The top tour guide in York, Europe’s most haunted city, is going online to offer free nightmares to people already suffering the torture of lockdown.
Mad Alice’s Bloody York Gin Tour includes stories of hangings, beheadings and poisonings. But it comes with an antidote in the form of gin-tasting in between the horrible histories.
The guide, who won Best Experience at the Visit York’s Tourism Awards last month, is moving her tour online to Facebook and YouTube while the city’s tourism industry is on hold.
The scary stories are interspersed with gin tastings, including York Gin’s Navy Strength Outlaw, inspired by the city’s baddies including Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin.
York Gin’s shop – situated in its own atmospheric 16th century Tudor building with links to Charles I who was beheaded – was voted the city’s best shop at the same awards. It’s currently closed because of the lockdown. The company makes some of the world’s best gin including Best English Old Tom at the World Gin Awards held in January this year.
Alicia Stabler, who plays the role of Mad Alice during her tours, said: “I’m normally run off my feet by this stage in the year. But the coronavirus has put paid to tourism for a while. So we’re going online. I’ve been a tour guide in York for years and there’s not much horrible history I don’t know.
“History buffs, people with a morbid fascination with gruesome deaths as well as gin lovers and people who just want to be entertained love my tour. I hope they’ll enjoy it online. I know it’s not the same as actually being here – but you’ll definitely get a feel for York’s bloody awful history. And if you get a glass of gin in your hand, your nerves shouldn’t be too shot at the end.”
Emma Godivala of York Gin said: “The Mad Alice tour is legendary in York. It’s insightful, entertaining and ghastly. But mostly lots of fun.
“York is an amazing place – and we hope the Bloody York Gin Tour will give people a taste of what tourists can expect to experience when we’re back up and running.”
The first Bloody York Gin Online Tour takes place on Facebook at 6pm on Friday May 22 with a recording available afterwards on YouTube. Register for the free tour here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1165414407136334/
Those who want the full experience, with gin tasting included, can buy a York Gin tasting collection here (with free UK delivery) https://www.yorkgin.com/product/tasting-collection-of-5-miniatures
For a one-minute preview of the tour, go to this link on YouTube – https://youtu.be/Bd80ZWpxNR0