With enquiries coming in thick and fast for 2018 vacations in Britain, we are receiving one of our most commonly asked questions here at adeo Travel – when is the best time to visit England, Scotland and Wales!? As with many questions, there is no simple response, as the answer will be different for every guest depending on what is important to them for their trip. Here I do my best at outlining some of the things to think about when planning your vacation to enable you to make the best decision for yourself on when to visit our beautiful country!
The weather is famously unpredictable in Britain and we can experience all four seasons in one day, however most people like to travel when there is the best chance of good weather; mild or warm temperatures and a lower chance of rain often make for a more enjoyable sightseeing experience. Therefore, many of our guests choose to visit in England’s Summer months (June, July and August). However, the shoulder season of Springtime and early Autumn can also offer some beautiful weather; April and May can provide crisp mornings and cool evenings but if the sun’s out its strength is good and will offer a pleasant temperature for getting out and about during the daytime. Likewise, September and early October can offer stretches of sunshine if we encounter an “Indian” Summer.
Here in Britain we have eight days public holidays (or Bank Holidays) as we call them when the vast majority of British people get a day off work (usually a Monday). On these weekends, the locals often choose to getaway on a short trip to the coast, countryside or for a city-break which means that the roads and public transport can be congested and hotels will be busier or more expensive than at other times – many will impose minimum 2 or 3 night stays to ensure that they maximise their profits across the course of the holiday. Whilst the local atmosphere is good at these times it can be more difficult for overseas visitors who want to get from point to point or stay just one night in a destination so you may choose to avoid these dates. The four main bank holidays in 2018 are the Easter weekend (Mar 30 – Apr 2), May Day Holiday (May 5 – 7), Spring Bank Holiday (May 26 – 28) and the August Bank Holiday (Aug 25 – Aug 27).
Scenery and the Seasons
If you have a particular landscape or vista that you want to experience then ask your adeo Travel Britain expert when is best to see it. If you plan to visit some of England’s beautiful stately homes with formal gardens or RHS gardens then springtime and early Summer (April through June) is a great time to see the flowers in fresh bloom. The heather comes out in Scotland and across the moors and dales of the English Lake District and Yorkshire in late August and early September whilst if crisp frost covered hillsides and snow-capped mountains are your thing then the Winter months or early Spring (November through March) are the best time for your visit.
Local Events and Festivals
Similar to public holidays, local events and festivals can mean a spike in overnight visitors to a particular destination. The most notable is the Edinburgh Festival and Tattoo which takes place throughout the month of August – whilst the city enjoys an incredible party atmosphere, hotel availability is sparse and prices can more than triple throughout the period due to the high demand. To a lesser extent, popular festivals such Glastonbury Music Festival, Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the Chelsea Flower Show and the York Races can have similar effects. Our advice is that unless you plan to attend yourself then avoid the destination during the event, if your dates are flexible then you may be able to move your trip a little or alternatively, simply ask your adeo Travel representative and they may be able to suggest an alternative overnight destination or juggle your itinerary to visit at a quieter time.
Sightseeing and Daylight Hours
Some people like to combine relaxation with their sightseeing but if your major aim of your vacation is to cover a lot of different areas and hit as many visitor attractions and towns as possible then you’ll want to make sure that you have the daylight hours to achieve it. In the Summer months, the sun will rise from 6am and it can stay light until 10pm on bright sunny days, ideal for those who want to enjoy long evening drives. In the Winter months it can be dark by 5pm which better suits people who want to enjoy shorter daily journeys and atmospheric dinners in the hotel restaurants or evenings curled up by open fireplaces with a local tipple in the hotel lounge-bars.
Price and Value
Compared with some nations, Britain’s hotel, rented accommodation and car rental capacity can be quite low for the numbers of visitors we experience. This limited car and bed-stock means that hotel pricing can fluctuate significantly dependent on availability and demand – the Summer months are invariably more popular so hotels command a higher nightly rate whilst in low-season properties naturally drop prices to compete for business. If budget is important to you then the low or shoulder seasons provide more competitive pricing and you’re more likely to bag a real bargain for your trip. At adeo Travel, we’ve negotiated the best rates are happy to scour our systems for great deals year-round.
So, the best time to travel in Britain really depends on your own priorities from the purpose of your trip, to your personality and interests, to your budget and your flexibility in terms of travel dates. Hopefully the information above has helped a little but if you want further advice when planning your trip then please do not hesitate to get in touch and your adeo Travel will be happy to share their own local insight to ensure you get the most out of your trip!
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