10 Safest Cities in The UK

Updated On October 10, 2023
United Kingdom

Do you know how many countries there are in the United Kingdom?

Four! Now, can you guess what the names of those four countries are?

If you started to say Great Britain, you would be wrong.

The countries are actually Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England.

Formerly, the countries are known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Funny about Southern Ireland, though, not being a part of it all!

If you are about to embark on an adventure to the UK in any shape or form, here is a great list to help you stay safe–the 10 safest cities in the United Kingdom. 

10 Safest Cities in the UK

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

1. Edinburgh, Scotland

The safest city in the United Kingdom is certainly not London and it is not even Bath, but that is close.

It is Edinburgh, Scotland where only 16 percent of residents report experiencing crime and 90 percent feel perfectly content.

As the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is the seventh-most populated city in the entire UK.

This includes the mythical sea beast known as Loch Ness here in the city called Dun Eideann in Gaelic.

If you want to visit the Scottish Lowlands, use Edinburgh as a safe jumping-off point.

Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
Aberystwyth, Wales, UK

2. Aberystwyth, Wales

The hardest city name to pronounce for an outsider is Aberystwyth, better known as Aber, in the community of Ceredigion, Wales.

This is a university town, which is typically not the safest or quietest.

However, with Aberystwyth, there must be an exception to the rule because it is known as both one of the friendliest cities in the UK, as well as one of the towns with the lowest crime rates.

By the way, for some UK pub trivia, the meaning of the name Aberystwyth is the mouth of Ystwyth, whatever that means!

Bath, England, UK
Bath, England, UK

3. Bath, England

Bath is a city located in Somerset, England, and there is a lot of UK history to be explored.

This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Roman baths that can be visited today.

As a result, the town receives a fluctuating population of 100,000 people in swells based on the season.

The crime is surprisingly lower here than in all of Somerset County, located in the southwestern part of the country. 

Belfast, UK
Belfast, UK

4. Belfast, Ireland

The Northern Ireland capital city of Belfast is surprisingly one of the safest and is the second safest city in the UK.

The crime rate in Belfast is 48.89 with 12,729 incidents in 2021.

If you want the safest neighborhoods in Belfast, stay in the southwest area.

However, from 2010 to 2015, the country of Ireland had a decrease in crime of a staggering 45 percent.

Traveling to Northern Ireland and Belfast means you have little possibility of being involved in a dangerous crime, which is great news.

Poole, England, UK
Poole, England, UK

5. Poole, England

Poole in Southwest England is a port town and seaport in Dorset County.

Here you have a large tourist population and a resort area that offers quaint beaches and a town history in Old Town.

There are about 151,500 residents as of 2016, yet there is minimal crime and street traffic.

Even so, Poole has a crime rate that is 5 percent lower than the surrounding county.

North Yorkshire, England
North Yorkshire, England

6. North Yorkshire, England

In 2020, crime in North Yorkshire dropped even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the city of North Yorkshire was determined to be the safest in all of England and Wales.

This is noted by a crime rate of 49.9 crimes per 1,000 people, which is the lowest in those two countries of the UK.  

The Shetland Islands, Scotland
The Shetland Islands, Scotland

7. The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Here is an interesting place that is in the northernmost part of the UK–the Shetland Islands.

Located in Scotland, 130 miles from the mainland, it is hard to get to these islands.

That obviously adds to the allure of those who want to live in peace and away from criminal activity.

The isolation and island factor work, making the Shetlands one of the safest places to be in the United Kingdom.

In February 2022, for example, there were zero crimes reported in all of the Shetland Islands.

You cannot beat zero crime for a better crime rate!

Richmond upon Thames in London, England
Richmond upon Thames in London, England

8. Richmond upon Thames in London, England

What is the most famous city in the entire United Kingdom in terms of safety?

London as a whole is not exactly what you would call “safe” since the city has a crime rating of nine percent higher than the UK on average.

However, there are plenty of visitors to London, and it helps to know where the safest neighborhoods are in this fair city.

The safest borough is Richmond upon Thames, which is located in southwest London.

The area, which was the Sceon or Sheen in the medieval ages, was where Queen Elizabeth I spent her final days in her palace.

Harrow and Bexley are also top contenders for the safest boroughs in London.

Aberdeen, Scotland
Aberdeen, Scotland

9. Aberdeen, Scotland

Aberdeen, Scotland had the United Kingdom’s second-lowest crime rating for 2017, and these numbers continue to be low.

The crime rating is 34.52 with the Orkney Islands being another safe area in Scotland.

Another interesting figure is the crimes of dishonesty rating, and Aberdeen gets a score of 32.5, which is lower than the capital of Edinburgh with a rate of 38.4 crimes of dishonesty per 1,000 people. 

Galway, Ireland
Galway, Ireland

10. Galway, Ireland

As the hit song about the Galway girl suggests, there is plenty of pop and fun in Galway, Ireland.

But what about crime?

Well, you are also in luck because Galway ranks as the number one safest city in Ireland.

This is followed by Westport in County Mayo, Kinsale in County Cork, and Kenmare in County Kerry.

Overall, Ireland and its coastal villages and quintessential Irish towns are safe as long as you know how to avoid criminal activities.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to the UK

1. COVID-19 Safety

Before you fly to the United Kingdom to visit any of the countries there, check the COVID-19 status.

You do not want to get to the UK only to be quarantined during your entire trip as a result of the pandemic.

Currently, there are negative COVID-19 test results and vaccinations required for the general public when traveling to the United Kingdom as a result of COVID-19.

The US Embassy is the place to go for coronavirus information.

2. Go In Season

When visiting the UK, travel to these countries in the tourist season.

This is from May to September when Great Britain, England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland are all enjoying the summer.

This means you have better access to rooms at hotels and dining facilities.

In the off-season, lots of smaller villages will be shut down, especially in poor winter weather.

This means you will be left in an unsafe situation without resources.

Visit when there are plenty of other travelers for the best results in terms of personal safety.

3. Use the Local Money Exchange

Not sure what kind of money to take or get exchanged for here in the US for your UK trip?

Since Brexit, there is a general confusion about what to do when visiting the United Kingdom.

The pound sterling is the basic monetary unit for the UK and Great Britain.

If you are using Euros, you will need to get these exchanged as the UK does not participate in the European Union or uses the EU’s preferred form of currency.

The US dollar will not suffice, either, so make sure to get your money exchanged for a pound sterling when you arrive in the UK, or at your local bank in the US. 

4. Avoid Wearing Flashy Jewelry

Want to avoid being the target of a would-be robber in the UK?

Stop wearing shiny metal or precious gemstones as jewelry.

Whenever you are traveling, you already stand out like a sore thumb.

If you add expensive jewels that flash in the sunlight, it is like you become a bird targeted by prey known as pickpockets.

Avoid wearing things that are shiny and flashy, to protect yourself when traveling abroad.

5. Be Prepared for Anything

Leave your travel itinerary with a friend or colleague before you go.

Print off copies of your passport and driver’s license for them to have as a backup in case yours is stolen.

Register with the safe traveler’s program with the US Embassy in case something happens to you while in the UK.

Consider all possibilities of what might go wrong while abroad, and you stand a better chance of preventing the unfortunate from happening.

United Kingdom Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: United Kingdom Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the most dangerous boroughs in London, England? 

Westminster is the most dangerous borough in London.

The next most dangerous are Kensington, Chelsea, and Camden.

What is the most dangerous place to visit in the UK?

Greater Manchester has the second-highest crime rate in the UK after Greater London.

This is a higher crime rate than in Wales and England.

However, Birmingham is considered the most unsafe city among the locals.

Should I travel alone to the UK?

You can safely travel by yourself in the UK as long as you speak the predominant language of British English and have access to resources.

2 Comments on 10 Safest Cities in The UK

  1. The Loch Ness monster does not “live” in Edinburgh…

    Loch Ness is about 150 miles away…

  2. North Yorkshire is a county, the Shetland islands are, amazingly, islands, Richmond upon Thames is in London and Galway isn’t even in the UK. Nice research.

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