The rioting and looting in London that began over the weekend have continued this week, and understandably some travelers are nervous about visiting the city. For the most part the incidents have been confined to neighborhoods outside the main tourist areas in central London. Yet, some public transportation routes have been affected, and a Michelin-starred restaurant in the ritzy Notting Hill neighborhood was attacked by thugs demanding diners’ valuables (the looters were rebuffed by restaurant staffers wielding rolling pins). There are also rumors that the stores around Oxford Circus may close down to avoid any potential incidents.
Many tourist attractions sought to assure potential visitors of normal operations through their Twitter feeds today:
@HarrodsofLondon: We would like to reassure you that the store is open for business as usual, and that the safety of our customers is always our priority.
@TheLondonEye: Good morning! Just to reassure you the London Eye is not on fire, any pictures you may have seen are fake. We're open as normal today
If you’re headed to London or know someone there now, here are a few resources for travelers:
- The Telegraph is live blogging the riots, with information on transportation, riot locations, and government responses.
- This map shows the locations of reported incidents.
- The BBC London Travel Twitter account (@BBCTravelAlert) has updates on transportation and other news.
- The Transport for London website has reports on service disruptions for Tube, bus, roads, and rail.
- The Visit London tourism website lists useful websites and phone numbers for further information.
Travelers should also be aware that rioting has flared up in other cities, including Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, and Bristol. Check local news sources for those cities for the latest information.