The 10 Safest Boroughs in London: Low-Crime Areas to Visit & Stay in 2023
It’s a question I get asked all the time: where is the safest place to stay in London? The answer is a bit tricky, actually. As with most big cities, London does have crime – and most of that crime is in the same areas that tourists like to visit. Visitors also want to stay near the tours and attractions they want to see in London, so this means most travelers end up staying in the most dangerous areas. Is there no good option?
In fact, there are safer areas in London, and many of them have good options for accommodation. Using data from Crime Rate, a U.K. site with public safety data, I’ve put together a list of the safest boroughs in London. A borough is basically a county or district; they vary in size and population, and there are 33 London boroughs in total.
As you’ll see, you can certainly stay in safer areas of London, though you’ll exchange that safety for distance from the main sights and experiences of Central London. I’ve also looked at the boroughs nearer to the city center, and have suggested a few you might want to stay in, at the end of this post.
Hopefully, you find this data helpful rather than scary. Safety is an important consideration whenever you travel, but I’ve always felt like London is one of the safest cities I visit. If you have any questions about this data or an area you’re looking at, feel free to ask me in the comments at the end of this post and I’ll try to help you choose a good option for your own sense of security and budget.
The Safest Boroughs in London (Ranked)
Before jumping into the details about each of the safest boroughs in London this year, I thought it might help to show them all in one place; in future years, you’ll be able to see how these rankings change (if they change) as places become safer (or not).
All of these boroughs are well below the average crime rate for London (95 crimes per 1000 people); they are also all located outside Central London. If you live in a city at home, you’re probably not surprised by this – crimes tend to occur in the more densely populated and touristic parts of any city.
|1||Richmond Upon Thames||West||60|
|5||Kingston Upon Thames||Southwest||66|
Now let me go through each of these boroughs in turn so you can learn more about them – and perhaps decide on an area you want to stay or visit during your London trip.
Richmond Upon Thames
Crime rate in 2022: 60 per 1000 people
Starting this list off is the safest borough in London – Richmond Upon Thames. Not only is it the safest area in London, but it’s also ranked as the safest borough in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Along with being safe, it’s also one of the most beautiful places to live, sitting along the Thames River at the city’s southwest end. Seeing that Richmond Upon Thames is one of the safest boroughs in London, it’s no surprise that there are many exciting things to do in this area.
You’ll find an abundance of cafes, parks, shops, restaurants, and pubs. So it’s little wonder that Londoners and visitors alike flock to this area over weekends and public holidays.
Note: The crime rate per 1000 people scores mentioned throughout this post was taken from CrimeRate.co.uk.
Crime rate in 2022: 60 per 1000 people
Best known for its affordable living and prestigious schools, Harrow is another one of the low-crime areas in London. It’s actually the second safest borough in London after Richmond Upon Thames.
Hidden away in the northwest of London, Harrow is a lovely escape from the buzz of activity that you’ll find in downtown London. It’s also a culturally diverse area with many cozy cafes to hang out in.
While it does sit 13.7 miles away from Central London, it’s got excellent transport links, including the London Underground, that will get you into the city quickly and easily.
Top Tip: You’ll also find one of the most iconic London ghost stations in South Harrow.
Crime rate in 2022: 64 per 1000 people
Lying on the outskirts of southeast London, Bexley is ranked third on the safe areas in London list. It has one of the lowest burglary and violent crime rates in the UK, which is a real bonus.
Bexley is most famous for its low cost of living and immense sense of community among residents. Apart from being one of the safest boroughs in London, one of its biggest ups is its country-city living lifestyle.
This London borough has loads of public green spaces, cycling routes, and a lake. Along with this, there are several pubs and cafes in the area. Snapping a photo at the Bexleyheath Clock Tower is another must in this lively but quiet borough.
Crime rate in 2022: 65 per 1000 people
This lovely area lies 12.7 miles out of Central London and is renowned for its strong sense of community.
Sutton has numerous green spaces, schools, and a town center buzzing with community activities, including farmers’ markets. It’s also got easy access to central London with great transport links such as the Underground metro and London bus system.
When surveyed, Sutton’s residents often remark how they feel a sense of safety, satisfaction, and happiness, which is quite reassuring.
Kingston Upon Thames
Crime rate in 2022: 66 per 1000 people
Just a few miles away from Richmond Upon Thames, Kingston Upon Thames is another one of the low-crime areas in London. It’s consistently ranked in the top five of London’s safest boroughs over the years, so walking Kingston’s streets is actually a calming experience.
This London Borough’s proximity to the River Thames means it’s a popular area to hang out. While it’s bustling with riverside cafes, restaurants, and even a theater, it’s also a reasonable 11.6 miles from central London’s top sights.
Crime rate in 2022: 67 per 1000 people
Sitting in southwest London, Merton is an affluent borough comprising of five areas – Wimbledon, Mitchum, Colliers Wood, Morden, and Raynes Park.
It borders the boroughs of Sutton, Kingston Upon Thames, and Wandsworth, which to no surprise are also some of the safest areas in London. Merton is best known as the home of the iconic tennis tournament, Wimbledon, but is also very suburban and quiet.
Crime rate in 2022: 68 per 1000 people
You’ll find the lovely borough of Bromley in the southeast of London. Apart from being one of the top 10 safest boroughs, it’s the safest in southeast London. It’s a dream area for commuters, as it has a direct train link that takes only 18 minutes to get from Bromley to London Victoria Station in the capital’s center.
Despite its proximity to the capital, it feels far removed from the chaos of the big city. It has a lovely town center, stunning Victorian streets, and other attractions, including Crystal Palace Park.
Crime rate in 2022: 70 per 1000 people
Lying 10.3 miles away from central London, Barnet is another area known for its footballing pride and safe spaces.
Barnet is a relatively quiet borough that mainly attracts families and young professionals. Despite this, there are still plenty of things to see and do as Barnet boasts quaint village shops with loads of parks and green spaces to hang out in.
It’s also got reliable transport links, making it easy to get to Central London and other boroughs.
Crime rate in 2022: 72 per 1000 people
Wandsworth is a lovely area that proudly boasts one of London’s lowest overall crime rates, but there’s more than just that to cheer about. This borough boasts a laidback vibe with numerous eclectic boutiques, like the striking Athology boutique and other shops.
Apart from its big sense of safety and security, this peaceful borough is home to the gorgeous Wandsworth Park, which overlooks the River Thames. Inside the park, you’ll find lovely walking paths lined with trees, a popular mini-golf course, and rolling green lawns.
Top Tip: Wandsworth Park is among the best places to walk dogs in London, so if you’re a puppy lover, you’re in for a real treat.
Crime rate in 2022: 74 per 1000 people
Sitting on the fringes of the Greater London area, Havering is a lovely area made up of five smaller community areas and plenty of protected wildlife spaces. From a broader perspective, it sits among the top 20 safest areas in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Located along London’s Metropolitan Green Belt, it has no shortage of excellent green spaces and countryside living. Along with a high measure of safety, it’s also one of the most affordable places to live and has many good schools, making it a very desirable area for residents.
Bonus: The Safest Borough in Central London
If you’re looking for a safe borough in Central London, you’ve noticed that none of the 10 safest boroughs in London are in that part of the city. That said, I wanted to provide at least one suggestion nearer to Central London, so you could potentially choose to stay there and not have to take the Tube for 30-45 minutes each way. There are 9 boroughs in or adjacent to Central London – City of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, and Islington – plus the City of London to consider.
Looking at the data, the safest borough in Central London is Tower Hamlets. I was actually quite pleased to see this; that’s the borough where I lived in London! Tower Hamlets is a residential borough that straddles Central and East London, it neighbors the City of London and has good access via the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) into Central London. You can find really nice vacation rentals and Airbnbs in Tower Hamlets if you decide to stay in this area. (Tower Hamlets’ crime rate is 100 per 1000 residents; this is lower than any other Central London borough.)
One ring out, Lewisham is the next safest borough near Central London. This is the borough east of Tower Hamlets, so it’s not a surprise it’s also safe. Lewisham is actually safer than Tower Hamlets (with just 90 crimes per 1000 people), but it is further out so takes longer to travel to/from Central London if you choose to stay here. There are also fewer options for where to stay in Lewisham.
Hopefully, all this data helps you better understand both the safest boroughs in London, and where you can stay in Central London that is safe. Have any questions about these safe London boroughs or where to stay in London? Check out my complete guide for Where to Stay in London, or ask me in the comments below!
I just booked a room in The Wellington Hotel near Waterloo Station. it looked fine and the reviews on booking.com were great, too. Is that a good area to stay (only for a night, though)?
Hi, yes, that’s a fine area! I hope you have a great London trip!