Is it Safe? Traveling to London Solo as a Black Female
Is it safe to travel to this place? Will I, as a solo black female traveler, be safe? Or, just being a female in general, is it safe for someone like me? These are very real and valid questions to ask when planning to travel to a new location, as a female traveler, solo. Particularly if you’re black woman, you’re not only asking if this place is safe for females but black females at that.
I know when I’m thinking about traveling to a location, new or otherwise, I’m constantly asking myself these questions. Safety is my priority and it should be yours too. Why? Well, everyone wants to BE and FEEL safe when they’re traveling to a location. Plus, you want to know that this place you’re traveling to is safe for black women or women of color. You don’t want to expose or make yourself vulnerable to discrimination, racism, harassment, or physical attacks.
Why create this post? I believe…no, I KNOW for a fact that it’s super important to know whether a place is safe for solo black female travelers. Not just with what research and statistics say on the safety of an area but from the personal experiences of other solo black female travelers.
So when I traveled to London, during a pandemic by myself, I always had my safety in mind. I did my research and took personal notes on safety in London for a black female traveler. Armed with this information in hand, this post will detail safety in London, my personal experience traveling solo in London, and some safety tips for solo black female travelers!
Is London Safe for Travelers?
If you’re thinking about giving London a visit by yourself, you’re probably wondering if this city is safe for travelers. London is a HUGE metropolitan city, so is it really that safe for travelers? Don’t worry, you’re not alone when you’re planning your solo trip to London and have to ask a question like this.
The general answer to this question is: YES! London is a relatively safe city for travelers to travel to. Whether you’re going there solo, with a partner, friends or family, it’s a safe place for practically anyone. All can visit and enjoy what London has to offer!
HOWEVER…this doesn’t mean that London is completely crime free and that something won’t happen to you. There’s every chance that something can happen to you, even if those chances are smaller compared to other large cities. PLEASE REMEMBER TO ALWAYS USE CAUTION, COMMON SENSE, AND BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS.
Related Post: 20 Activities You NEED To See and Do in London
Safety in London
We’ve said that London is a safe place for travelers to visit. But anyone can say that, right? So, if you’re a traveler (especially a solo black female traveler), how can you be sure London is truly safe?
According to the website Crime Rate, the overall crime rate for London in 2022 was 95 crimes per 1,000 people. The City of London crime rate in 2022 was 819 crimes per 1,000 people. While this number looks significantly higher compared to the crime rate for London, the vast majority of that crime rate is attributed to theft. Whereas, in London, the most common crime were violence and sexual offenses, which affected 28 out of 1,000 people.
Meanwhile, the London Police compiled a chart of the number of offenses per crime category. For violent crimes (homicide, assault, sexual assault, etc.) in 2021, there were a total number of 4,132 offenses in London. In the property crimes (theft, fraud, breaking & entering, etc.) category in 2021, there were a total of 15,536 offenses. To see a visual map of the different types of crime in London, click here.
See numbers and information on the different types of crimes which occur in London is very scary. Even more so when you see and hear, violent crimes. However, it can be assumed based on some data that the vast majority of crimes occurring in London are crimes of theft and property, with violent crimes like assault and homicide coming in at a close second.
Safety for Solo Female Travelers
Hopefully hearing those statistics hasn’t deterred you from trying to solo travel to London. While London is still considered safe for solo female travelers to visit, the stats seem to show that if a crime is committed, it tends to usually be of theft or property in nature. This isn’t to say that a violent crime can’t happen, it most certainly can. However, the data shows that the LEADING type of crimes being occurred are property crimes. So, the next time you’re in Westminster visiting Big Ben, keep your personal belongings out of sight and close to you!
While I couldn’t exactly find specific statistics on safety in London for solo female travelers (I’m hoping to dig a bit deeper to find information on it), there are personal accounts/experiences. These accounts and experiences of other solo female travelers to London can provide more personal, real, and raw perspectives on safety in London. Not that I’d argue against statistics from researchers. But knowing a real human being visited London alone, what their thoughts and experiences on safety are, gives more reassurance and peace of mind than a number.
Articles & Websites on Solo Female Travel Safety
For instance, fellow blogger Jennie from Jennie Wanders talks about how she, as a local female in London, finds it a very safe place to visit. Not only to visit, but to live, walk around, and explore in. With her travel experience to other countries, as well as living in London all her life, Jennie can safely say that London is a relatively safe city for other solo female travelers.
If we look at another website, Evening Standard, an article published on women traveling at night on London’s public transportation system stated, “23 per cent of passengers – and 48 per cent of women respondents – no longer travelled at certain times of the day due to safety concerns.” This survey, which consisted of more than 1,000 young women, discussed how these young women stated that “after 10pm was the least safe time to travel.” Meaning, that while most of these women travel and feel relatively safe during the day, after a certain time, they won’t travel due to safety concerns.
In addition, the Solo Female Travelers page compiled a list of reviews, experiences, and safety tips for women traveling solo to the UK, with London being a place mentioned often in their travels. These travelers ranged in travel experience, so you have perspectives from a variety of different travelers. Although each traveler has their own unique experience and story to tell on safety in London, overall, the rating for safety in was very high. With a 1 being very safe and 4 being unsafe, the UK was ranked a 1.8 for safety for solo female travelers!
What can we say on Safety for Solo Female Travelers?
Based off the information and personal experiences, a general consensus can be seen on traveling to London as a solo female traveler. Overall, London for solo female travelers, locals and tourists alike, is seen as a very safe place! Between the diversity of people, the hustle and bustle at all hours of the day and night, a great public transportation system, tons of options for travelers, it’s all around great for female travelers. No matter if you’re a newbie or very experienced in solo traveling, London is regarded as being safe.
Safety for Solo Black Female Travelers
Though it’s generally agreed upon that London is a safe place to visit for females looking to travel solo, we’re making general assumptions here. What I mean by this, is that when you read or hear about other women traveling to London solo, you’re getting an overall viewpoint of what it’s like to visit London as a solo female. Unless you really do some research, a lot of times you’ll see and read about general experiences (there’s nothing wrong with that). If you’re a black women looking to travel solo, you’ll want a bit more information and first hand experience that’s tailored to black women. That way, you can have a better idea of how safe an area is.
Even in the statistics on websites and blogs, there isn’t a whole lot of information on how specific race groups of women rate and view safety in London. Unless you do some searching, the most common reviews, information, and safety tips are geared towards the general population of solo female travelers.
Let’s face it, what might feel or be safe for one race may not be the case for another race. In other words, the perspectives, thoughts, and feelings on safety in an city may vary depending on the race of a woman. Unfortunately, racism is still present and even for a mostly tolerant city like London, that doesn’t mean it’s exempt from showcasing certain discrimination, bias, or racism towards certain races or ethnicities of women.
Websites on Solo Black Female Travel Safety
The whole idea of “Black Travel” or “Black Female Travel” is not new. You can find articles, websites, and blog posts from authors, bloggers, and content creators on traveling solo as a black female. Not only can you find information on the safety of a place but also the personal experiences of other solo black females who’ve visited these locations. You just have to do some thorough research to get to those aforementioned resources.
Trip Savvy is one such place where you can go and read about some of the experiences black women face while traveling solo. Though London isn’t specifically mentioned in this post, it’s still good to have. There’s also the Passion Passport website, where this specific post by Candace Salters details some tips on traveling to other countries as a solo black female. However, in her post, she does mention how if you’re a first time solo traveler who is a black female, London should be on the list of places to travel to because it’s deemed as relatively safe for black females.
Need some help with packing for your solo trip to London? Check out this travel packing list!
Traveling in London as a Solo Black Female Traveler
The first time I was in London, it was for my study abroad program. I was there for 4 months, going to classes and living my best life. Besides going to and from classes or the store, I was never truly solo or alone.
However, when I solo traveled to London in March of 2022, I was truly alone on my adventure. Though I met some lovely people during my 8 day stay, I was exploring and wandering around solo for the majority of the time.
So, I’ll only speak to my personal experience traveling in London from last year.
Related Post: 8 Day London Itinerary as a Solo Female Traveler
My personal thoughts
Since I had already been to London before, I had pretty optimistic thoughts and high hopes for my solo trip back when I was planning for it. I figured, I’d already lived in this city before. The streets, tube system, the layout was familiar to me. So, I thought I’d be safe!
Was my previous experience and personal bias shining through? Absolutely! I won’t deny it, because it definitely played a big role in my thought process and perspective on safety in London.
Yet, this time around, I’d be traveling solo. Like, COMPLETELY solo, with the exception of meeting a few people here and there. Plus, last time I was in London, I was with a friend group which was diverse racially and ethnically. This time around, I was traveling as a solo black female traveler. Would my experience still be the same as last time? Would I still be and feel safe?
Only time would tell as my trip would eventually come to pass.
Did I feel safe?
The 10 million dollar question…did I feel safe while traveling London as a solo black female traveler? Overall, I can honestly say, yes! I felt super safe while exploring London.
London is one of the best cities to travel to if you’re a solo female traveler. I’d even say solo black female travelers may feel safe here. I know I certainly did. Whether I was in a crowd of people or on the streets by myself, day or night, I always felt safe.
Between the diversity, plethora of activities, events, things to see and do, I was never truly alone. And, I was rarely the only person of color in the area. I ALWAYS saw people of varying races, ethnicities, and countries of origin. Even when I went into shops, restaurants, events or spaces, I never had this uneasy, uncomfortable, or unsafe feeling.
Of course, as a tourist, you always have to be on the look out for scammers and pick pocketers. Or, people trying to lure you into something, since they’ll see that you’re a woman by yourself. As long as you do your best to remain alert, aware, and vigilant of people and your surroundings, you should be fine!
Would I solo travel London as a black female traveler?
Would I solo travel to London again as a black female traveler? Yes, I definitely would!
I love the atmosphere, vibe, and diversity of London. I can usually adjust myself to almost any neighborhood I walk into or explore. Of course, I wouldn’t intentionally put myself in a neighborhood or environment that’t unsafe.
However, I do believe that with some common sense, safety tips, and awareness, I would be fine and safe to travel London again as a solo black woman!
Now, the true question…when am I going back to London?
Safety Tips for Solo Black Female Travelers
Is this the case for other solo black female travelers? Certainly not. My personal feelings and experience in no way, shape, or form reflect with 100% certainty the same exact feelings and experience another black women will have. No two experiences are the same, racism is still alive and some women may have the unfortunate circumstance of experiencing this in London.
However, these tips can help you be more aware, alert, and vigilant of your surroundings. Especially for solo black women!
- Always be aware of your surroundings
- Trust your guts
- Don’t walk alone at night (if you can help it)
- Have a rough idea of your itinerary
- Let people back home know your whereabouts
- Don’t post in real time
- Research the area before hand
- Research your activities, accommodation, etc. beforehand
- Learn some of the local slang/dialect/language
- Don’t advertise you’re alone
- Talk to your accommodation staff for recommendations (places to eat, activities, places that are safe for black people)
- Do day trips/walking tours where you’re with other people
- Try to blend in with the locals
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Don’t accept alcohol from strangers
- Keep your personal belongings/expensive items out of sight
- Use licensed black taxis and minicabs
- Have fun!
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