This tour is held every Monday and Thursday at 1pm and will take you through the East End of London, focusing on the old Jewish quarter. You will start in the heart of the East End at Aldgate Station where you will see where the Jewish area began. You'll be taken through the back alleys of the Spitalfields and Whitechapel where you will see the old shops, synagogues, and soup kitchens that were once used by a thriving Jewish community. On the tour, you will visit London’s oldest synagogue, see London’s finest 18th century houses, and explore the busy streets lined with boutique shops. Though most Jews between 1881 and 1914 fled for the United States, around 150,000 settled in London's East End. You will see the old store fronts that were once run by local Jewish community members and learn where the Jews worked, how they maintained their cultural traditions from Eastern Europe, and what it was like for them to live in London.
While the focus of this tour is on the flavors of traditional English cuisine, you will also learn about London's fascinating history and culture. You will visit famous attractions and sites, 1,000-year-old food markets, and hidden pubs and tea warehouses. At the end, after more than 10 authentic food tastings, you will sit down for cream tea and discuss the highlights of the tour while getting some great travel tips from your tour guide to ensure a successful visit in the English capital. You will leave not only with a full belly, but with more knowledge and a head full of stories that will help you understand London's traditions and culture.
Most cities around the world, including London, have felt the influence of Jewish culture. The history of Jews in London began in 1066 when William the Conqueror encouraged Jewish artisans and merchants to move from northern France to England. Since then, the London Jewish community has thrived in certain areas of the city and you will hear all about the ups and downs that occurred before and after Edward's expulsion of the Jews in 1290. On this Jewish London tour, you will learn about the Jewish history in London from the Middle Ages to the present, visiting several historical sites such as the Bevis Marks Synagogue, the Sandy Row Synagogue, and the Kinder Transport Memorial.
The history of the Jewish people in London's East End is a fascinating story and history lesson. From 1881 to 1914 when the Jews began suffering frequent Russian pogroms and economic hardship, over two million mostly Eastern European Ashkenazi Jews moved into the eastern boroughs of London. They set up synagogues, soup kitchens, Yiddish theaters, and kosher shops. By 1900, Jews made up 95% of the East End’s Wentworth Street residents. Though previous Jewish generations have since moved on, there remains a rich Jewish heritage hidden in the Spitalfiends area. On this tour you will see the diverse buildings and sights that create Jewish London and you will learn about the history of the Jewish communities that once thrived in the country's capital.
London Walks was founded by Australian Keith Baverstock because he was fed up with the unoriginality of the London tourist scene. He wanted to create an urban walking tour company with high standards and uniquely crafted tours. The Old Jewish Quarter tour takes you back to what Jewish life was like for the East End Jewish community. You will hear stories of poverty and pogroms, and the success of several Jewish figures such as the Rothschilds, Prime Minister Disraeli, and poet Isaac Rosenberg. Some of the tour's highlights include the Bevis Marks synagogue and old shtetl.