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Old Aug 11, 10, 7:52 am   #1
 
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10 days alone in London et al

I am headed to London late September alone and couldn't be happpier but do want to ensure my safety as well. I am actually looking forward to being alone.

I am thinking of trekking by high speed train or plane to Paris for an overnight as well, just because I can!

Haven't booked hotel yet, but will soon.

Have you any ideas of where to avoid as a single woman traveling alone and other steps I can do to ensure my safety?

Many many thanks!
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Old Aug 11, 10, 8:18 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo View Post
I am headed to London late September alone and couldn't be happpier but do want to ensure my safety as well. I am actually looking forward to being alone.

I am thinking of trekking by high speed train or plane to Paris for an overnight as well, just because I can!

Haven't booked hotel yet, but will soon.

Have you any ideas of where to avoid as a single woman traveling alone and other steps I can do to ensure my safety?

Many many thanks!
OOOOHhhhhhhh... I'm so envious... London is one of my favorite cities and I've done quite a few 7+ day trips alone to there. I really do feel perfectly safe in most areas. A couple of weeks ago I was still out at 1:00am taking night shots of the tower bridge and there were gobs of people around there... Even in September/October I feel safe being around around 10:00 or 10:30pm... At night, I try to stick around the river and the underground areas where there are tourist sights (Embankment, Tower Bridge, Piccadilly, Charring Cross. Leicester, Westminster) and even feel pretty safe seeing a play at night . I'm not sure how much I'd be walking around Victoria Station area at night or other less populated areas.

Don't know if you have a specific hotel in mind, but I generally stay in Kensington between the Gloucester and Earl's Court at a small place called Park International. I've got to know the people there quite well and even at night there are enough people walking on the street if I feel like stopping at one of the local pubs for a drink before heading back to the hotel...

Have a great trip and PM me if you want to talk more...
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Old Aug 11, 10, 9:49 am   #3
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If you're looking for things to do during your 10 days alone, the UK&Ireland forum gets asked that question a lot & has some fabulous suggestions. Not just the main tourist places like the V&A, but smaller museums, restaurants, libraries, etc. They also get asked a lot where to stay in London. So if I were you I'd wander over to that forum & look at the various threads there.

I'd be stunned if you picked a lowlife area in London to visit or stay at, so I'd say take the normal precautions you would with any city in the US or world & you'll be fine. I'm in London a lot & I don't want to say the safety thing doesn't cross my mind, but I've never been somewhere I didn't feel safe, even late at night.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 11, 10, 10:33 am   #4
 
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Thank you!! I already have so much to do there I don't how I am going to fit it in my schedule! I guess I can sleep on the plane and when I get back home, lol!

I am having some meetings while I am there as well so I will be busy. I can't wait to try some fish n chips London style. Coming from New England and now living in the south I truly miss it and am imagining the Londoners do it even better!

I am looking into some bed and breakfast places at the moment.... Not too worried about places to stay- there are certainly enough of them, just want to be sure I am in a safer area.

Take care everyone, I appreciate the input!
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Old Aug 11, 10, 2:34 pm   #5
 
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I am 42 and reasonably with it! I stay at the city inn Westminster. Quiet area- easy to sleep. Can walk to big Ben etc Great bAr which I am happy to go and eat in alone- don't get hassled.

London doesn't have very good fish and chips! Need Whitby or grimbsy cod or haddock!

What areas are you considering?
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Old Aug 11, 10, 3:11 pm   #6
 
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I've been to London 10 times in the past eight years or so, and seven of those trips were solo. I feel very comfortable there, even at night after a show. As others have said, stick to the more populated/tourist areas and you should be just fine. And..as you would anywhere, be aware of your surroundings and look both ways before you cross the street !

On all of my trips I've stayed in the Kensington/South Kensington areas -- usually at either the Copthorne Tara or the Rembrandt. The Copthorne Tara is just behind the High Street Kensington tube station (Circle/District), but it's a bit of a dark walk back to the hotel after hours -- nothing to worry about, however. The Rembrandt is around the corner and a short walk from the South Kensington tube station (Piccadilly/Circle/District) but is directly across the street from the V&A Museum, and the #14 bus stops right out front. Very convenient!

On my next trip I've decided to try the Crowne Plaza Kensington -- looks like a great neighborhood with loads of restaurants/groceries/etc., and the Gloucester Road tube station is also on the Piccadilly/Circle/District lines -- one of those three lines will get you almost anywhere you want to go in London.

Familiarize yourself with the tube map, some bus routes, and some main and side streets in the area you'll be staying/exploring and you'll be fine. Have a great time!
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Old Aug 12, 10, 7:47 am   #7
 
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LOVE London - especially by myself. I tend to stay in the Bloomsbury district but thats only because I lived in the area for a year and know my way around. Usual precautions at night - but generally if you stick to the busier areas London is brillant.
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Old Aug 12, 10, 11:02 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kukukajoo View Post
I am headed to London late September alone and couldn't be happpier but do want to ensure my safety as well. I am actually looking forward to being alone.

I am thinking of trekking by high speed train or plane to Paris for an overnight as well, just because I can!

Haven't booked hotel yet, but will soon.

Have you any ideas of where to avoid as a single woman traveling alone and other steps I can do to ensure my safety?

Many many thanks!
Have a wonderful time! Common sense is all you need. I've been to London and Paris alone and had the best time. No one can tell you that you're taking too much time at the Tate.
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Old Aug 12, 10, 9:35 pm   #9
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I spent a month in London by myself when I was 21. Never once felt unsafe. Splurged on taxis a few times after leaving clubs really, really late at night but otherwise just followed the locals' lead and took the tube pretty much everywhere, any time.

Heed the usual precautions to keep alert of your surrounding and you'll be fine.
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No one can tell you that you're taking too much time at the Tate.
That's no lie!
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Old Aug 13, 10, 1:45 pm   #10
 
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You'll have a great time Treat it like any other large city, use common sense, and you'll be fine. Have a great time, and enjoy some proper ales!
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Old Aug 17, 10, 4:24 am   #11
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I'm a very frequent visitor to London.

Quote:
Originally Posted by localady
I'm not sure how much I'd be walking around Victoria Station area at night or other less populated areas
It's not a problem. Used to stay at the Crowne Plaza St James, and meander around all the little back streets by myself at night. In the other direction, company would occasionally use a hotel in Pimlico (I won't recommend, it's crap. Nothing like getting a basement room, to discover the window has a dodgy lock on it, to make you feel like they understand women's security concerns ), and again, I'd be walking from Victoria.

The only area which did give me pause was the Kings Cross area, down to what used to be the Thistle - not a great area, quite red lightly.

In honesty though, most of the central parts of London are busy enough and touristy enough to be relatively safe, so long as you exercise common sense. Probably the biggest concern is pickpockets on Oxford St - watch your bag, be aware of where it is and how accessible it is to others at all times.

Other comments - if you do find yourself going clubbing, getting a black cab home can be a nightmare (as in, they get very, very scarce). London has a good nightbus service (there's a poster on the BA board who is my nightbus guru - he's put entire dos onto the correct nightbuses at the end of the night ). Or use minicabs, but be aware of not just picking them up on the street (ever -really not a good idea) - always, always, always go to a minicab office, or try and get a company number from your hotel/restaurant etc Minicabs can be cheaper than black cabs, and many restaurants also routinely use companies they are happy with. But never take one on the street.
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Old Aug 17, 10, 8:23 am   #12
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I've always had my club call a mini-cab for me & the price is determined up front. As Jenbel says, if you're doing the mini-cab don't get it off the street & make sure you know the price before you get in so as to avoid unexpected price hikes.

I've also walked back late at night to my hotel at times, and didn't feel unsafe. As others have said, take the usual precautions (aware of surroundings, etc, etc).

Cheers.
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Old Aug 17, 10, 4:54 pm   #13
 
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If you feel like escaping London for a day or so, consider Bath. It's less than 90 minutes by train, and it's a lovely city to walk in with some interesting history stuff -- from ancient Romans to Jane Austen. The spa is fabulous, and there are several terrific B&B's. HOHO bus is a great way to get a quick overview. September should be a perfect time of year.

I love Bath
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Old Aug 18, 10, 9:21 am   #14
 
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If you feel like escaping London for a day or so, consider Bath. It's less than 90 minutes by train, and it's a lovely city to walk in with some interesting history stuff -- from ancient Romans to Jane Austen. The spa is fabulous, and there are several terrific B&B's. HOHO bus is a great way to get a quick overview. September should be a perfect time of year.

I love Bath
I'd like to go to Bath on my (solo) trip next month, but was thinking of buying one of those guided tour packages (Golden, Evans, whatever). However, I'd do it on my own if it's relatively simple and the town is easy enough to get around without a tour guide leading me every step of the way.
Does the HOHO bus pick up at the train station, I hope? Doing it this way would be a time saver, too, because I don't necessarily want to be gone all day from London.

Any advice/opinions would be welcome...
Thanks!
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Old Aug 18, 10, 7:59 pm   #15
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Don't forget the theatre while you're there. You can get discounted tickets day of the show.
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