Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
cpl100

What section of London to choose for two women?

Recommended Posts

We will be in London for four or five days pre-cruise.  London is so big that we are at a loss of where to even start looking.  Are there areas that are better located for tourists?  Are some areas unsafe (or not safe for women)?  Can anyone offer suggestions please?  Prefer to stay under $300/night.

 

We will not be touring Tower of London so proximity to it isn't a concern.  Will go to Harrods, Buckingham Palace (if open in late October), and not sure what else.

 

Thanks for any and all help and ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

South Kensington is ideally located and extremely safe.  Mayfair and Covent Garden would be two additional very safe areas.

 

The Palace will not be open for tours while you are there.  

 

Harrods is an hour, maybe two.  It's outrageously expensive and not worth giving up more than that amount of precious time in an amazing city to window shop for the same stuff you'd pay less for at Neiman Marcus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Covent Garden is excellent.  While the area can be pricey, it is centrally located and safe.  Last year we had friends who stayed at the Strand Palace near Covent Garden.  Depending on the time of year, they may meet your price point.  If you can stay for a week, London Connections have excellent apartments in Covent Garden.  We prefer an apartment to an hotel in London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, WisRiver said:

The Covent Garden is excellent.  While the area can be pricey, it is centrally located and safe.  Last year we had friends who stayed at the Strand Palace near Covent Garden.  Depending on the time of year, they may meet your price point.  If you can stay for a week, London Connections have excellent apartments in Covent Garden.  We prefer an apartment to an hotel in London.

 

Ditto Covent Garden, Mayfair and Soho have you close to most theaters, restaurants and many 4-5 star hotels. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you've got your answer. I love the buzz round Covent Garden and easy access to theatreland. I'd prefer South Kensington over Mayfair for proximity to Harrods etc

Edited by tartanexile81

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, ducklite said:

South Kensington is ideally located and extremely safe.  Mayfair and Covent Garden would be two additional very safe areas.

 

The Palace will not be open for tours while you are there.  

 

Harrods is an hour, maybe two.  It's outrageously expensive and not worth giving up more than that amount of precious time in an amazing city to window shop for the same stuff you'd pay less for at Neiman Marcus.

We stayed near Kensington Palace.  We were actually within walking distance.  It was a very nice afternoon at the park by the palace.  We never felt unsafe and were within a lot of nice eating places and pubs.  We stayed at the Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington and found it to be a very central location for our needs.  It was comfortable and I would stay there again.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd skip Harrods and opt for another posh shop in Oxford Street, near Bond Street instead....I wandered into John Lewis and got fragrance and a purse which long after reminded me that I bought them at a nice place in London. I get the allure though, of the notoriety of Harrods but much like the crowds and hype that I see here at Macy's Herald Square or Saks Fifth Avenue (not always, but often) I just choose to go elsewhere and put up with crowds in other places when I need to.

 

Since the palace will be closed, think it's only open for tours in August when the Queen is at Balmoral for summer holidays, perhaps do consider visiting the Tower; it's an absolutely fascinating experience and will give you some requisite royal history and splendor by way of the crown jewels as this is where they live. A tour is fun, not too long and it's easy to get to the Tower by tube, especially if you are staying in Covent Garden. After the Tower you might want to head over to Westminster and see the Abbey, have a go on the London Eye, take a cruise on the Thames, no shortage of things to do, depending upon your interests. Museums big and small, High Tea, even a hop on/hop off bus is nice especially since you have just two days, it's a great way to get to see the highlights of London. As you said, it's a big city but you'll go by Trafalgar Square, St Paul's Cathedral, Piccadilly and Leicester, Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, Fleet Street and more with everything of interest described along the way on headsets. 

 

I love the Covent Garden area and South Kensington, definitely convenient and cozy areas. I've stayed in other neighborhoods on my own but I don't mind a bit of buzz in a neighborhood, makes me feel like I'm home. Gets too quiet and it almost feels weird  plus if I want something at 2am, I have a place to go 😉 never really do get in the right time zone unless I'm there more than two weeks, which isn't often! Mayfair is glorious and I went there for strolls but one doesn't go to live in Mayfair to be near a 24 hour shop.

 

Enjoy your two days, you'll be in a wonderful place to see many of the wonders of London 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Host Bonjour said:

I'd skip Harrods and opt for another posh shop in Oxford Street, near Bond Street instead....I wandered into John Lewis and got fragrance and a purse which long after reminded me that I bought them at a nice place in London. I get the allure though, of the notoriety of Harrods but much like the crowds and hype that I see here at Macy's Herald Square or Saks Fifth Avenue (not always, but often) I just choose to go elsewhere and put up with crowds in other places when I need to.

 

To me John Lewis isn't much different than Macy's or Belk back home.  It's a definite step down from Harrod's.  Did you know they are the official purveyor of Scout gear and uniforms in England?  That's why I shopped there the first time--my nephew was very involved in the Scouts in the US and wanted a UK Scout shirt.  🙂  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

London is very easy to get around by public transport.  You don't even need to buy a ticket just "tap in / tap out" with a credit or debit card.  You might want to look at vising some of the famous markets - Borough Market. Portebello, Camden, Greenwich... there are so many.  Goggle them and find ones that suit your taste - some do food, some flowers, antiques, vintage clothing, all sorts.  Far better (IMO) than an anonymous high street shop.

 

Nowhere in London is truly "unsafe" for two women.  Just be sensible as you would in any city.  Keep bags zipped and close to your body, stow under the table when eating in a restaurant,  if you want to get drunk be in a safe space... just the normal precautions you would take anywhere.  And I'm a total scaredy cat alone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skip Harrods and go to Harvey Nicks instead. https://www.harveynichols.com/store/knightsbridge/

 

If fashion is your thing, then a visit to the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum is essential. https://www.vam.ac.uk/

 

Don't sit in your hotel room in the evening - try a West End show: https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/whats-on Book in advance and buy the best seats you can afford (It's a lot cheaper than Broadway too)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, GastroGnome said:

London is very easy to get around by public transport.  You don't even need to buy a ticket just "tap in / tap out" with a credit or debit card.  You might want to look at vising some of the famous markets - Borough Market. Portebello, Camden, Greenwich... there are so many.  Goggle them and find ones that suit your taste - some do food, some flowers, antiques, vintage clothing, all sorts.  Far better (IMO) than an anonymous high street shop.

 

Nowhere in London is truly "unsafe" for two women.  Just be sensible as you would in any city.  Keep bags zipped and close to your body, stow under the table when eating in a restaurant,  if you want to get drunk be in a safe space... just the normal precautions you would take anywhere.  And I'm a total scaredy cat alone!


I must disagree that there is nowhere in London unsafe for two women.  Have you been in Camden Town at 1:00 am?  Take a walk through Bromley in the evening or Barking and Dagenham pretty much any time of the day and tell me it's perfectly safe for two tourists who probably aren't walking with purpose.   

There are plenty of extremely safe parts of London--I've walked from the Kings Road in Chelsea to a place on Queens Gate just south of Cromwell Road in So Kensington by myself at 10 pm without hesitation.  But to make a blanket statement that all of London is perfectly safe is foolish, because it's not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, ducklite said:


I must disagree that there is nowhere in London unsafe for two women.  Have you been in Camden Town at 1:00 am?  Take a walk through Bromley in the evening or Barking and Dagenham pretty much any time of the day and tell me it's perfectly safe for two tourists who probably aren't walking with purpose.   

There are plenty of extremely safe parts of London--I've walked from the Kings Road in Chelsea to a place on Queens Gate just south of Cromwell Road in So Kensington by myself at 10 pm without hesitation.  But to make a blanket statement that all of London is perfectly safe is foolish, because it's not.

 

Hardly tourist areas of course.......so unlikely posters on our boards would find themselves in such areas anyway. Central London is generally very safe - just use common sense. I still don't like the areas around Kings Cross and Waterloo but that's just because I can go back to the days when these areas were very dodgy - I appreciate great improvements have been made in latter years. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Morgans said:

 

Hardly tourist areas of course.......so unlikely posters on our boards would find themselves in such areas anyway. Central London is generally very safe - just use common sense. I still don't like the areas around Kings Cross and Waterloo but that's just because I can go back to the days when these areas were very dodgy - I appreciate great improvements have been made in latter years. 

 


As Camden is one of the hottest places for nightlife, I would think you are incorrect.  And that's how I ended up in Camden at 1:00 am the first time.  I went to visit a friend who plays in a band who was playing a club there.  

 

Those staying in one of the many fine hotels in the Cannery Wharf area could go out for a walk and very easily find themselves in Bromley.  I admit that Barking and Dagenham is probably not a place that the average tourist would find themselves.  

 

Edited by ducklite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry but I wasn't referring to Camden Town - but to the other places you mentioned.  I still don't think any tourist will walk from Canary Wharf to Bromley.....

Edited by Morgans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair point.  There are places you probably don't want to be alone at 1am.  I think that is true of most cities. I don't personally like the night tube or buses, I'd rather use a taxi. I also would not have been coming out of a bar in Camden at 1am so I would have to bow to your greater experience there.  I did almost put "Don't be out alone in the early hours of the morning" but thought that might be misinterpreted as 5 - 7am so skipped it -I'm often out and ab out then and London is beautifully quiet!  Perhaps I should have said "Don't be out alone without a very clear idea of where you are and how to get home much after 1am."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ducklite said:


As Camden is one of the hottest places for nightlife, I would think you are incorrect.  And that's how I ended up in Camden at 1:00 am the first time.  I went to visit a friend who plays in a band who was playing a club there.  

 

Those staying in one of the many fine hotels in the Cannery Wharf area could go out for a walk and very easily find themselves in Bromley.  I admit that Barking and Dagenham is probably not a place that the average tourist would find themselves.  

 

You are correct. Camden is one of the main areas in London for music venues and would be buzzing at 01.00, particularly at the weekend. Obviously, there are a few less desirable places in London, but they are not places that tourists are even likely to wander into by mistake.

 

some years ago Kings Cross wasn’t the nicest of areas, but all that has changed and these days is very fashionable.

 

for anybody looking for a hotel the general rule of thumb is anywhere within the Circle Line on The Tube. Bloomsbury is a popular area for hotels or for a budget hotel Premier Inn are good and have quite a few hotels in London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, ducklite said:

 

Those staying in one of the many fine hotels in the Cannery Wharf area could go out for a walk and very easily find themselves in Bromley.  
 

 

I suspect you must mean Bromley by Bow, but even then I struggle to believe anyone would walk there from Canary Wharf by accident. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

 

I suspect you must mean Bromley by Bow, but even then I struggle to believe anyone would walk there from Canary Wharf by accident. 


Yes, I meant Bromley By Bow as opposed to the borough.  My husband and I sometimes set out walking with no rhyme or reason wherever we're visiting.  Of course if the neighborhood begins to look like one we should avoid, we turn and go in a different direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a very good deal (with a coupon code I have) for a hotel in Cannary Wharf.  What are opinions about that area as far as safety and convenience.  Says 5 minute walk to one line and 10 minute walk to another line of public transit.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, cpl100 said:

I found a very good deal (with a coupon code I have) for a hotel in Cannary Wharf.  What are opinions about that area as far as safety and convenience.  Says 5 minute walk to one line and 10 minute walk to another line of public transit.  Thanks.

This location is a long way from most tourist sites, and if it's the weekend largely deserted as its a business area. The journey to Westminster area is about 25/30 mins. Its good for Greenwich and not too far to the Tower of London and Tower bridge. Would not be my choice!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

11 minutes ago, GrJ Berkshire said:

This location is a long way from most tourist sites, and if it's the weekend largely deserted as its a business area. 

 

Not at all - quite busy (but not rammed with people) and some excellent shops and restaurants. There are some lovely walks by the river. Yes you are certainly out of town but there is easy access into town where you will be able to fight through the crowds when sight seeing! Handy for river boats, buses and DLR .

Which hotel have you seen?  

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Morgans said:

 

 

Not at all - quite busy (but not rammed with people) and some excellent shops and restaurants. There are some lovely walks by the river. Yes you are certainly out of town but there is easy access into town where you will be able to fight through the crowds when sight seeing! Handy for river boats, buses and DLR .

Which hotel have you seen?  

 

 

 

Sorry to disagree, we stayed at the Hilton Doubletree Canary wharf and found the area soulless at the weekend, stayed Thur-Sun last autumn. Not the real London, could have been downtown in any large US City. The journey to and fro was tiring  and tiresome esp coming back from West end theatre on sat evening . It's not the area I would recommend to a first time tourist to London. Be closer to the action of what's on most peoples must do's. Same as I would not stay for 5 days out at a LHR airport hotel and travel in and out, might get a good deal but not where you want to be to enjoy London

I had no choice as booked in for work, and extended to make a London break, hotel was good, it's the location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, GrJ Berkshire said:

we stayed at the Hilton Doubletree Canary wharf

 

There is no Doubletree in Canary Wharf? 

 

I understand the point you are making, but your Heathrow comparison is a little disingenuous - it’s 15 minutes on the tube from Green Park to Canary Wharf, getting to the airport takes a lot longer or is more expensive.  

 

Edited by Cotswold Eagle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...