How safe is travel to England

How safe is travel to England

This is a discussion on How safe is travel to England within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My wife really wants to go to the United Kingdom, particulary London next summer. Would you guys feel safe flying to London and spending time ...

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Thread: How safe is travel to England

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    How safe is travel to England

    My wife really wants to go to the United Kingdom, particulary London next summer. Would you guys feel safe flying to London and spending time in the U.K. in light of worldwide terror events? I know that some of you guys are former English citizens and I'm really interested in your viewpoints.

    If you are going to respond that you would never go somewhere that you are not allowed to carry then please save your post for somewhere else. Trust me I have already considered that.
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    Doc - the travel per se is no real problem - just a PITA with time this end, time on plane and time getting out of other end!!!

    As for time spent there? Really minimal prob's as long as you stick to the ''usual'' places that tourists go - and don't go exploring Soho (Compton St etc) late at night!!! It will be no worse than any large city anywhere - just keep a good con yellow and lady luck will stay with you pretty tight.

    My biggest warning tho would be - when keeping alert be aware of pickpockets (locally known as ''Dabs'' ) - London grows some of the best in the world - Oxford St is where they operate a lot too. So good, you'd hardly know you'd been ''done''!!

    So - keep valuables close to body and touchable so as to know if you get fingered! Re terrorist stuff - well, always a risk anywhere in the West - anytime. Again - good alertness and a small prayer!!!

    Otherwise - no major problem with going - lots to see and plenty to enjoy - but of course, they drive on the wrong side of the road!
    Chris - P95
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    Doc - the travel per se is no real problem - just a PITA with time this end, time on plane and time getting out of other end!!!

    As for time spent there? Really minimal prob's as long as you stick to the ''usual'' places that tourists go - and don't go exploring Soho (Compton St etc) late at night!!! It will be no worse than any large city anywhere - just keep a good con yellow and lady luck will stay with you pretty tight.

    My biggest warning tho would be - when keeping alert be aware of pickpockets (locally known as ''Dabs'' ) - London grows some of the best in the world - Oxford St is where they operate a lot too. So good, you'd hardly know you'd been ''done''!!

    So - keep valuables close to body and touchable so as to know if you get fingered! Re terrorist stuff - well, always a risk anywhere in the West - anytime. Again - good alertness and a small prayer!!!

    Otherwise - no major problem with going - lots to see and plenty to enjoy - but of course, they drive on the wrong side of the road!

    But as far as the terror aspect, do you believe that it is as safe as the U.S.? I know that Al-Quaida has the potential to do great damage here (9-11), but is England as safe? Are American tourists potential targets?

    With all the hoopla about the liquid explosives, 2005 Transportation attack, and potential Al-Quaida sleeper cells.......I guess I am just parnoid but I want to feel like this is a smart thing to do. Will the English treat us rudely because we are American? I hear that many of the English really hate Bush right now and Blair for supporting him.

    I do want to see the United Kingdom...my family is a mix of English, Scottish, and Irish descent. (Wow, three groups of folks that haven't always got along so great!!!!!) Plus I really would like to make it across the channel to see the beaches of Normandy and remember what those brave men did for freedom. Although I have no desire to see the rest of France!
    Last edited by Doc Holliday; October 1st, 2006 at 09:41 PM.
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    Doc - I can only ''best guess'' these things. It is three years since I went back, when my Mom died.

    Terrorist threat? Well, frankly I'd say we were we numero uno compared with UK but - that is not to say UK is at all immune. It's a risk for almost any Western cities these days - us and UK top of list!

    The ''American Factor'' - hmmm - not sure but I reckon there will always be anti US folks around, almost anywhere in Europe - but the chances of having real hassles are I think pretty slim. I would be OK of course, as I still "talk funny"

    These days - I think any of us has to take a chance to some degree, visting anywhere in the West - but again, I reckon if the ''usual'' tourist spots are main agenda then I really doubt risk is too great - let's say low grade calculated risk. After all - if we cease all these things then we are giving in to the darned terrorists anyways!

    Oh BTW - sorry - not ''Dabs'' for pickpockets - meant to say ''Dips'' !
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    P95 pretty much nailed it.

    The UK is pretty safe. You need to separate out the media sensationalizing things.

    As for terrorism, the UK has mucho experience in fighting this, more than the USA for example. Hence, most of the stories you hear about are failed attempts.

    No, thats not to say it is 100 percent safe. You are less likely to be murdered there than in the USA, but pretty much every other crime you have a higher risk. Nothing like going to Mexico for example, but higher than many cities here.

    As P95 said, stick to the well know spots (like any city here) and your biggest risk will be from pickpockets.

    None of my friends living over there 'live in fear of crime'. They are pretty disgusted with the way things are headed, but as for right now, you'll be fine.


    Oh, forgot to mention. The biggest crime over there are the prices. Expect to pay 50-60 percent more on many items.

    Gas is around 7 bucks a gallon, (their gallon is a little bigger though). The price of free healthcare I guess.

    Best bargain over there is quality clothing. If you want to shop, there is a chain called Marks and Spencers which (at least when I was there) sold pretty high quality clothing. Lasts for ages. It's not dirt cheap, but the quality you get for what you pay is pretty good.

    Everything else is pretty much daylight robbery. Make sure you convert your prices to dollars. The high value of the pound makes thinks look cheap, but when your credit card bill comes, you'll see that it wasn't.

    And remember, with the prices that you see, tax is nearly always included already. If you are bringing the stuff back here, some of the larger stores will assist you in getting back the sales tax (17.5 percent by the way!)

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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Just spent two weeks across the pond in London and environs. No difficulties, no threats (any more so than in any large city). Walked or took the tube everywhere -- including Soho (great fun!). I think the heyday of the IRA activity actually caused more disruption of city life than the current situation. We encountered no ill will toward Americans. Brits (just like Americans) may agree or disagree with the policies of our government or their own government, but they are a warm and friendly folk. If you approach them with the same warmth, you won't be disappointed.

    Fragman nailed the biggest issue: prices! Think of it this way. If you pay 3.95 for a hamburger here, you'll pay 3.95 for a hamburger there. The difference is dollars versus pounds. With the exchange rate approaching 2 dollars/pound, you see the problem. On the other hand, there's no need to have a car in lots of places (especially London) because the public transport is so efficient and cost-effective.

    One thing that surprised me was how smooth the travel through the airport went. Here's a tip: use Gatwick airport instead of Heathrow. Much, much quicker. I also noted that by flying American Airlines, we had much shorter lines to deal with than those flying British Airways, but that may not be the case at all times.

    London is a wonderful city to visit, so many things to see and do, from museums, to historical sites, to theater - do not miss a chance to see a play in Shakespeare's Globe - to one of our favorite sports: the pub crawl!

    And, of course, London is just a small (albeit important) part of the UK experience. I love spending time in Scotland, for the history, haggis and Scotch!

    By all means, do not hesitate to travel to the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe. Made the trip to Belgium last year and loved it, but that's another story!
    Cheers,
    Rod
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

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    rodc - glad to hear of successful mission!

    True enough, Gatwick is a better bet usually. You are right also re risks now vs back in IRA peak activity days. I worked in a radio station back in '74 for a while and had bomb threats to deal with - things were quite tense at times.

    For sure the most punishing thing right now is exchange rate - $1.88 as of yesterday so - because and $ are pretty much equal in spending value, you have to spend a lot of bucks to get the pounds.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Personaly i would not visit the UK , but then i also will not set foot in NYC or DC ... your likely safer in england than that .. but i do consider it about the same class of risk .
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