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Old Feb 9, 05, 5:06 pm   #1
 
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Alone at night on London Streets

Mrs. pbiflyer and I are bringing our 1 yo on a trip to London and Edinburgh. So, we will typically be in early at night.
My wife had suggested that I could venture out on my own at night. I suggested that we could take turns going out (yes, I know that there is babysitters available in the hotel).
We are staying at the Sheraton Park Tower. Would my wife be safe on the streets of London and on the tube at night in London. We are not talking about 3am, more like 9-11 pm. Or is Edinburgh a better place for her to venture out?
She is interested in seeing Soho.
Suggestions, places to avoid, places to go, etc. would be welcome.
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Old Feb 9, 05, 5:40 pm   #2
 
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The area around the Park Tower is absolutely safe. If you wanted to walk to Soho (which is definitely do-able), you'd have to start out in the subway (the underground passage) that gets you around Hyde Park Corner into Mayfair. I've done that at all times and I think it's safe, but it might be a bit intimidating (there are usually a couple of kids camping out and bumming change down there, but they're harmless).

The Tube is right there at the Park Tower subway and it's an alternative and also completely safe, especially pre-midnight when it's still pretty busy.
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Old Feb 9, 05, 10:03 pm   #3
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I would have few concerns in central London. There are plenty of police around, and before pubs close at 11pm, there is unlikely to be any potential for problems on the streets/underground.

London is one of the safest cities in the world in my experience.

Having said that, you should of course exercise the usual cautions as in any big city; do not wear expensive jewellery, be aware of handbags and keep wallets away from pickpockets. Keep away from rowdy individuals should you encounter them on the tube (underground).

You should have no problems at all! Have a great stay in London!
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Old Feb 10, 05, 1:49 am   #4
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Knightsbridge station was a little quiet at around 11pm on the platform when I got off the train. There were a few passengers who were ahead of me, and being prudent I made sure that I was close to them until I reached street level. Otherwise I didnt feel threatened in any way.

Enjoy your stay at the Sheraton Park Tower
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Old Feb 10, 05, 3:05 am   #5
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With the usual caveats, I'm perfectly happy in most parts of Central London alone at night. I frequently get night buses home and walk through Stockwell and Brixton (which, frankly, don't have a great reputation) at 2 or 3am, with no problems.

Soho will be busy, but plenty of it will be pretty seedy at that time of night. To be honest, the thing I find most irritating about that area at that time on a weekend night are the crowds and the drunkenness...

The only danger I'd point out is that, if you need to get a taxi back, get a black cab. Hail one, with its light on. Do NOT take up offers for a taxi on the street, and do NOT get a 'minicab'. While there are reputable minicab companies in London, they tend to be out of the centre, where black cabs are rarer. There is a problem with illegal taxis is London, and getting in one is a very risky business (there have been instances of assault and rape).

As for the Tube, again, take normal precautions, but I wouldn't worry. Even in the rougher parts of London, the Tube is generally regarded to be safer than the streets above. If I get one of the last Tubes home to where I live, it can be as busy as at peak times...
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Old Feb 10, 05, 3:18 pm   #6
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Safe. My girlfriend is happy to get the tube home, alone, late at night. I would echo stut's comments about unlicensed cabs. While you are likely to be fine if you do use one (albeit the driver may not have a clue where he is going), there is a risk.
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Old Feb 10, 05, 3:42 pm   #7
 
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Lightbulb My 2c on Edinburgh

Since nobody mentioned Edinburgh, it is also very safe and much easier to navigate than London. The main area is around the rail station and it's pretty much a straight line with old town on one side of the tracks and new town on the other. Edinburgh is very safe, especially new town. You shouldn't have any reservations about going out there, and I recommend that you get the BabySitter. Much better to enjoy it together!!!!
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Old Feb 11, 05, 8:37 am   #8
 
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I'm female and have been spending a lot of time traveling alone in London. Since I almost always go to the theatre or ballet (and often to dinner afterwards) any night I'm there, I'm usually wandering somewhere at 10, 11, or later. I have never felt threatened in the streets or the underground, though I have to say I do try to avoid the Hyde Park subway whenever possible, just because it can feel kind of creepy alone.
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Old Feb 11, 05, 8:43 am   #9
 
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I appreciate it.
I have passed it along to Mrs pbiflyer and I am sure that she will enjoy a night out while I babysit.
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Old Feb 11, 05, 9:00 am   #10
 
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All central London tube stations are fully staffed. Plus every platform has an information/emergency communication station. You should feel very safe in central London. It's quite cold at the moment so remember to wrap up warm!
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Old Feb 11, 05, 3:48 pm   #11
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My 2cents....

I would avoid the underground when the bars close. Its full of really obnoxious drunk people and can be quite crowded and unpleasant. I tend to take night buses or just walk. I would also agree about Soho. Have you thought of going up to Islington? Its lovely up there, lots of night life and not obnoxious.

As for Edinburgh, stay in the center and you'll be fine, the other train station area (haymarket) to be a bit seedy. Where are you staying in Edinburgh? I wouldn't hang out in Leith at night either, but its lovely during the day, ditto for the Botanic Garden.

lala
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Old Feb 11, 05, 8:12 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalala
My 2cents....

As for Edinburgh, stay in the center and you'll be fine, the other train station area (haymarket) to be a bit seedy. Where are you staying in Edinburgh? I wouldn't hang out in Leith at night either, but its lovely during the day, ditto for the Botanic Garden.

lala
We will be staying at the Edinburgh Residence while we are there. Thanks for the insight on Edinburgh. We will stick close to the center.
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