative and entertaining.

Their descriptive abilities will bring the streets of Jack the Ripper’s London vividly to life whilst their dramatic approach will almost convince you that you are actually there in the Victorian East End of 1888 watching events as they unfold around you.

YOU’LL PERUSE VICTORIAN PHOTOGRAPHS

A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words – and so, as you explore the East End streets, your guide will pass out genuine Victorian photographs (several of them unique to this walk) that show the area as it was in 1888.

Osborne Street features at the start of the ripper walk.

Imagine being able to hold and peruse old black and white images that show the locations where you are standing as they were at the time of the ripper crimes. It will almost be as though you’ve somehow been transported back in time!

You will have an unrivalled opportunity to compare your surroundings as they are now with how they were then and, in so doing, you will begin to understand why, at the time,  this area was known as “the abyss.”

Could there be a more powerful tool in your CSI kit than being able to actually inspect the murder scenes as they were at the times of the crimes?

Many of the photographs even capture the men, women and children who lived through the horror of Jack the Ripper’s murder spree. You will be able to look into their eyes and see the sheer terror and unease etched into their faces.

YOU’LL EXAMINE DOCUMENTS ABOUT THE CASE

In addition to our impressive collection of Jack the Ripper Photos you will also be able to examine documents relating to the case that will help build a powerful image of how the crimes were publicised by the Victorian authorities.

We’ll pass out facsimiles of the handbills that the police circulated in the area in the desperate hope that somebody might come forward with that elusive piece of information that would help bring the killer to justice and solve the case.

Chief amongst these documents will be the notorious Dear Boss letter, which bore the chilling signature Jack the Ripper .

The Jack the Ripper signature on the Dear Boss letter.

It was the release of this letter that helped turn five sordid East End Murders into an international phenomenon whilst elevating the unknown miscreant responsible for those murders into the realm of legend.

Just Picture yourself scrutinising this letter, examining the handwriting and searching for something that may have been missed by the original investigators!

LIMITED NUMBERS FOR A BETTER TOUR

Unlike the large London walks companies we don’t believe in herding our clients around on an unwieldy cattle drive that might number 60, 70 or (on occasions) over 100 people all of whom are struggling to hear and see one guide.

We want you to enjoy the tour and so, to that end, we limit the number of participants to what we consider to be a sensible and manageable number.

As we like to put it, our tours are the ones that are heard not herd.

SO JOIN THE EXPERTS AND REVISIT THE TERROR

So, if you really want to enjoy an intelligent and thought provoking tour, one that visits more of the Whitechapel Murder sites than any other walk, then join the undisputed experts on the case, and let them lead you on a spine-tingling Jack the Ripper Tour through the old and atmospheric Victorian East End streets that formed the backcloth against which the ripper saga was played out.

But please be warned It will get dark and it might be foggy!

Dare you join the hunt?

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Whitechapel Tour

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  • Hour Glass Duration: 2 hrs 30 min

The Hidden Tales of Whitechapel

How did the East London Mosque develop? Will a Shariah airline take off? Who is Umm Arif? Where was an exhibition that took place in 1908 called Muhammad – Art and Life?

This tour features changing Muslim street art around Brick Lane, the controversial ones, the Hijab gates, the Niqab!

  • Secret location of 1908 exhibition – revisited
  • Hijab gates and the opposition – a case of racism?
  • Minaret – Think again!
  • Malcolm vanished

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whitechapel tourism

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The National Archives

Case Study One: Hezekiah Moscow

Source one: 1. What kind of attractions can you see at the East London Aquarium? 2. What animals can you see? 3. This is situated in the Whitechapel area – can everyone go?

Source two: 4. What has Hezekiah Moscow been accused of? 5. Does the author agree with the charge? What reasons do they give?

Source three (a) and three (b): 6. What is this man’s name and occupation? 7. Why do you think these photographs have been taken? 8. What can we tell about this man’s life from his photographs? 9. What ideas does the photographer suggest by these two photographs of Ching Hook?

Source four: 10. What does this document reveal about Hezekiah Moscow and Ching Hook? 11. What can you learn about Sam Baxter? 12. What else is going on except the boxing match? 13. What evidence is there that Ching Hook is a successful boxer?

Add these details to your timeline

Advert for Ching Hook at the Sebright Music Hall

Poster for the East London Aquarium, 1881.

Shoreditch Observer - 16th February 1884 4.

Source Three (a) and (b)

COPY1/392 Ching Hook 1888, (a) boxer in fighting stance and (b) in private clothes 6.

Source Four

Sporting Life Magazine - 6th January 1888 10.

whitechapel tourism

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IMAGES

  1. A Local's Guide: 9 Of The Best Places To Discover in Whitechapel

    whitechapel tourism

  2. 9 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel

    whitechapel tourism

  3. 9 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel

    whitechapel tourism

  4. A Local's Guide: 9 Of The Best Places To Discover in Whitechapel

    whitechapel tourism

  5. Best Things to do in Whitechapel

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  6. Visit

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VIDEO

  1. The Elephant Mans skeleton. John Merrick's deformed bones and skull at London hospital

  2. Whitechapel,East London

  3. New Road, Whitechapel E1

  4. Historia Jack El DESTRIPADO

  5. Victorian Murder by Prescription

  6. Whitechapel

COMMENTS

  1. 13 things to do in Whitechapel, London

    Places like The Culpeper, Poppies Fish and Chips, and St John Bread and Wine are some of the best places to eat in Whitechapel. But there are plenty more because this has become a very popular part of London for a night out. If you're interested in trying a range of food and learning more about the history of this area, a food tour is one of ...

  2. Whitechapel area guide

    Monday 30 March 2015. Although this was once Jack the Ripper's east London stomping ground, the closest you'll come to peril in today's Whitechapel is by dining out on authentically fiery ...

  3. The Top Things To See And Do In Whitechapel

    Animals aside, the farm also boasts beautiful gardens, a café and a farm shop, and runs regular events including cookery classes and the annual extravaganza of the Oxford vs Cambridge Goat Race. 3. Whitechapel Bell Foundry. If history's more your bag, take a wander down memory lane at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

  4. Top Things to Do in Whitechapel, London

    Visit the Jack the Ripper Museum. View Map. Address. 12 Cable Street, Aldgate, London E1 8JG, UK. Phone +44 20 3978 0820. Web Visit website. Visitors to the area can learn about one of the world's most infamous serial killers at the Jack the Ripper Museum, which opened in 2015.

  5. Things To Do In Whitechapel: A Local's Itinerary For First-Time

    Start your day the right way with delicious coffee and pastries at the Exmouth Coffee Company. Located on Whitechapel High Street (no. 83), this cosy café offers a delectable range of flaky croissants, hearty quiches, cocoa-rich brownies and more - all baked on-site. Coffee lovers should also rejoice since its baristas roast their coffees in ...

  6. Top Ten London: Top 10 Things to See and Do in Whitechapel

    Whitechapel Bell Foundry. This famous bell foundry that had been open since 1570 and cast everything from handbells to church bells. Unfortunately, it has been closed since 2017, but you can still stop by and look at the outside of the place where America's own Liberty Bell was first cast in 1752, Big Ben in 1856, and the Olympic Bell in 2012. The buildings were purchased by a developer who ...

  7. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Whitechapel (Updated 2024)

    THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Whitechapel, London. 1. Jack the Ripper Museum. We then joined the walking tour and found Magda to be really knowledgeable, friendly and gave some great insights and... 2. Axeperience. 3. Wilton's Music Hall. Atmospheric venue, and historic, too.

  8. 9 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel

    Now, although Whitechapel has had quite a dark spell in history, it's now one of the most up-and-coming areas in London. With some pretty fun and easily - 9 Best Things To Do In Whitechapel - London - Travel, Travel Advice - England, Europe, London, United Kingdom, Whitechapel - Travel, Food and Home Inspiration Blog with door-to-door Travel Planner!

  9. Things To Do In and Around Whitechapel

    The first attraction in Whitechapel that you'll come across, if you've taken the underground, is the Whitechapel Gallery. Opened in 1901, the gallery has played host to a number of important temporary exhibitions, and even exhibited Picasso's Guernica in 1938. It was one of the first publicly funded galleries for temporary exhibitions in London, and visiting it is still one of the best ...

  10. Things to Do in Whitechapel

    1. Whitechapel Gallery. At the start of our tour of things to do in Whitechapel, I meet my friend by the Aldgate East tube station, which is at the west end of the area. The Whitechapel Gallery is our first stop, not least because it's one of the most famous landmarks in the neighborhood. The gallery, which is on the corner of Brick Lane, is ...

  11. THE 10 BEST Things to Do Near Whitechapel Station

    We found 5,641 things to do for you near Whitechapel Station. View Map. The Urban Bar Whitechapel. 42 Reviews. 176 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1BJ England. The Blind Beggar Public House Whitechapel. 302 Reviews. 337 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1BU England. Experiences from $35.

  12. Whitechapel Bell Foundry Museum London

    Visitor Information. Address: 32/34 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1DY. Tel: 020 7247 2599. Museum Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4.15 pm. Official Website: www.whitechapelbellfoundry.co.uk. Was this page helpful? Whitechapel Bell Foundry made Big Ben for the Houses of Parliament and the original Liberty Bell.

  13. 6 Things to Do in Whitechapel

    Entry is free. 5. Jack the Ripper Walking Tour. If dark tourism is your thing then there is no better way to finish off a visit to Whitechapel than a walking tour of Jack the Ripper, one of the most notorious murderers in British history. The Whitechapel area is synonymous with Jack the Ripper, an area in which he was able to murder 5 ...

  14. Whitechapel, London

    Unlike most Jack the Ripper tours, this tour shifts the focus to the women who lost their lives and tells the stories of the voices silenced by Ripper. Explore Brick Lane, Whitechapel Road, and Spitalfields, and stop by the pubs, markets, and residences of Victorian-era London. 1 hour 30 minutes. Free Cancellation. from.

  15. Whitechapel Tourism, United Kingdom

    Whitechapel Tourism; Whitechapel Tourism. Whitechapel is a district in the East End of London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is located 3.4 miles (5.5 km) east of Charing Cross and roughly bounded by Middlesex Street and Mansell Street to the west, Fashion Street to the north, Cambridge Heath Road and Sidney Street to the ...

  16. WHITECHAPEL ROAD: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go ...

    Nov 2021. Whitechapel Road stretches from Aldgate East towards Stepney Green past Whitechapel Tube/Overground station. It is quite a busy road and the East London Mosque is on this road. There is also a market which sells a variety of things.

  17. Whitechapel

    Whitechapel is an area in London, England, and is located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.It is in East London and part of the East End.It is the location of Tower Hamlets Town Hall and therefore the borough town centre. Whitechapel is located 3.4 miles (5.5 km) east of Charing Cross.. The district is primarily built around Whitechapel High Street and Whitechapel Road, which extend from ...

  18. Jack The Ripper Tour

    Richard Jones. Richard is, according to the bible of ripper studies The Complete Jack the Ripper A to Z, "one of London's leading walking tour guides".. He has written two books on the case, has appeared on almost every television documentary about the ripper murders over the last 20 years, and has even written and presented his own drama/documentary about the mystery.

  19. Whitechapel

    The Whitechapel tour discovers the hidden tales that exist in London! Learn more about how the East London Mosque developed, who Umm Arif is, and more. ... Halal Tourism Britain +44 (0) 20 7993 85 95 +44 (0) 7956 468 081 [email protected] 124 City Road. London, EC1V 2NX, UK Tour Categories. Cruises ...

  20. The Boxers of Whitechapel

    Whitechapel in the late 1800s was an area of overpopulation, industry and crime. With such wide systemic issues it can be easy to lose sight of the experiences of the individuals who lived in the area. This lesson explores the historic environment through the interconnected lives of four individuals who lived in the area during the 1880s.

  21. ISCtravel. Russia Travel Operator. Russian Visa, Accommodation, Events

    We complete range of travel services since 1991! We specialize in: processing visa support documents, discount hotel reservations, local transportation, standard and customized tour programs, unique travel itineraries, organizing large scale events such as convention, incentive travel, seminars and trade shows.

  22. Case Study One: Hezekiah Moscow

    3. This is situated in the Whitechapel area - can everyone go? Source two: 4. What has Hezekiah Moscow been accused of? 5. Does the author agree with the charge? What reasons do they give? Source three (a) and three (b): 6. What is this man's name and occupation? 7. Why do you think these photographs have been taken? 8.

  23. About Karlson Tourism

    Karlson Tourism is a part of Rostik Group transnational enterprise that runs various businesses: the commonest restaurant chain in Russia, Central and Western Europe and CIS, real estate, logistics and manufacture. The company's operations in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation are governed by financial assurance - the ...