In this day and age it seems as if we are in the midst of terrorist turmoil and the only safe place is in our lounge room, hidden underneath a pillow fortress, with ice cream and Netflix watching 12 Monkeys. Today was yet again another day where I’ve awoken to some mild news which has transformed into a larger terrorist attack on a city that I love.
First it was the I’m Safe Facebook check-ins. And then the emails and messages start to trickle in. Concerned mothers. Anxious Aunts. Furrow browed fathers. You get the picture. People start to ask me – Is (insert city here) safe for my daughter/sister/niece/person of interest. And here I am again today, with more questions and so little answers to give.
James and I have consciously not discussed acts of terror on the blog. We are not shying away from the issue however we felt that spreading rumours, deep diving into the murky waters with limited knowledge and throwing about advice wouldn’t do anyone any good. Coming from Australia we have grown up in an incredibly multicultural communities and have seen both the best and worst in people from all over the world.
We are not the New York Times, Rueters nor any of these others informative sites that engaged qualified and experienced journalists to cover such topics. And have a much larger budget to do a much better job then what we ever could. Despite me (Jean) having studied international politics, relations and development.
It is important to remember that despite the headlines, the chances of becoming a victim are statistically extremely low, and also if you are unfortunate enough to become a victim or get caught up in events where something terrible has happened, a clear head, some preparation and knowledge and a strong plan of action will be your best form of defence.
The following is based on our experience as international travellers and as London tourists. I’ve long been a fan of London and love to walk the streets and find myself lost in her beauty.
So Is London Safe for Solo Female Travellers?
Yes- London is safe for solo female travellers. Actually London is considered reasonably safe for travellers of any gender and identity. Generally speaking, and has been our experience, London and the UK is a fairly safe nation to visit. Like any major metropolitan city London certainly does have her issues. There’s a lot of transient people, just like us solo travellers, in this city. With an estimated 1,500 hotels, countless Air BnB’s and more hostels then we can throw a scone at it’s easy to see how London attracts travellers of all shapes, sizes, genders.
Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay
Should you take London’s public transport or walk the streets?
The public transport in London runs well, is relatively clean and easy to take. If you’re like me and stay in the central city area then you can easily walk around town. The street signs even advise you how long a walk it is between areas. On my last adventure in London I walked around 15-20kms a day according to my fitness tracker. With occasion bus rides and trains (tube). In all honesty I found the stairs up and down the tube to be a pain in the backside. At peak hour it was near impossible to get into the tube station and unless you need to travel far it’s actually faster going by your own feet.
In all seriousness walking in London is a lot of fun. Especially if you take the time to go check out Borough Market. A delicious diversion from the hustle and bustle of London. The Borough Market is by far one of my favourite places to get coffee in all of London. Th
A really affordable and unique to see the city is to be 110% tourist and book a HopOnHopOff bus!
Should you stay at a hotel, hostel, Air BnB or pillow fortress for your London adventure?
Anytime you can pillow fortress you should but in relation to accommodation in London there’s a lot of choices. It will really depend on your budget. London at any level isn’t cheap. Choose a place that is close to a tube station, especially if you are flying in/out of Heathrow or Gatwick Airports.
For my last London solo female traveller adventure I stayed at the Oasis Hostel. It was around 60 pound for a private room, and as I had flown from Australia I appreciated being able to have some down time.
Book a room in a female only hostels in St Christopher’s Oasis- London Bridge – Hostel
For somewhere a bit fancier and a bit quirkier you might want to consider a few nights at the Montcalm at the Brewery in London.
Book a room and a butler at The Montcalm at the Brewery London City
Though if anyone does have a pillow fortress let me know – I’m all in for that! You might even find a good pillow fortress on Airbnb. I make no promises – but here is a $76AU bonus gift towards your first Air BnB booking.
Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Not sure what to wear in London?
London is a rather cosmopolitan city with a lot of shopping on offer. There’s really no right or wrong dress code in London, except when it comes to the weather. I’ve been twice now once in September and once in November. Both times the weather was vastly different. During my November trip one day was freezing cold, thermals and a down jacket on yet the next day was beautifully warm and I only needed a light sweater on. Really the London weather mistress can be rather fickle. I would suggest a warm layer and a water proof layer!
Shop my amazing Amazon store for the best London outfits and general travel gear.
Would I Travel to London?
When we politely respond to emails/ messages that we feel that (insert city of concern) is generally a safe place the immediate response, if not already in the initial email, is would I travel to ? Yes. Without a doubt if I had the funds in my account right now I’d be on a plane to London.
Any large city like London can have it’s own safety issues.
I’ve been in London when things are going to the crazy side of life. When there is fear, confusion and a mild mannered dismay at the world. I’ve seen the people of London rally together, pull up their socks and move on. All whilst tastefully and in oh so British a way mourning those lost and helping those who survived. The actions of others didn’t stop me then and it certainly won’t stop me now. James and I will continue to travel the road less travelled, enjoy the road already taken and explore the world as far as our dollar will let us go.
We would like to take a moment to pay our respects and send our sympathies to all who have been affected by global terrorism – not just those in London, Manchester or other well known Western cities. Those people in Syria, Egypt, Africa, America, Europe and more recently those in New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker
Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.
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Thanks for sharing these excellent tips. Great post. This is really going to help me with my next London Trip. I read all the comments and I will take follow all these tips.
Yes, London is safe for female solo travelers. I visited last month. The trip was amazing. You can choose London for your solo trip without any kind of fear. Thanks for sharing this helpful piece of information.
It might be a BIG assumption but as your name is James once would assume that you are male. Correct me if I’m wrong, but how does a male have agency to say what is safe for a female? Unless you are female in which case awesome that you got to see London
There is a different kind of assumption and yes, I am female and my name is James it’s not hard and fast that this name only chose by male….LOL!!!
Well ya learn something new every day!
I am not really concerned about incidents like this. I was all set for a solo London trip, having recently visited with friends I felt confident to go out alone. But funds being low I have picked out a budget hotel near Liverpool Street/Aldgate East tube stations. I read one review from a traveller about getting hassled on the streets walking back to the hotel at night. Now I have an uneasy feeling of travelling on my own.
Yes- London is safe for solo female travelers. Like every other country and city have their issues. But it safe to travel. As London tourists, I’m in love with London. Was loved to walk the streets and find myself lost in her beauty of London.
It’s interesting reading this because to be honest, it doesn’t even cross my mind that London would ever be considered unsafe! But on a similar level I’ve recently heard of Americans cancelling trips to Europe, which really saddens me.
No place is safe in the world and every place is safe in the world. It’s how you look at it and approach it. Thanks for sharing positive thoughts. As a traveler if we start getting caught in these acts then who will satiate our wanderlust. One the travel bug has bitten then enjoy the infection. Loved your will and thoughts. Go for it.
I love this post – in a society filled with terror, refusing to succumb to these terroristic acts is the ultimate form of defiance. I do agree with you that London is filled with so much beauty (one that I hope to witness myself someday). And despite of everything that goes on in the news, my desire to visit London has never flinched one bit.
The world is a crazy place right now but we cannot let terror stop us from living our lives and doing the things we love. If we do, the terrorists win. I’ve been to London alone and have never felt more uncomfortable than other places, so I agree. Thanks for sharing
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I think it’s really important to be aware of what’s happening in the country or city you’re visiting but to keep an open mind and not let fear drive your decisions. It’s unfortunate what’s happening in the world right now, but we shouldn’t let that stop us from doing what we love (in this case, traveling).
We literally landed back in South Africa from England the day of the attack and it was awful because we had such an amazing SAFE time and all everyone at home would be thinking was about the attack!
It`s sad. I have been travelling in SEA for 6 months and I will head back home to Europe soon. In 3 weeks, I will be in London and my family reacted the same way they reacted when I visited India and Cambodia . Thank you for writing this post, now I have something to show them. 🙂
I live in London and Ive always felt safe. I could travel alone at 3am from party and I still felt safe. Now I am not so sure. I mean I know I shouldn’t be afraid but you never know what kind of crazy person you gonna meet on your way. I used to enjoyed walking around the city everyday to discover new places but now I just wanna stay at home. I wont tho! Hopefully they will stop!
I’m not sure who the “they” is that you are referring to.
London and even the whole of Europe is so safe! Went backpacking and never felt threatened. And London is so beautiful! <3
I am glad to read this. If I go I won’t be alone but I will have my young son with me so I feel it applies to us too. I love London but have only ever gone in a group before
It’s really sad to hear stories of terrorism spreading like wildfire over the net, television and radio. It spreads fear and confusion and does not do anybody any good. Here in the Philippines, we are facing acts of terrorism too (which people often deduce to be a political agenda against our President). News often exaggerates and instead of assuring the people, it spreads hate. It is important, I guess, to keep the facts straight so as not to be overly anxious when we go and travel. This things should not stop us from doing what we love the most! 🙂
I completely agree. There are many more threats that are statistically more likely than becoming a victim of a terrorist attack. In my country, thousands of people die in car accidents every year. If you are anxious about every danger in life, you shouldn’t leave your home. Common sense and cool head are enough. There are, eventually, things you can’t predict and can’t change. Accept it and you’ll be happy – and traveling 😉
What country are you from Maria?
Its so scary all the things that have been happening but it could happen anywhere and you cant live your life hiding. I loved london all the times I went and found it relatively safe as a female walking around the city. Thanks for an informative post!
Terrorism sucks and I feel for everyone who is affected. I just wish that people who seek to destroy us would focus on fixing the problems in their backyard vs. taking the battle to someplace else. You cannot stop traveling, exploring new cultures, and making new friends just because some a-hole blew himself up, shot innocents, or attacked bystanders with a knife. Doing so would allow the terrorists to win. That cannot happen! I will continue traveling and bringing my children to new destinations to help them learn how other people live. – Lee
“People who seek to destroy us” wow mass generalisation there. I could go into the details about home grown terrorism vs foreign. And so much more. But I won’t. I will politely agree to disagree with your comment here.
I live in London and was very saddened by recent news, but I will continue to live here and live my life as before. These attacks are horrible, but there’s no point staying inside the house in fear!
My rule of thumb is if my travel insurance will cover me to visit, then it’s safe. I trust their algorithm (based on whether they would have to pay up 😉 ) more than I trust mainstream media any day of the week.
I believe that London is safe. I have not been there yet. However, I think if ever I would travel there, I would be able to explore the city freely. The Mayor of London reassured that they will increase the police presence after the recent incident. The police officers responded quickly and kill the three terrorist murderers. I do think that we need to be careful wherever we go because anything can happen.
Thanks for posting this in light to what has happened. I don’t believe we should let horrible acts prevent us from traveling and traveling on our own.
I was in London Bridge enjoying myself on the Saturday of the most recent attack and I didn’t let that stop me going back for more wonderful London attractions only 2 days later. The risks are far higher doing loads of other activities. A sensible post.
I totally agree with you, London is very safe. I think it’s important to make safe choices (like good footwear, making sure someone knows where you are) but that’s true of your own home town, it’s not about London.
I would go as far to say that London and everywhere in Western Europe is safe for solo female travelers. They are terrible, the recent terror attacks, not only in London but all over Europe. I cannot say how I would react in a terror situation like the most recent in London but I’d like to think I could take on an attacker, failing that I’d help those wounded, which is what a lot of people did.
Nice informative post about London. Good details of how to stay and transportation. Will save it for my future travel plan to London.
Love this post. I think it’s always a good idea to be reminded that pillow fortresses are wonderful comforts and can be used in all types of situations. Thanks for your tips on transportation and where to stay. It would be a struggle for sure to try and navigate the Tube during rush-hour!
A good pillow fortress is a lot of fun!
I live in England and I have been to London so many times and I agree with you, it is a very safe city. I was in London a few weeks ago, passing by the Thames, close to the Parliament, when they arrested a terrorist plotting to do an attack. I was there, there were helicopters, there was police everywhere. And I still felt safe. Yes, things do happen but if you think of how many people live and transit London every day and how many people unfortunately died in a terrorist attack, you will see that London it is indeed safe.
I am with you on this! I used to live in London, and I cannot imagine that this city that has overcome so much over the centuries would bow down to the hysteria that these nutters are trying to create. My niece is travelling to London for the first time in a few weeks for a big Euro trip from Australia with a friend, and I am sure they will be fine. Fear should not rule, it should be togetherness and community that rule.
Glad to hear you speak out on this. If we let fear rule, we’d never get out of our pillow fortresses! It’s nice in there, but there’s a big, interesting world to see.
What’s happening to the world right now is quite scary 🙁 i havent been to UK yet but I do believe that it’s also very safe for any traveler to visit the country. In fact i know someone whos been going back and forth to UK multiple times.
Thanks for your tips on where to stay but since you mentioned that it is quite expensive, would you reccommend to stay in an airbnb rather than a hotel?
I found air BnB to just be as expensive!
As always, the press will over state and exaggerate/sensationalize the attacks as much as possible. Isn’t it terrible? Of course it is? Will this stop us (people generally) getting on with our lives? Definitely not. As you said, putting things into perspective, the chances of you individually getting caught up in a terror strike are pretty low and you would have to be pretty unlucky indeed. So in the meanwhile, as we continue to fight terrorism on a broader scale, individually we should still not be put off by enjoying a city like London, as we would have before the terror attacks.
Of course London is safe. So is Manchester. And Paris. And Egypt, and so, so many other places. And it has nothing to do with gender either. Reasonable common sense precautions are all that anyone will need.
So very true! It’s such a pity that the mass media make such a song and dance and scare off reasonable people from having amazing adventures
Exactly. People need to realise there is a vast difference between the scaremongering of the press and the actual reality of common sense risk assessment.