Where: The Victory Inn, 6 Duke Street
When: Every night (but Sunday), 7.30pm
Cost: £8 (50% off with Groupon- £4.00)
I’m notorious for voicing my dislike of themed walking tours. You know the ones? They have a bored and poorly dressed Jack The Ripper leading the way with some crappy placard or colourful umbrella. They jabber incessantly, desperately trying to make the one incident of mass scrumping that occurred in the Village of Bumpkin sound exotic or, at best, interesting.
I find them tacky, dull and often poorly organised. I give them a chance and am not wholly sure why I keep trying to find one worth taking part in. I do my research but each time they fail me.
The last one was a ghost tour of Guildford in 2012 that was so monotonous I’d absolutely no choice but to sneak off to the pub. The group sadly ended up in said pub, leaving me with no choice but to sheepishly explain that I found that particular Jack’s tour uninteresting.
So, about a week ago I got wind of the Brighton Murder & Mayhem Tour and flashbacks of my shitty Guildford experience came flooding back. I did my research and was met with the usual poorly designed website. However, with 50% off, how could I refuse? I’ve always been a sucker for a palter.
It was amazing. Truly amazing. Or at least as amazing as a walking tour of your home city can be. The tour guide was hilarious, knowledgeable and knew the whole process was a bit tongue-in-cheek. He was also dressed pretty well. Our little troupe saw all manner of hidden gems and landmarks, each one with a grisly story behind it. The mixture of ambience, humour and some actual horror was well received by everyone.
I don’t want to give too much away but it was very creepy hearing about the connection between Jack The Ripper and The Cricketers pub on Black Lion Street. I also had my suspicion about The Theatre Royal being haunted officially confirmed. The two hours flew by, starting and ending in pubs, which kept me and an elderly German couple I befriended very happy. It probably isn’t great for children but I have a feeling the guides act accordingly for their audience.
It reminded me of an outdoorsy London Dungeon for a modicum of the price. I don’t know if I’m fully converted to the way of the themed night walk but thoroughly recommend this one. I think it would be particularly fun on Halloween too.
Visit their website to book but check Groupon first, we are on a budget after all.
Prices are: £8 for adults, £4 for children and £5 for students and senior citizens. You can get a Family Ticket (2 Adults and 2 children) for £20.
Photo by Karen