The Best Time to Visit London
will depend on some of these things...
"When is the best time to visit London?"
Most people want to know the answer to this question first - and rightly so.
The answer will depend upon a few factors, but not least your own preference and tolerance for different things.
Here are a few things you should consider, before making your decision about the best time to visit London...
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London was predicted to create an increase of approximately 3 million extra visitors to London.
We were all advised to stay away from London unless it was absolutely necessary to go.
I did, until I realised that the advice was so good that people actually did stay away and London was quieter than normal!
So guess what I did?
I went down and found a blissfully lovely London.
I have to say the organisation was absolutely amazing, there were volunteer helpers everywhere.
We had yet another great day and we got a taste of the 2012 Summer Olympic atmosphere.
It turned out to really be the best time to visit London.
The Weather in London UK
By now you will probably have read my page about the
London weather forecast.
So you'll have a bit more of an idea about it.
When I am planning my time in London, I don't even think about what the uk weather forecast might be doing until the week or day itself.
And only then so I can decide what clothes to bring!
I just plan my trip to London and let that be that.
Seriously, don't spend too much time on this, it is an unknown quantity.
is known for being unpredictable!
One day we can have beautiful sunshine, the next it can be pouring with rain.
In fact, you may even find a variety of seasons in one day.
If the weather bothers you and it is something you must know before you book your trip, you may end up disappointed at best.
If you want to make your travel plans expecting to fit in with the weather in London, I am sorry to say that...
The weather here is a bit snooty like that.
It's just a matter of luck.
When is the best time to visit London if you want to avoid the crowds?
Avoiding the crowds completely will not be entirely possible.
There are always tourists in London.
But knowing when the uk school holidays are is massively important.
London is absolutely packed when the kids are off school. You'll encounter way more queues (especially at the museums).
This is something I hold in way more importance than the weather.
Even out of school holidays, you will come across school groups on their trips to London, but no where near the volume during the holidays.
If you can avoid the school holidays when visiting London, there will be a massive difference in the crowds.
As a rough guide, there are approximately six holiday periods throughout the school year.
One Week. Usually February time
One Week. Last week of May or First week in June
Six Weeks, usually beginning the end of July, continuing for the whole of August, with most kids returning at the beginning of September.
One Week. Usually late October (last break before Christmas)
Holiday periods differ slightly each year, depending on when Easter and other Bank Holidays fall.
School holiday dates will also be slightly different in England, Scotland and Wales, so sometimes dates overlap a bit.
You will still encounter school trips during term time, but these children are highly supervised in their groups and I have never been delayed by them.
If you can, it's best to avoid the main holiday periods when the majority of UK children and parents are on their school holidays.
You will definitely be doing yourself a favour, in terms of the crowds to expect in London.
So is the best time to visit London in the winter or summer?
This can be tricky.
It depends on you really.
If you don't mind large crowds in the summer, you may get lucky with the weather.
You could get rain of course, but it is unlikely to be absolutely freezing cold.
We have visited in the summer and have had a fantastic time and braved the large crowds.
We have also visited in the winter, wrapped up in very cold weather and have avoided huge crowds and queues.
I will say this though, if you are visiting in the summer, you may want to book your attractions beforehand.
It can save you money and queueing time.
Knowing how much time in London you'll need will help you make your decision also.
This is how I decide the best time to visit London for me...
Firstly in the longterm, I never think about the weather when deciding when to go to London.
There's no point, the UK weather is unpredicatable. I wait to check the forecast nearer the time.
I take my chances and if it happens to be a bad weather week, we just go to a lot of indoor places!
I plan my visits mainly outside of the UK School holidays. If I am taking my son and I cannot do this, I make sure to avoid weekends.
In the summer, London will be massively busy, so I just allow a lot more time for sightseeing and I'm flexible with my plans about how much to see in London.
As my mum says...'we'll play it by ear'..(meaning, we'll just have to see how it goes).
Depending on whether you are happy to tolerate big crowds in the hoidays or cold and possibly wet weather in the winter, the best time to visit London will be for you to decide.
In exploring my website, I want my experience of being a tourist in London to help you to make the right decision before you go.
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