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The Travel Map - September 2008

Hunting for Jack the Ripper - London

September 28th 2008 06:38
jack the Ripper
He came silently out of the midnight shadows of August 31, 1888. Watching. Stalking. Butchering raddled, drink-sodden East End prostitutes. Leaving a trail of blood and gore that led...nowhere

Now it’s your turn to follow in Jack the Rippers bloodstained footprints, around the chilly dark streets of Whitechapel London.


Starting outside the Tower Hill tube station, an experienced guide, (in our case a familiar British actress), leads you from one murder site to the next, recounting tales of gory murder, possible clues, and the theories surrounding the mystery of who Jack the Ripper really was.

The tour ends near the 10 Bells pub, which is where some of the victims used to drink. The walls of the pub are covered with photos, and newspaper articles, dating back to that horrendous autumn in 1888.

Although no one was ever charged, there have been many theories about who Jack the Ripper was. Throughout this walk, you will hear all the theories and all the evidence. By the end of the tour, I had my own idea as to the Rippers identity, but I will let you make up your own mind.

There are many Ripper Walks around London, but the one leaving from Tower Hill Station at 7.30pm every evening is allegedly the best, as Donald Rumblelow, one of the leading authorities on Jack the Ripper, designed it.

The walk takes place every night regardless of the weather. It only costs £7 and it is money well spent. For more information, see the official website.
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The British Museum London

September 23rd 2008 12:52
Take a step back in time with a visit to the British Museum in London. This immense museum dates back to 1753, where it grew from a collection of manuscripts purchased with the proceeds of lottery.

It is one of the best in the world, with exhibitions dating from prehistoric to modern day times, drawn from across the world.

Due to its immense size, it is virtually impossible to see everything in one day, but entry is free so it is easy to pop back as often as you wish.

Some well-known exhibits are definitely worth visiting on your first day. One of these is the famous Rosetta Stone, an Egyptian artefact that was instrumental in deciphering hieroglyphics.


The Asian collection (the best collection of Islamic pottery outside the Islamic world), the Chinese porcelain, and the prehistoric British – Roman collections are worth a look.
Also popular is the Egyptian exhibition, which includes the contents of Royal Egyptian tombs such as, mummies, fabulous 2000-year-old jewelry, weapons and furniture.

The museums inner courtyard houses a bookshop, education centre and restaurants. In the centre of the courtyard is a reading room, which Karl Marx is said to have written Das Capital.

There are guided tours that will give you an overview of the museums layout, from there you can choose which exhibitions you want to return to for a closer look. Tours last about one and a half hours.


Getting there

Located in the Bloomsbury area, the main entrance is on Great Russell Street. The closest tube stations are Russell Square, Tottenham Court Road, and Holborn.

British Museum

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The Tower of London

September 18th 2008 14:17
The Tower of London, built over 900 years ago by William the Conqueror has certainly seen a lot of action. This is where Ann Boleyn was executed, Guy Fawkes was interrogated, and Elizabeth I and Richard II were incarcerated.

The Tower of London


The Yeoman Warders

A guided tour from one of the Yeoman Warders is a must do during your visit to the Tower. The Yeoman Warders and their families live within Tower grounds, and are keepers or guards of the Tower. You will be captivated by their stories of mystery, intrigue, imprisonment, and torture as they guide you past traitors’ gate and the execution site where three Queens were beheaded. Assuming there are no services taking place, you also get the opportunity to see the stunning Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula, where those that were executed in the grounds are laid to rest. The tours are included in the price of your ticket and leave every 30 minutes near the entrance. The tour lasts around 60 minutes.

yeoman warders



The Crown Jewels

This is one of the largest working collections of Crown Jewels in the world, and one of the most popular displays within Tower. The Crown Jewels have been on display since 1661 and are priceless. An introductory film gives you an insight into the role of the crown jewels in royal pageantry, and has rare colour footage of Queen Elizabeth II coronation. There has only been one attempt made to steal the crown jewels, back in 1671 by Colonel Blood, he was discovered at the last minute.

The Ravens

One of the most famous sights around the grounds is the Ravens. According to Legend, the Kingdom will fall if the ravens leave the Tower of London, so Charles II declared there must be at least six resident at any time. Currently there are seven resident ravens, the required six plus a spare as apparently they do go missing or get sacked from time to time. One was sacked for chewing TV ariels, and one was last seen outside and East End pub.

Ceremony of the Keys

Something very few people know about is the ceremony of the keys. This is the official locking up of the tower, which has taken place every night without fail for the last 700 years. The ceremony takes place around 9pm, admission is free but the only way to get tickets is writing away for them. You need to do this at least three months in advance. I only found out about this by accident, but it is worth doing if you can organise it. Check out the website for more details.


Getting there

The easiest way to get to the Tower is by public transport. The nearest tube station is Tower Hill, serviced by the District and Circle lines. Just follow the signs as you come out of the station. The nearest British Rail Stations are Fenchurch Streets and London Bridge.
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Hunting the ghosts of York

September 11th 2008 11:54
If you don’t believe in ghosts, a ghost walk around the city of York will soon change your mind

Starting outside the west door of the York Minster at 7.30pm, (just go to the Minster and follow the crowds). It costs £4 and worth every penny. A guide leads you around the dark narrow cobbled streets, while telling you stories of murder, plague, and public beheadings


[ Click here to read more ]
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York - A Modern Medieval City

September 2nd 2008 00:53
To visit York in Northern England is to step back in time to the middle ages, when cities where protected by walls and public beheadings were entertainment.

With its cobbled streets, and fifteenth century architecture, surrounded by a medieval wall, York is one of the most beautiful historical cities in Britain


[ Click here to read more ]
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