Something With More Edgy: Top Gangster Tours Around London

aerial view of the london tower bridge and the two cities it connects

2.18min read

Published 29 January 2024


So, you're in London and looking for something edgy? Hard as nails, hilarious and in your face, a gangster London tour lets you trudge the stomping grounds of dubious figures such as the notorious Kray twins who found infamy in The Smoke’s criminal underworld in the '50s and '60s.  
Even if you suspect London gangster history isn't your pot of lilies, these tours are well worth a look if you're after a slice of the real London.

Get Onboard The Naughty Bus  

An open-top double-decker bus might not be the starting point you’d expect of a tour of seedy East End haunts from where Ronnie and Reggy Kray ran protection rackets, hatched shady deals, delivered bashings, laundered money and murdered rivals. But that's London — a heaving metropolis whose inhabitants not only take pride in their city's ignominy but are only too happy to put on buses and showcase it to the world. God bless 'em.  
Among them is Micky 'Goldtooth', childhood associate of Ronnie and Reggie Kray, who along with his wife Karen and crew share lived stories and personal insights of London's old-school criminal underworld as they guide tourists around their East End neighbourhood aboard Gangster Tours' "The Naughty Bus".
a guy in plaid suit looking at the camera while blowing smoke from his mouth
The tours depart from Liverpool Street station most days at 2 pm and 5 pm taking you down Bethnal Green Road, where the Krays ruled, and passing the E Pellicci Cafe where the twins and their "firm" frequented. (Film buffs will recognise this on-location spot from the Kray movie Legend.) There's a stop at The Blind Beggar pub where Ronnie Kray shot dead gangland rival George Cornell in front of gob-smacked patrons and Micky and crew will treat you to a chilling re-enactment.  
After a warm pint, a handful more edge-of-your-seat tales and endlessly entertaining banter, the final leg of the tour winds up in The Clink in Southwark — the site of the most notorious medieval prison that now thankfully serves as a museum.  
The Naughty Bus tour is full-on fun and a stand-out way to spend three hours in a land bristling with tours of just about everything.   
an alley way with puddles lit with green light

Gangster London Tour With Actor Vas Blackwood  

Remember Guy Ritchie's uproarious and raw London gangster movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels? Actor Vas Blackwood played the tensely cool Rory Breaker and now packs his film and TV experience into a very different guided tour of Kray and co's criminal world as part of Brit Movies Tours.  
Vas doesn't have a bus but hosts a two-hour walking tour around the Whitechapel and Bethnal Green areas showing you locations of real-life gangster events and film locations from the likes of Lock Stock, The Krays, Face, The Crying Game and Gangster No 1.  
Through a career playing various onscreen crims, Vas has rubbed shoulders with London ex-gangsters and associates, such as Freddie Foreman (who helped the Krays dispose of bodies), so he knows his stuff and crams anecdote after dark-humoured anecdote with startling detail. The authentic nature of the tour even earned it a recommendation from a legendary gangster, the late “Mad” Frankie Fraser. 
Whitechapel Road signage attached on a red brick wall
Starting at The Blind Beggar pub, Vas takes you through Whitechapel's warren of alleys and backroads where the life and times of the Krays played out. He includes visits to the Repton Boys Club (where the twins learned to box) and St Matthew's Church where they had their funerals.   
Afterwards, Vas is up for a chat and Q&A session at another pub and Lock Stock location.  
Vas's tour is available most Saturdays at 10:30 am and 2 pm. Private or group tours are available at other times on request.  
Parental warning:  Both gangster tours offer you lively, informative experiences with plenty of adult-level laughs, so they'd probably earn Vas, Micky and his crew M15+ ratings on account of their "mature themes" and lovably potty-mouthed delivery. Enjoy. 
Flight Centre

© Flight Centre (NZ) Limited.

Lowest Airfare Guarantee is no longer valid at Flight Centre stores in New Zealand as of Thursday 14 July 2022. Click here for more information.

A Travel Expert Service Fee will be applied to bookings made in store, over the phone or via email, and is charged in addition to the advertised price. Click here for more information.

*Travel restrictions & conditions apply. Review any specific conditions stated and our general terms at Terms and Conditions. Prices & taxes are in NZD and are correct as at the date of publication & are subject to availability and change without notice. Prices quoted are on sale until the dates specified unless otherwise stated or sold out prior. Prices are per person.