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Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

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Saint Louis...
posts: 54
reviews: 2
Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

I will be traveling to London Iin the fall, and I was planning on visiting Wapping/Whitechapel to see the Wapping Old Stairs, Olivers Warf, Etc. I have been itching to see these places in person since reading a couple of historical fiction books by Jennifer Donnelly. The Old Stairs were a big part of the book, and I really want to see them in person, but I also want to be safe in doing so. I have read that East London has a history of not being the safest place in the world.

north-east NJ
posts: 2,577
reviews: 1
1. Re: Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

You should be perfectly safe. In fact, Wapping has become quite Yuppie-ish. And although there might be certain areas of both neighbourhoods that tend to be deserted at night, I've never had a problem.

Just be sensible, as you should in any large city. You'll be fine.

Cambridge, United...
posts: 2,961
reviews: 16
2. Re: Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

I don't know that area of London particularly well, but at least during the day, I can't imagine you'd have a problem at all. East London does have a bit of a dodgy reputation in places and it's not all exactly 'salubrious' - there are parts I wouldn't particularly want to hang around on my own at night, for instance. But honestly, during the day, I can't see it being a problem.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,530
reviews: 15
3. Re: Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

The short answer to your question is yes, it's safe.

Wapping has undergone a significant transformation since the majority of the Port works moved to Tilbury, and instead of the area being part of the working docks, it's now gone glam - lots of 'modern luxury apartments' as well as a few streets of the old East End left. I've got a flat booked for June; it's located about halfway between Shadwell DLR and Wapping station, and feel quite comfortable about being in the area during the day and at night.

Whitechapel and Stepney are worth a visit, but it's best to hurry, as some of the wonderful old buildings are being pulled down or (again) being turned into flats. The wonderful old Whitechapel library has closed, and the books are going to move into an Idea Store (yikes), but the building is still there, and still worth a look. The Whitechapel Art Gallery is also quite swell; if you have time, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry has been making bells for over 400 years, from the same location (www.whitechapelbellfoundry.co.uk) and offers tours.

The number 15 bus towards Poplar and the number D3 from Bethnal Green (towards the Isle of Dogs) will give you a good look at a lot of the East End. Get a North East London Bus Map and an A to Z, so you can have a really good look around.

north-east NJ
posts: 2,577
reviews: 1
4. Re: Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

Both Big Ben & the Liberty Bell were cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, just to give you an idea of its importance & history.

Norwich, UK
posts: 1
reviews: 3
5. Re: Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

Wapping is perfectly safe, and as other posters have said for the most part an enclave for the very rich that work in the nearby City and docklands.

While in the area visit Tobacco Dock (just a few minutes up the road), walk down Wapping High Street with it's great views of Tower Bridge near the bottom and if looking for a bite to eat get some lunch at the Prospect of Whitby- famous Thames river pub with great views, very good food and very reasonable prices.

Saint Louis...
posts: 54
reviews: 2
6. Re: Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

Thanks for all the inside info folks! I will definitly use it on my trip! I can't wait!

Tucson
posts: 47
reviews: 20
7. Re: Wapping/Whitechapel, London - Is it Safe to Visit?

I regularly go to Whitechapel for meetings of a local community group, both by day and night. I love getting into the Tube in businesslike Central London and emerging in the middle of the Asian street market outside Whitechapel station. It's a lively, diverse area now, as it has been for centuries. I hope you enjoy your trip.