Where to Find The Safest Areas in London
Our London experts have picked four of the safest areas in London, each with plenty of character and charm.
It may not be as squeaky-clean as cities like Singapore and Tokyo, both of which enjoy low crime rates, but London isn't bad on the safety scale. Yes, it's still a vibrant, heaving city, with everything that comes with it – including some gritty parts. So where is the safest area to stay in London? Well, our London-based experts have come up with four top contenders for a safe stay – each with its own distinct personality, from leafy Richmond with its village-like feel to well-heeled Kensington & Chelsea, high-class Hampstead and very centrally located foodie Fitzrovia.
And when you’ve chosen your ideal neighbourhood, it’s time to pick a Plum Guide home from our London collection. Our dedicated – and frankly downright picky – homes critics select the top 3% of homes based on 150 different criteria, from design accents to the WiFi speed, so you know you're in for a good night’s sleep in the perfect place for you.
Compared with other London boroughs, Richmond-upon-Thames has some of the lowest Met Police crime figures (with 25,401 crimes committed in the past two years). Maybe it's the proximity to green space that keeps this pocket of southwest London so relaxed – a day out deer-spotting in Richmond Park, one of London’s eight Royal Parks, is enough to calm even the busiest of city-dwellers’ minds. Or perhaps it comes with being voted the happiest place to live in London for five years running in the Rightmove Happy at Home Index, thanks to its sports facilities, green space and strong community feel. With riverside walks, leafy views from the Roebuck pub at the top of Richmond Hill – both of which are especially good at sunset – Richmond feels a little separate from the city bustle. But then again, it's less than 20 minutes by train to Waterloo (if you make sure you're on the fast one), so you’re well located for trips into central London if you want, without committing to a full-on ‘city break’.
Kensington & Chelsea
Unsurprisingly, the upper-crust borough of Kensington and Chelsea also ranked highly in Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index (well-to-do west London does have a reputation for being safe, secure and generally lovely and cosy, after all). In Kensington, you’ll find the royal residence of Kensington Palace (no wonder it’s so safe, with Liz’s security outfit operating here), Leighton House Museum (for a jealousy-inducing tile collection) and the angular architectural marvel that is the London Design Museum. You’re also in close proximity to the resident peacocks in Holland Park's Kyoto Garden. Chelsea is all about the upscale boutiques of the King’s Road – plus its contemporary-focused Saatchi Gallery. There are many upscale Chelsea restaurants to work your way around too, including The Ivy Chelsea Garden, with its foliage-filled outdoor courtyard, and the two-Michelin-starred Claude Bosi at Bibendum (which also, in an intriguingly meta twist of fate thanks to the building’s history as the former Michelin London HQ, has a very fetching stained-glass window of the Michelin man). Design stores in the area – from which to steal ideas for your next interiors foray – include The Conran Shop. Not only is this one of the safest areas in London, it's also one of the best areas to stay in London for visitors. Fancy basing yourself here? We've got remarkable homes like Chelsea Glam ready and waiting for you.
If you're searching for a safe area that’s still in the heart of the action – Fitzrovia, with its typically London Georgian townhouses, fits perfectly. It’s got more character than ultra-polished Mayfair, and is set just away from the touristy stretches of town that tend to attract pickpockets (Covent Garden and Piccadilly, we're looking at you). Fitzrovia is also a food lover’s dream: take a walk down culinary hub Charlotte Street if you want to wing it, or hone in on Circolo Popolare, famous for its gloriously camp approach to Italian fare, Pied à Terre for a French Michelin-starred classic, Rovi for cooking over charcoal Yotam Ottolenghi-style, and Sicilian-flavoured Norma. For those who are in London to do other things than eat (well, if we must), then you’re within easy walking distance of Regent’s Park, the British Museum and the Wellcome Collection, which will certainly be useful when working up an appetite for the next Fitzrovia foodie gem on your list.
When considering the safest areas to stay in London, Hampstead is a great option with wonderful Plum homes like Funtherapy to choose from. This enclave of northwest London provides quaint English charm in about as bucolic a setting as you can get in the city. The expansive 800-acre Hampstead Heath – with its swimming ponds, woodland, blackberry bushes and swathes of open grassland with spectacular views across the city – is easy to get lost in. While its historic pubs offer extra texture to this green-hued neighbourhood. Take the 16th-century Spaniards Inn, for example: Keats and Dickens wrote in and about it, respectively, and infamous highwayman Dick Turpin was allegedly born there when his father was the landlord. Don’t worry, though – it's been a while since Hampstead was troubled by highwaymen. These days you’re more likely to be stopped in the street by someone who’s lost their dog (which might just be called Aeschylus, Mulberry or Ottolenghi). Oh, and don’t miss Kenwood House, Keats House, the Freud Museum and Hampstead Theatre.