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In a few days, I will be traveling alone from London Heathrow to King's Cross station at about 1am via night bus. I have read a lot of conflicting information on the safety of night buses, and I have begun to alarm myself.

Is lugging a rather large suit case across most of London at 1 in the morning going to be a safety concern (i.e. is it worth shelling out a rather large sum of money for a taxi?), or should I be fine?

Is there anything I should know or avoid doing?

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    It may make a difference where in London you're taking the bus to, and what day of the week it'll be - mid week differs from weekends in terms of the number of drunk people on the bus! – Gagravarr Jun 26 '14 at 9:55
  • @Gagravarr That's a good point! It will be a Friday night (as in Friday passing into Saturday -- so technically Saturday morning). – Corbin Jun 26 '14 at 10:08
  • are you worried about the night bus from Heathrow to Kings Cross, or the transfer from Kings Cross to wherever you are going? You could take a taxi from Kings Cross. Also 1am on Friday night is not particularly late and there will still be plenty of ordinary people about – EdmundYeung99 Jun 26 '14 at 12:26
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    The Heathrow bus should be pretty safe. When drunken idiots decide to go somewhere, it's not generally the airport. – DJClayworth Jun 26 '14 at 13:52
  • Although when they do, they tend to be VERY drunk and idiotic – Jon Story Dec 2 '14 at 12:37
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When I lived in London, the joke was that no night bus was ever boring. There might be partiers, revellers, half-comatose drunkards, couples, drunkards being ill, fights, arguments, tears - but never boredom.

Saying that, I never once felt unsafe. I too travelled to various airports including Heathrow on night buses, with a big backpack.

You could also take a taxi for around 80-90 quid (from memory) if you really felt unsafe, but do remember - there are (at least there used to be when I was there) seven cameras on every double decker bus. You're under constant surveillance, and personally I felt that helped.

If in doubt, sit up close to the front near the driver, just to have someone you can trust nearby. It's also close to a door - not that you'll need to get out fast, but it's nice not to feel trapped which you might if you were down the back or upstairs.

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    That's very encouraging. Seems the info I found was either outdated or just wrong. I do have one question though: is walking through or waiting at a bus stop in central-ish London (Aldwych) with a suitcase and backpack going to scream "hey rob me!"? I'm 99.9% sure I'm just being paranoid at this point, but I've had some rather unpleasant experiences in a few other large cities late at night :/. – Corbin Jun 27 '14 at 1:57
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    You're unlikely to have a problem, but just stay in well lit areas, and if there's a long wait for the bus (check times on tfl.gov.uk) maybe hop into a McDonalds or something to wait. Or browse a nearby shop. Common sense though - often it's just a feeling you get in certain areas. It wouldn't stop me going though, and while it might happen, it'd be very unlikely. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Jun 27 '14 at 2:09
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    You certainly like making life hard for yourself. Why not check into an airport hotel and make the journey the next morning. I'm also puzzled that you say you're going to Kings X, then you'll be waiting at a bus stop in Aldwych. How will you get from Kings X to Aldwych? Another night bus? To get onto yet another one? – TheMathemagician Jul 10 '14 at 14:36
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    +1 London night buses are notoriously weird (or entertaining, depending on your perspective), but not dangerous. They're fitted with CCTV and the drivers are trained to respond to emergencies. The biggest worry would be a crazy drunk telling you their life story while accidentally dropping fried chicken on you. Also, it's not uncommon to see people with bags in Central London at all hours. Quiet side streets are more dangerous than main road bus stops - it'd be a foolish thief who tried to run off with a heavy suitcase when surrounded by witnesses and half-drunk wannabe heroes. – user56reinstatemonica8 Dec 31 '14 at 13:59

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