Staying Safe When Travelling in London at Night

couple walking in london

London is one of the busiest cities in the world, with millions of inhabitants and thousands of visitors passing through the city every day. As with any other major international city, any visitor coming to London will want to feel as safe as possible, and thankfully, London is a fairly safe and enjoyable city to explore.

While London is generally a welcoming and safe place to visit, it’s still important to use common sense and practice good personal safety when visiting. If you’re looking at staying at the Montcalm Shoreditch and intend to explore the capital, read on for some useful information on how to keep yourself safe during the night in the city.

Understand how to get around in London at night

One of the most intimidating things for any visitor in an unfamiliar city is trying to get around or use a new and complicated public transport system. While London is a large and busy place, it has excellent public transport that connects you from one part of the city to the other with relative ease, and it is much simpler than you might think to navigate. If you’re staying at the Montcalm Shoreditch, then you’ll be comfortably close to many of the major Tube, bus and Overground connections to get you around London quickly and safely.

However, when travelling across London by night, it’s important to be aware of restrictions or changes on standard public transport routes. During the week, excluding Fridays and Saturdays, Tube lines tend to stop running after midnight, and do not start again until early in the morning. Most buses running across the capital will also stop at similar times, and if you are staying in Shoreditch London accommodation and plan to travel late, it’s essential to know how to get around.

Luckily, while most forms of public transport do stop at night, there are still a number of alternatives. You’ll find many Night Buses running across the city that provide a late night service and can help you get to your Shoreditch London accommodation with relative ease. On Friday and Saturday nights, you’ll also find Night Tube services on selected lines, including the Northern, Victoria and Central lines, allowing you to travel safely and quickly across the capital.

As well as public transport, you’ll also find plenty of taxi and private hire cars available, although these can be more costly. If you are planning to use a taxi service, be sure to check that it is properly registered and valid with the hire company, as using an unregistered driver may place you at risk.

Be aware of what to do in an emergency

A busy city like London has a complex and efficient public safety system, and if you do find yourself in any kind of unexpected or worrying situation, then help is always close at hand.

In an emergency, you can contact the police, ambulance or fire services, and the number to call them, 999, is always free from any phone. However, be aware that calls to these services are for genuine emergencies only – if you are simply lost or a little worried, then it’s best to find help from other sources.

You’ll also find other people to ask for help around the capital. If you’re travelling on the Tube at night and see something worrying, then it’s best to contact station staff, or use the phones inside the station to report any issues. If help is needed, they will organise help for you quickly and promptly.

Walking at night

London is a fairly safe city to walk at night, especially in busy areas such as across central London. As with any city in the world, it’s important to pay close attention to your surroundings and avoid heading into areas that feel risky or dangerous.

If you’re walking back to your accommodation at night, aim to use well lit streets and paths. For instance, if you’ve been dining out at restaurants in Shoreditch, you’ll find plenty of well lit main roads back to your hotel or the Tube station, and it’s best to stick to them, instead of taking shortcuts through darker or more unknown paths.

In the event that you do feel afraid or worried about someone around you at night, you may want to head into a public space, such as an all-night store or transport station. If possible, you may also want to ask for help, or simply wait until you feel more comfortable continuing on.

Staying safe when going out at night

Unfortunately, as with most major cities, going out at night does come with potential risks, with the prevalence of thieves and other unscrupulous criminals looking for opportunities from unsuspecting victims.

Make sure that you keep your property out of sight and secure at all times, with closed bags that can be kept close. Avoid taking large amounts of cash out when going out in the evening – this may make you a more tempting target for thieves. Do not leave items such as bags, phones or other things on empty chairs when travelling, as they can easily be taken, without you noticing. If you are a victim of theft, make sure that you contact the police immediately – even if they are unable to trace your item back to you, they will be able to provide you with useful help with any insurance claims.

When going out at a bar or restaurant, you should always make sure your personal safety is well considered. Don't accept drinks from strangers, and keep your own drinks in sight at all times, to prevent being spiked. If you are with someone else, keep in touch and make sure you both get back to your accommodation safely after the night, or ask for help if you are worried. Many venues will often have security or bouncers that can help you if you are concerned about a threat there, so don’t hesitate to reach out.