I have a bit of a dark mind sometimes. I'm fascinated by things like The Titanic and serial killers and always want to know the details. I guess something has to balance out all the sequins and unicorn hair.
With Elizabeth Bentley
I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth when I took part in Bex Band's The Woods adventure last year. She was one of the intrepid women who signed up to join us wild camping and surviving in the woods for a week and when I read her application she was a definite 'yes' from me.
We arrived at Tower Gateway station, me with a little trepidation because we were joining a walking tour and my feet don't let me do that very often without complaint, Elizabeth prepared as always in a light rain jacket. We spotted a figure under a 'Wonders of London' tour umbrella and headed towards them, pleasantly surprised to be greeted by the beaming face of our guide Victor.
I had found this tour on the 'free' filter on Eventbrite so wasn't sure what to expect quality wise but from the moment Victor started we knew we were in for a treat. That guy sure has a brain for trivia. We spent over 2 hours listening to him passionately talk about a subject he was clearly hugely interested in and he acted it out for us, voices and all in poorly lit alleyways and in detail that satisfied my inner dark nerd.
I learned so many things I never knew about Jack the Ripper and walking the paths he and his victims would have walked brought it all to life. I shuddered a few times at what it must have been like with a thick fog hovering over the city, barely able to see the hand in front of your face.
At the end of the tour (because nothing good ever comes for free) Victor let us know we could tip him if we felt that the tour had been worthwhile and that he wasn't paid other than this. We of course paid what we'd pay any other good tour guide because he WAS the tour, he brought it to life and kept us enthralled (and didn't lose us amongst tourists) for over 2 hours. I think it's admirable for someone to give something their all when they actually have no idea if they'll get £10 or £110 at the end of it.
'Wonders of London' offer a range of 'free' tours and I would highly recommend trying them, but take your wallet! You'll want to tip.