Is late May into June an OK time to visit London?
March 31, 2012 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Is late May into June an OK time to visit London? (I'd like to avoid the peak travel season and wading through crowds of tourists and students on holiday.)

I'd like to visit London for about two weeks. I have a chance to take some time from May 28 to June 15.

What I'm trying to avoid is being there during the most intense tourist season.

I looked a few universities' academic schedules to try to get an idea. It seems like US schools let out anywhere from May 5 (Duke) to June 14 (UC Santa Cruz). London University lets out on June 1st. So June is actually looking a little late. But maybe not too bad?

I read through this question and got some helpful info, but it's more focused on the weather patterns.

So for people who live in the UK or have traveled there, is early June reasonable, or am I going to start getting caught in the crowds during that time?

If it helps, what I'm planning to do is go to some social events, like social drawing get-togethers and city walks through and stuff like that. And also spend a good amount of time at museums and galleries.
posted by eeby to Travel & Transportation around London, England (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I live here - and it's pretty much a year round tourist destination. There are quite a few tourists here now. However, early June should be OK. It's not peak season which is the high summer. And the weather could be good, although, hey, this is England.

I don't think university holidays make that much of a difference. London is huge and attracts vast numbers of tourists, most of whom, from what I see on the South Bank etc, are not students.
posted by rhymer at 12:04 PM on March 31, 2012

You will miss the main school holidays, but often a lot of the tourists in London are actually foreign students visiting in term time. I work near a popular tourist trap and it's already getting annoying - can't even pop out and get a can of Coke without being trapped behind twenty Italian kids. But I wouldn't let that put you off - at least you will get (hopefully) decent weather. And crucially, you won't be in London at the same time as the Olympics, as that's when I imagine our entire public transport system will grind to a halt!
posted by KateViolet at 12:05 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

honestly as soon as the weather starts getting a little warmer London is deluged with tourists anyway. I was out and about on Friday and got swarmed on the Millennium Bridge. Early June is no worse than any other time, it's not really worth worrying about in my opinion.
posted by corvine at 12:07 PM on March 31, 2012

Yea, I've lived here about six months, and it never seems to let up. Just get here before the Olympics - I'm not looking forward to that.
posted by Partario at 12:27 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bear in mind that the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the queen take place this year, with a long weekend from 2 to 5 June. Some services may be lessened during that time as it's a holiday, and certain places could be absolutely rammed if celebrations are taking place there. I don't know anything about what it happening in London, but definitely look it up and be aware.
posted by Jehan at 12:31 PM on March 31, 2012

I just want to add, schools being in session isn't necessarily a good thing. I've been to various museums and libraries throughout the city on a weekday thinking they'd be relatively empty only to find myself dodging packs of schoolchildren on field trips. They're actually worse than tourists as they crowd around displays with worksheets and just refuse to move.
posted by Partario at 12:31 PM on March 31, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the help, everyone.
posted by eeby at 1:47 PM on March 31, 2012

As a Londoner, I can confirm it is busy all year round. Avoiding particular places (e.g. Leicester Square, Houses of Parliament, Harrod) will help avoid tourists but if you're visiting, you'll probably want to see them...
posted by curious zoe at 3:19 PM on March 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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