Emergency services in London


For general emergency, call

999 (free call from any phone including pay phones)
112 is the emergency number for mainland Europe and can also be used in the UK.

A non-emergency number is 101. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Direct-Gov offers a guide to emergency numbers.

Overnight pharmacies:

  • Bliss Chemist: 9am – 12pm every day 5-6 Marble Arch, London W1 tel: (0) 20 77 23 61 16
  • Marble Arch: Bus: N3, N6, N8, N12, N16, N18, N23, N89, N99 33, Sloane Square, London SW1 tel: (0) 20 77 30 10 23
  • Sloane Square: 149 Edgware Road, London W2 tel: (0) 20 77 23 23 36 Edgware Road
  • Boots: Open from 9am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and from 5pm to 10pm on Sunday 75 Queensway, London W2 tel: (0) 20 72 29 92 66 Bayswater or Queensway
  • I Warman Freed: Open from 8.30am to 12pm every day 45 Golders Green Road, London NW11 tel: (0) 20 84 55 43 51


London and the UK in general are safe places to visit and live. There are, as any big city, basic precautions to provide for your safety.

  • Avoid walking alone at night. Keep to well-lit main roads
  • Be alert of what's going on around you. Avoid wearing headphones or something that will distract you.
  • In the UK, cars drive on the left. Take note of the signs indicating "look right" or "look left" to spot any oncoming traffic
  • Hold onto your belongings.
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers and avoid leaving your drink unattended

The Metropolitan Police offer resources for tourists in a variety of languages.

Note that sporting events, particularly football, can inspire drunken violence. The subway can be extremely crowded and create uncomfortable situations. However, reasonable behavior should prevent any issues.

Natural Precautions

Tap water in England is safe to drink, if sometimes heavily chlorinated, and the overall quality of drinking water in the Thames region is excellent. Water in London, which has a water table of clay, is hard (and creates scale with utility appliances).

If venturing out into the country, take along:

  • Compass
  • Detailed maps
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Torch (flashlight)
  • Adequate shoe ware
  • Charged mobile phone (ANY phone is capable of making a 999 or 112 emergency call if there is a signal available)

The weather can change swiftly and fog can set in suddenly. Advice is available from the Ramblers.

Update 10/05/2012

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