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South England May packing

I usually pack well, but our RS south of England tour in early May is causing concern, after reading itinerary I want to have appropriate clothing weather wise without overpacking. I’m thinking spring west coast weather but will I be too “wintery”? Is there someone who has done this tour who can give us some tips?

Posted by
6113 posts

May’s weather has become very unpredictable in the past few years in the south east. You could have anything from cold and wet (no snow) through to very warm and dry (or wet).

They are currently forecasting a hot Easter - 28 degrees, where the average is usually 13 degrees. It’s been a mild but windy winter with half the average rainfall for January, but it’s made up for it since. These days, it’s little use looking at average weather websites, as we don’t get “average” any more, just extremes. Yesterday was lovely, sunny and 14 degrees and I was out in just shirt sleeves and today, it’s currently 8 degrees and raining hard.

Check the BBC weather forecast just before you leave and pack layers.

Posted by
40 posts

Thank you, I will check closer to time, really worried if I pack for chilly and damp it’s will be a heat wave, if I pack sandals and skirts I will freeze, I know with all the trauma Europe is experiencing now my worry seems ridiculous, I hope it doesn’t seem offensive. Peace and health for all I hope

Posted by
32239 posts

Jennifer nailed it. Bring layers and also thin stuff, and a waterproof.

I don't know what happened to the light rains we used to get when I was a boy. It seems all or nothing a lot of the time now...

Posted by
5190 posts

They are currently forecasting a hot Easter - 28 degrees

Are they? I'm off to Mallorca for Easter, I was hoping it was going to be cold and miserable here but if it is 28c then it'll be hotter than Mallorca. Still, the wine's much cheaper over there.

Posted by
2468 posts

Nobody has a scooby doo what the weather will be like on any given day in May in any particular place until the day before.

Changeable with a chance of showers.

Bring light layers nothing heavy.

Posted by
13636 posts

Well, I'm not a sandal wearer so those wouldn't go in my bag at all. Long ago and far away when I had young strong feet, I packed sandals only for a July trip to England and froze. Anyway, I've done this wonderful tour and I'd pack good solid athletic shoes. You'll need non-slip soles for the St Michael's Mount day. That was the slickest path up to the top I've ever been on.

I'd pack a waterPROOF jacket with hood. I'd pack SS shirts and 1 or 2 longsleeve quarter zip drifit shirts to wear over them. IF it looks like it is going to be cold, I'd add a puffy vest if you have that available. Maybe 1 long sleeve tee shirt.

For pants, I wear jeans (cotton/poly blend that will sink wash) and travel pants. IF it looked like it was going to be hot, I'd pack 1 pr of capris.

All this can be layered if it's chillier than you might expect.

I'm not sure where you live but it will also depend on your tolerance to cold. Being from a Northern Tier state may make a difference than if you are from the Deep South.

Posted by
40 posts

Thank you all so much I’m from BC the west coast of Canada, will watch weather closer to time, do layers, will pay attention to shoes advice, when on the Greece tour packed athletic shoes for first time and was so glad I did all that marble is slippery, I don’t want to be the one complaining about having the wrong shoes. I once did a walking tour in Santa Fe and a woman turned up in 5 inch heels and said “What! We have toWalk!” Ha

Posted by
1434 posts

I live on Camano Island, 75 miles S of Vancouver BC. Almost the same latitude as SW England. Wear what you would wear at home in May. Some light weight rain jacket and a nylon puffy jacket that you can squish down. Just expect windy. I wore a headscarf or a tiedown hat. Rubber soled shoes with arch supports. Don't bother to bring sandals...maybe rubber beach sandals. I buy layering cloths at Costco and Kohls. It could be hot for a couple days, bring some T shirts. Don't bother to bring a skirt unless you are having High Tea.

Posted by
13636 posts

Hahaha…laughing at the stilettos in Santa Fe. In the preCovid days when there were lots of bus tours in Yellowstone I used to laugh when women would get off the tour bus with stilettos to walk a trail or a boardwalk!!

I’m glad you told us where you live. Yes, you’ve got stuff for layering and know how to do it.

Unless you are taking time before or after the tour, I’d skip water shoes as there is not really any opportunity. Well, the closest you get is the walk out to the Mount which can be under water at times. You won’t walk thru water to get there as the guide will make arrangements for small boats if the tide is in.

Posted by
40 posts

huge thank you to all for the great advice, Ive really missed all the terrific RS traveling companions, 2 RS trips coming this year, looking forward to meeting new travelers and maybe seeing some previous companions.

Posted by
32 posts

My husband and I are also doing the S. England tour in May, so this thread is particularly helpful. This will be our first one climate/single country RS tour, so we’ve had to rethink our travel wardrobes a bit. We are swapping out our warmer climate clothes for items we can layer. We decided not to bring hiking sandals and instead we are bringing a second pair of lighter weight walking shoes.

We are also doing London. What about the theater, if we decide to do that one night? Will our RS casual clothes suffice for that?

Posted by
40 posts

We are also going to London for 5 days before tour, Last time I was in London (25 years ago) lots of casual wear in theatres so that’s not a problem . My husband always packs a sports jacket on these tours and it gets a lot of wear, ( France, Spain, Italy Greece Portugal all usually September) makes any outfit look good, warm for cool evenings and there are a few places we are going in London that request more of a dress code, and just the jacket solves the problem. Wearing it over on the plane keeps us free to still just pack carryon, I also pack scarves, they keep the chill off and perks up an outfit, pack one for hubby too guy style, really read the itinerary for the tour and will pack ankle boots for London and blustery coast walks, light runners and 1 pair of comfortable nice looking flats that I can walk all day in, but look decent for evening, on the RS tours it’s really the nice personalities of the travellers that dress up the group, I am so looking forward to this tour.

Posted by
13636 posts

"1 pair of comfortable nice looking flats that I can walk all day in"

Would you share what brand works for you? I realize everyone's feet are different but I'm always on the lookout for shoes that I might be able to wear.

Posted by
40 posts

My first pair is by SAS, terrifically comfortable, a patent leather alligator pattern in black, the other one is also very comfortable it’s by Dorking and again so comfortable and in a sort of beige gold silver look, good for day or evening, both pairs have been wonderful to use travelling, the only place I didn’t use them` was on the Greece tour in September 18, With all the marble and climbing about it was wedge sandals in town and runners for all the sights, wanted to post a picture for you but nowhere to post, Gotta keep those feet happy!

My husband and I are leaving in late April for the RS South of England. We will be in London for a short few days. My plan was to wear low top keen waterproof hikers and pack dark athletic walking shoes...nothing special for the evening. I am a light packer and wanted to avoid adding anymore shoes. Will I be too casual?

Posted by
40 posts

I think it all depends on what you’re going to do in the evening we have a couple of things we are doing that require a jacket for fellas hence my SAS flats passable for evening but very comfortable we are in London about five days I believe that for most of the tour your shoes sound perfect I think we’ll be doing a lot of marching around that will require decent walking shoes like you have suggested. My ankle boots that I think I will be using in London look nice but are flat and will take me from city walking to walking on the grassy cliffs we can only pack so many shoes and if you suddenly find yourself with an unexpected spiffier place to go in London you could always pick up a cheap pair of flats to cover the event, I checked our tour companions list to see if you were on it but didn’t see your name, otherwise we could have compared 👠

Posted by
13636 posts

"I am a light packer and wanted to avoid adding anymore shoes. Will I be too casual?"

Not for the tour! It's very casual with many days transitioning from daytime activities to a group dinner with no break so everyone generally has on what they've worn all day.

Posted by
40 posts

You are so right, on all the tours the focus is on flexibility and fun, not fashion, I’m always more interested in tour companions attitudes than their footwear. Whatever I pack has to go in my Ravenna roller or it stays home