I mentioned yesterday in my “10 Things” post that I really wanted Sam and I to do a haunted walking tour of London and/or a Jack the Ripper tour on Saturday. Something thematic to get us into the spooky Halloween mood. Unfortunately, I left it far too late and everything had already been booked solid. But my heart was still set on a haunted walking tour regardless.
It’s a little known fact that during Sam’s time at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, I wasn’t sitting at home twiddling my thumbs whilst he was giving his finest on stage. Oh no. I got a job giving ghost tours in Stratford. Nothing makes you acclimatise to a new town more than having to memorise an hour’s worth of monologue/facts about the region. I would say my ghost tours were more fact than story. Some people want their tour guide to be super spooky and in character and scare them. I went for the more clinical approach of being the straight-man and letting the fairly awesome (and gruesome) stories talk for themselves.
So I can back myself to give a ghost tour. But I didn’t have the research in front of me. So I started looking for haunted London apps that would tell you ghost stories based on your location on a map. And there are a few apps out there that fit that brief, but don’t waste your money. They are rubbish. In fact, this whole experience has inspired me to make my own haunted London app. I just don’t know where to start.
London is massive, and I also wanted us to enjoy the gorgeous Autumnal sun that was shining this weekend, so I started us out in my favourite part of London: Highgate Village and Hampstead Heath. If money was no object, this is where I would live without thinking twice. After a wander around the Heath and a picnic lunch in the sunshine, we made our way towards the village and I regaled Sam with ghost stories about The Spaniards Inn (pub), The Flask (pub) and the Highgate Cemetery vampire amongst many, many other.
By the time we wrapped in North London, the sun was just starting to set (yes, at around 4 pm) so we then popped into town and walked through much of East London, with ghost tales and DumDum donuts to keep us going. This half of the day heavily consisted of Jack the Ripper stories. I loved walking by the proper Jack the Ripper tours and standing a short distance away from them as I gave Sam my own rendition.
After that it was home time for dinner, snuggles and scary films. All in all, we walked about 7 miles so all the little Mars bars I ate were well deserved!
My favourite things that we stumbled across during the day were: William Wallace’s death site and memorial as well as the gravestone for the poet, William Blake.
Gorgeous Heath path.
Lovely puppies going for swims.
Park management was draining parts of the pond for renovation and this car was found at the bottom of the boating pond. Who knows how long it was there!
This is Kenwood House. It’s where Julia Roberts is filming her period film in “Notting Hill”.
The Old Tollhouse that used to be part of the boundary of Highgate Village.
We couldn’t have had a more deliciously Autumnal day! What does your ideal fall day look like?