Located in the East End of London, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Whitechapel is a district situated 3.4 miles east of Charing Cross and roughly bordered by Fashion Street to the north, The Highway to the south, Middlesex Street and Mansell Street to the west and Cambridge Heath Road and Sidney Street to the east. It used to be one of the poorest districts of London as it was a popular place for immigrants and the working class because of its proximity to the London Docklands. In the 19th and early 20th century, it was the hub of the London Jewish community as also the site where the infamous Whitechapel Murders involving Jack the Ripper had taken place in the late 1880s. However, of late particularly during the second half of the 20th century it has become the favourite settlement for the British Bangladeshi community, especially on Brick Lane and Whitechapel Road.
Over the past century, Whitechapel has shed its image of being a poor district and become an important culturally diverse and rich area of London. For tourists and other people, especially if they are interested in art, history, shopping and even animals, there is a lot that they can do over the weekend in Whitechapel.
Jack the Ripper Walking Tour
Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) resident of the area who evokes so much interest is the mysterious Victorian serial killer, Jack the Ripper and any visitor to this area would certainly like to know more about him. He is known to have brutally murdered five prostitutes on the streets of Whitechapel in 1888 but he was never found or even identified, although there have been many rumours regarding his actual identity. Jack the Ripper walking tours are available so that visitors and even residents of the city can get an opportunity to explore the mystery regarding this infamous personality in more details. The tour also incorporates macabre post-mortem photographs and the tour guides dress up as Victorian policemen. After this interesting walking tour, you can relax and have a drink at the Ten Bells, which was the favourite haunt of Mary Jane Kelly who was the final victim of the ripper.
Visitors to London who wish to know more about this area will find it convenient to stay at Montcalm Hotel London City as it offers a strategic location and comfortable accommodation with all facilities at an affordable rate.
This public art gallery is located on Whitechapel High Street in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It was founded in 1901 as one of the first publicly funded galleries that has hosted several temporary exhibitions and some of the most famous artists such as Picasso whose Guernica was exhibited on its first and only trip to the UK.
The other famous artists include Pollock, Rothko, Gilbert & George and Frida Kahlo who had their debut exhibitions for London audiences at this gallery. It also has a long track record for education and outreach projects that are now concentrating on the deprived populations of Whitechapel area. It was and still remains an important player in the contemporary art scene as it hosts retrospective and modern, multimedia exhibitions regularly.
Petticoat Lane Market & Whitechapel Market
Petticoat Lane Market is a very popular landmark of Whitechapel as it hosts around a thousand stalls that line the pavements where people shop around for fashion, clothing and accessories. It has a vibrant environment and remains busy throughout the week although its main operations are on Sunday. It is a world-famous market and just a short walking distance away, you can find the Whitechapel Market that stretches halfway down the high street. The main items that are available here include fresh fruits, vegetables, most Asian ingredients, flowers and fabrics. It is open all day, every day except on Sundays.
There is plenty of availability of accommodation near Brewery Road as visitors prefer to stay here due to its strategic location close to most attractions of London.
Whitechapel Bell Foundry
For lovers of history, this attraction of Whitechapel is officially listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest manufacturing company in the UK as it was established in 1570 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Ever since that time it has been making bells and some of its products include the most famous bells of the world including Big Ben and the Liberty Bell which is the iconic symbol of US independence.
Visitors can take a tour of the foundry that lasts 90 minutes and provides complete information regarding the casting process for all types of items from small clocks to hand-bells and also about how the chimes work such as the most famous nursery rhyme ‘Oranges and Lemons’.
Spitalfields City Farms
If you wish to be in the midst of a natural habitat while still being just a few minutes’ walk away from the hustle and bustle of Brick Lane, you can venture into Spitalfields City Farm where you will be able to see some lovely animals ranging from rare breeds to the famous Bayleaf the Donkey. You will find strong community links in the farm that provides a useful learning resource for residents of the area.
It also offers a great opportunity for having a wonderful family day out. Besides the animals in the farm, it also has beautiful gardens, a cafe and a farm shop. Regular events are held at the farm including cookery classes and the annual Oxford vs. Cambridge Goat Race.
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