We take you on a guided tour of St Paul’s Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece with its magnificent dome. The Cathedral was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666. In recent years it has seen the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, to Lady Diana Spencer and, more recently, the thanksgiving services for both the Diamond Jubilee and 80th Birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.
Climb 259 steps up the dome and you will find The Whispering Gallery, which runs around the interior of the Dome. It gets its name from a charming quirk in its construction, which makes a whisper against its walls audible on the opposite side.
The Tower of London and Crown Jewels
Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066-7 and enlarged by successive sovereigns, the Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous and spectacular fortresses. Over the past 1000 years it has been a Royal Palace, an armoury and a place of imprisonment and execution. The Beefeaters who guard the Tower will regale you with stories of its past. We will visit the Crown Jewels, including the magnificent solid-gold crown used at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the enormous Cullinan diamonds and the extraordinary Koh-I-Noor.
Jack the Ripper
Our tour begins with a coach drive direct to the dark side of London. The Theatre Drury Lane, said to be the most haunted theatre in London, your guide will tell you why! We see the Old Bailey – the site of numerous public hangings, drive along Fleet Street, home of Sweeny Todd – the demon barber of Fleet Street – and his accomplice, Mrs Lovatt, who was said to have baked pies from the flesh of his victims, selling them to unsuspecting customers.
As the shadows lengthen, we approach London’s East End, a hotbed of crime and vice in the 19th century. During the autumn of 1888, terror struck when Jack the Ripper came out of the fog and dimly lit alleys just long enough to stalk and butcher his five victims.
We leave the coach and walk his death trail inspecting the murder sites, deciphering the evidence and discussing the suspects. We will see the 10 Bells Pub, built in 1752 where many of Jack the Ripper’s victims were said to have drunk. To this day the case remains unsolved.
Thames River Cruise
City Cruises operate a regular service between the Tower of London and Westminster Pier. You have the choice to take the River Cruise and end your tour at Westminster Pier, or take the cruise on another day and go with your guide back to Victoria. River Cruise Tickets are one-way from Tower Pier to Westminster Pier (or vice versa).