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UK trip, when to go?

Planning on visiting the United Kingdom next year, Scotland, Ireland and England in that order for a month and had originally planned on a mid September to mid October time frame to take advantage of the shoulder season. However, because of weather/temperature (mostly), would it be wiser to move everything up by a month? Will be spending much of the time outdoors, so it there much difference between these two? Thanks for the replies.

Posted by
1063 posts

"Planning on visiting the United Kingdom next year, Scotland, Ireland and England"

Ireland isn't in the UK, different country and currency, are you thinking of Northern Ireland?

Posted by
2102 posts

No there’s not much difference. Weather can still be great in September and October. It can be horrible in August. Totally unknowable what you will get. In any month you’ll have nice days and grey days. Maybe rain, maybe not. Cold, windy. Not worth changing your plans over.

Posted by
400 posts

thanks for the replies. I keep thinking of the day we spent on the hills of tara in September. Rain was coming in sideways, and was $(&^^*!!! freezing. Want to try to avoid that. Sept-Oct will do. Yes, I did not forget Wales and know that Ireland is not in the UK. Was trying to make it simpler in my original post.

Warren

Posted by
1063 posts

" know that Ireland is not in the UK. Was trying to make it simpler in my original post."

Good to know, not a problem personally but there are quite a few people who would have a problem with that original statement.

Posted by
20802 posts

I find the combination of a lot of overcast skies and short daylight hours less than ideal, so I'd opt for September.

Posted by
1134 posts

I wouldn't change plans, I've been in London in November and had a splendid time, less tourists and crowds. It snowed at the end of March one year and was beautifully warm another. You never can tell but luckily there's always a nice cuppa available when you come in from the cold.

Posted by
1175 posts

Ideally, move it to September 1, and frontload the outdoor activities into the first part of the trip, leaving as many city or non weather affected activities towards the end. That way, you can avoid the August crowds, but can get as much daylight as possible.

Posted by
587 posts

Just a thought, but it might make transport between countries easier to do Ireland first then move across to the UK? If you're planning to fly between Ireland, Scotland and England it might not make much difference, but once in the UK you could travel by car or train between Scotland and England.

Posted by
3140 posts

I would go to Scotland first, since it will be colder there, and work my way south.

Posted by
587 posts

We (Scotland) are normally only a couple of degrees centigrade colder than the south of England in the autumn (fall). Windier and slightly wetter usually, but not that much colder.

Posted by
31435 posts

Warren,

I normally travel to the U.K. in September and have always found the weather to be reasonable then (but of course no guarantees). Be sure to pack along some light rain gear. Is there any possibility you could move your trip up to about first week in September to first week in October?

Are you planning on visiting both the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland? Will this trip be entirely self-guided or will you be taking a tour for part of it?

Posted by
400 posts

Ken,
Unfortunately, work schedules do not allow me to take off a calendar month. I will be visiting both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, completely self guided. Plan is to visit primarily Edinburgh, Northern Ireland (Belfast, Giants Causeway etc), parts of Ireland we didn't hit the first time, (Dublin as well) and more of the England countryside, especially the Cotswolds and hopefully be able to slip into Wales.

Posted by
88 posts

I think September is a great time. I'm planning to be in London the last week of September this year. We went a few years ago around the same time and the weather was fine. Pleasantly cool but not cold. It only drizzled on us a bit when we took a day trip to the coast.

To get the most out of your trip, I would advise not scheduling past the middle to end of October due to daylight savings time change and shorter opening hours and daylight hours.

Posted by
56 posts

We just got home from Ireland. Had a fab trip, but learned a few things...

We are not city people and Dublin (other than Book of Kells which could have been a day trip) we would not do again. Same for Galway. The Latin Quarter was fun, but seriously loud at night near our lodging and this could have been a day trip.

We had decent weather and are used to wet as from PNW. September sounds lovely and at a certain point one runs out of steam for the day. We had chosen August for the kids' school schedules and the warmer weather and long light, but honestly we were done touring most days by 5ish and looking to relax - especially since driving in Ireland is something else and around every corner is a ruin to get out and investigate!