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Timing of late-summer travel

Falls Church, VA
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Timing of late-summer travel

Are there big crowds, kids, and/or any other issues (locals on vacation, so attractions closed?) if arriving in England for 2 weeks starting the last week in August? We would be spending the first week in and around Bristol and the southwest, staying with a friend in Bristol, then in London for the first week in Sept. We were aiming to go a little later in September, but our friend will be out of action due to foot surgery, and our arriving in late August would be best for her.

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1. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

Yes, big crowds. You're hitting August Bank Holiday. London is always busy so no point rearranging your plan

Falls Church, VA
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2. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

Thanks for your quick response and helpful answer.

Plymouth
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3. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

The Bank Holiday is 25th August

Manchester, United...
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4. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

As already mentioned the August Bank Holiday is Monday 25th August this year and most English schools will still be on their summer holidays that week - local ones here mainly return Monday 1st September but that date isn't fixed across the country.

So broadly, the Bank Holiday weekend is likely to be very busy (last public holiday before Christmas, end of school holidays), but the first week in September is likely to be a little quieter.

Dingle, Ireland
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5. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

and traditionally, once the children are back in school, approx 5th Sept, the weather picks up!

england
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6. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

btw attractions don't close here for Bank holidays - but those that appeal to children get very overcrowded with Brits giving their children a last treat before the long winter term.

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7. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

And the roads can be a nightmare especially around the South West

Falls Church, VA
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8. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

Thanks to all for giving me a definitive "data point." Now it's decision time -- go later in Sept but our friend can't show us around, or find a date that works for all the following year. I don't want to fall in on someone recovering from surgery, but it also would be disappointing to miss out on time with a (U.S. native) friend from school days who has lived in England for 40 yrs.

Bucks, UK
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9. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

Stick to your original plan. There may be big crowds in holiday resorts (e.g. Cornwall) but there won't be around Bristol (in fact, Bristol will be quieter than usual because most Bristolians will be on their hols somewhere else). Likewise London in early September won't be especially crowded; it will still be school holidays but most people will be preparing for the new school term so will not be making last-minute trips to see the sights.

So, if you were planning on driving to Devon/Cornwall (England's premier summer tourist destination) on or around 25th August, re-think your plans; otherwise, trust in your friend's local knowledge to show you around the many fascinating sights in and around Bristol (Bath, Wells, Glastonbury, Wye Valley etc, etc) and then take the train to London.

It would be an enormous shame if you were to miss seeing your friend because of some groundless fear of "crowds" - trust her to know what will work, she's been here long enough.

Falls Church, VA
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10. Re: Timing of late-summer travel

I appreciate your take on the question. My goal is to get to England for two weeks either this year or next and to aim for a "shoulder season" (my husband really dislikes crowds and it also is easier to get two weeks off from work when it isn't mid-summer or during the holidays). We did very well when visiting Scotland twice during the first two weeks in June in '04 and '06 -- not crowded, no flying bugs, and weather mostly ok -- but that's also a very nice time of year here at home (near Washington, DC), and the two weeks of late-spring weeds in the yard were killers when we got back . . .

We've also had a very good travel experience in visiting Ireland in Sept. '09 -- mild weather, not much rain.