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Spring or Summer in London

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OhioMac54
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Spring or Summer in London

We are debating when to take our vacation to London, and beyond, next year. The choices are the last week of March and first week of April, or two weeks during the summer, probably August. It appears the airline tickets would be cheaper in the Spring, and I'm guessing hotels might be cheaper too. Also, I'm guessing museums will be less crowded, etc. (Correct me if I'm wrong here). Since my wife and mother-in-law are gardeners, they really want to tour as many English gardens as they can. Will late March/early April be too early for that purpose? Would there be any other down sides to going in the Spring?

Mac

London, United...
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1. Re: Spring or Summer in London

Have a look at this thread: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k40218…

Hitchin, United...
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2. Re: Spring or Summer in London

"I'm guessing hotels might be cheaper too."

Not really, not in Spring anyway. London's always fairly busy, it's not like a holiday resort which lowers its prices to temp people out of season, although in the *very* quietest months (say February) you might well find some cheap rates in the likes of budget chains like Travelodge because the rooms aren't in so much demand. You may find the odd offer at some of the big hotels if they have had a very quiet winter, but you won't really get that in April.

"Also, I'm guessing museums will be less crowded"

Yes, that's right. Definitely a better time for avoiding some of the worst crowds.

"Since my wife and mother-in-law are gardeners, they really want to tour as many English gardens as they can. Will late March/early April be too early for that purpose?"

No, it should be at least starting to get interesting by then. The big parks plant so that there's always something blooming after winter has passed. I'd say June / July / August are the most beautiful months for flowers, but there will be some earlier blooms out in March and April, and the trees should be starting to blossom. Kew Gardens is worth a visit any time of year, the whole thing is gorgeous, a gardeners delight.

OhioMac54
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3. Re: Spring or Summer in London

Thanks for the replies. My wife has been looking over my shoulder and wondering if a compromise might be to fly over the end of May and staying for two weeks. A trip at that time would mean our 8 year old would miss the last week of second grade, but I'm not sure that would be such a great loss. I read the postings Tinsey referred me to, and one poster said they preferred the first week in June because the tourists did not show up until mid June. Will the museums and other attractions be on summer hours by 1 June?

Mac

London, United...
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4. Re: Spring or Summer in London

There are always tourists in London (thankfully)! July and August are very busy but any time outside of that has it's plusses and minuses (less crowds but poorer weather).

We tend to move to our 'summer' opening schedules at the Easter weekend.

West Virginia
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5. Re: Spring or Summer in London

If they are gardeners, you might want to check into visiting in late May when the Chelsea Flower Show is on (providing you can get tickets of course). I believe it begins May 26 in 2011.

Otherwise, visit Kew Gardens while on your holiday.

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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6. Re: Spring or Summer in London

Let the gardeners make the decision by letting them have a wander through www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk They may want to travel at a time when they can have a look at the place live and in living colour - it really is special (I'm not a gardener but I've been impressed with every visit I've made).

London has visitors at all times of the year but August will find the city heaving with people; late May will be quieter but bear in mind that the last week of the month sees a Bank Holiday and (for many schools) half term.

London, United...
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7. Re: Spring or Summer in London

I'd choose a time between mid to late April and the first week or two of June. After that, the hordes of tourists are in town. I avoid London in summer for that very reason.

Bedford
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8. Re: Spring or Summer in London

It is possible to enjoy gardens in late March/early April, but if seeing gardens is one of the your main reasons for visiting England, I really think you should be warned off coming at that time, as it is too early to see English gardens at their best.

I never notice much difference in the crowdedness of London's museums between one time of year and another.

London, England
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9. Re: Spring or Summer in London

The tickets are already on sale for the Chelsea Flower Show and often sell out.

The members days (24th and 25th May in 2011) seem marginally less crowded, but you would need to join the Royal Horticultural Society (which would also get you into their garden at Wisley). The public days next year are the 26th, 27th and 28th May.

It is a glorious show, but I'm not sure an 8 year old would find it very entertaining.

The Hampton Court Flower Show (also RHS) on the 5th through 10th July has less tradition, but if the time of year suited you better, it might do. I think there may also be more to amuse a child, but I'm not certain about that.

http://www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events

10. Re: Spring or Summer in London

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