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Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

Traverse City...
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Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

I've only been to London once. It was early May and gorgeous: great weather, spring flowers, not many tourists and lots of things to do.

I have a chance to go back this year, either in the fall (Sept or Oct) or early December. Considering the weather, scenery, crowds, and things to do -- which would you choose?

If it helps your recommendations, I'm a photographer, so getting beautiful shots of the city is important. But this is a vacation too. I love to explore the city, shop, hit the art galleries, people-watch, and go to the theater.

Traverse City...
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1. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

Oh! I should've mentioned that I realise the weather will be warmer in the fall. But I thought perhaps the Christmas lights, decorations and excitement in December might make up for the cold.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

Tough decision, but I might have to say December simply due to the Christmas fairs and displays. And it's always fun to buy the charity cards from one of the churches.

Yet October has the fall colors and the Frieze Art Fair, and September has the London Open House where certain places are open to the public only during that time.

London
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3. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

I think this decision could be decided by budget, if that is an issue.

Autumn over here typically attracts lower hotel prices and cheaper flights across the atlantic.

Also, given that the effect of global warming, Septembers are typically very mild and even warm- it starts to get a little nippy around October time nowadays. I would suggest, unless you're very lucky with snowfall, that the weather will be very simliar between Oct and early Dec.

Early Dec weekends are also verrrrrry busy in London with Xmas shoppers arriving in their droves.

Personally, I prefer London in September.

Enjoy, regardless!

London, United...
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4. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

Oh, it's a tricky one!

Autumn (Sept./Oct.) is often pleasant in London - it's not too hot and the days are still relatively long. December is often taken over with thoughts of Christmas - it can be festive with all the lights or it can be cold, wet and dark.

Other things being equal, I prefer autumn.

London
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5. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

Definitely autum. Christmas Day -everything shut, difficult to get around, usually cold and grey (although admittedly it can be cold and grey anytime). IMO Xmas lights nothing to write home about. We now seem to get glorious Sept/Octobers and days although shortening aren't as wrist slittingly short as Christmas.

For a photographer it's a no brainer.

Carlsbad, California
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6. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

I've been to London twice during Christmas-time. I highly recommend it. The store window displays are lovely. This past Christmas Harrods had a giant snow making machine blowing snow off the roof - so it was snowing within a 2 block radius.

Oxford Street is strung with lights and the atmosphere is very seasonal. Hotels have trees in lobby, etc.

This past Xmas they set up Winter Wonderland in the park and had ice skating. We totally enjoyed Christmas shopping in London.

Just make sure you pack a warm scarf and gloves, along with a warm (water proof) overcoat.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

I'm going to have to go with "Christmas". I really enjoy seeing how other countries celebrate holidays. I was in London last year for Easter, and I fully intend on visiting London during Christmas at some point!

Yeah, go during Christmas. :)

SoCal
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8. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

We'll be there at the end of September, and I have read positive comments regarding that time of year both here and on other forums and web sites. I have been there in January-zero crowds and much cheaper hotels and airfares, but the sun rises around 8 AM and sets at around 4 PM, making for a rather short day. If you are there in Dec or Jan on business, you may not see sunlight unless you play hookey from your meetings (not that I have done that myself!). Having said that, London at night was just as interesting to me as it was during the daylight hours, there was just a different list of attractions (dining, theater, live music, pubs, etc).

Richmond, VA
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9. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

We've been to London end of May (hot), early September (perfection) and mid-November (cool).

Had no rain at any time. Astonishing!

I've wanted to do Christmas/New Years in London for quite a while.

So my vote would be Christmas, not for the weather obviously, but for the festivities, activities, the traditional holiday foods, and seeing the stately old town decked out in her finest.

Plus you might get lucky and see a little snow!

Athens
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10. Re: Spend Autumn or Christmas in London? Your opinion

If it was Xmas or Fall, I would go for Fall. But if it is early December, then for me there is no doubt: December!

The Xmas lights are magical, the windows of the shops are spectacular, if they do the Wonderland again it will be lovely, the parades on Oxford street are so much fun and did someone mentioned snow? If it's not real, it will be fake! Either outside Selfridges, or outside Harrods!

You'll have the chance to have Xmas afternoon tea in most hotels, eat thusands of mince pies, drink mulled wine, bring puddings back home, shop for ornaments and buy your Xmas presents from London!

Ah, I'm getting all nostalgic again...