England in August - Too Crowded?

My family and I are considering a trip to England the end of August. I've always been able to travel off-season but now with kids, the school calendar makes that impossible. Would there be huge crowds in London and other towns such as Bath, Windsor?
Many thanks for anyone with advice to share!

Posted by Pamela
New York City, NY, USA
3313 posts

Yep, there will be crowds, but you need to weigh that against not going at all. That's really the only option. Everyone's kids have August off and that's when parents can take vacation with their children. There is not much anyone can do about it. I work in an industry--textbook publishing--that is also driven by the academic calendar. i have to work when the teachers work so that sadly means no off season travel. So it goes. PAm

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7827 posts

And maybe in August you won't get soaking wet, lol I have been to London four times, and four times its been rainy,, and these were all summer visits except one time( March, freezing , never again) .. That all said, look I have had to travel in summer, all the places people say not to go in summer, Rome, Paris, etc.. but guess what, I have enjoyed my visits regardless. For a London visit you could take a few daytrips , maybe even an overnight or two. If you have kids, ( sounds like you do but I am not sure of ages?) perhaps a daytrip to Brighton, Britians famous beach resort,,( well the "beach" is very rocky, but they seem to like it, lol ) the boardwalk is fun to walk along, my 13 yr old enjoyed the arcades too. My son also really enjoyed our daytrip to Warwick Castle, it had a great jousting and catapault show( the horsemen all dressed as medival knights the horses too!) , he had a ball. A nice change from a lot of museums and churches..

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
1698 posts

It'll be busier than usual but not impossible. Obviously most attractions are busiest at the weekends.

Posted by Linda
Bromley, Kent,, UK
1631 posts

I would try and avoid any road travel on the August Bank Holiday weekend (23 - 26th) Traditional for traffic jams! If the weather is good roads to the Coast will be especially busy.

Posted by D.D.
England
375 posts

I wouldn't let that stop me from going. You might even have some good weather. But I would be certain to have advance reservations for lodging. The few times we've decided on the spur of the moment to go somewhere popular that time of year, we've had some difficulty finding lodging.

Posted by Laurel
Arlington, WA
829 posts

Huge crowds in London? You bet, but I've been there in January and there were still huge crowds and I'm betting not all of them were tourists. I've also been to Windsor several times and there was always large numbets of people and thank goodness, someone has to help pay for that beautiful pile. It was never so bad that I wouldn't want to go back again and again. You know what Rick says: If you can spend the night in a place do it. Bath for instance. If you can see your way clear for an overnight you will be there when the daytrippers have gone and you can be up and about before they come back. I think someone mentioned Brighton. It's great place with plenty to do and an easy train ride. Love it. Just as an aside and I know it's not for everyone, but we sometimes take our grandchildren out of school for "educational" trips. Parts of Cornwall and London being one of them.

Posted by j.c.
Cary, NC, United States
842 posts

One real impact of August is that the sooner you book rooms, etc., the better. That includes train tickets. The major tourist sites have always seemed to me pretty good at handling crowds, After all, that's what they like. London is always busy. Avoiding the Tube at the morning and evening rush is one good way of avoiding the press of the crowd. Taxis tend to vanish then, too, so I usually linger over breakfast and have dinner while all the commuters are going to and fro.

Posted by Emily
Akron, Ohio, USA
6 posts

We were in London the last week of August last year during the Paralympics and including during bank holiday. I had previously lived in London for a few months and was nervous that we were going at the absolute worst time for tourists, but it really wasn't an issue. The only places we were annoyed about crowds was at the National Gallery (but it was raining, and I think everyone hanging out around Trafalgar Sq was trying to get out of the rain) and the Tate Modern (also pouring at the time, and it was one of their Friday evening late openings tied to the bank holiday)I supposed both of those facilities only have a finite amount of space and generously offer free admission, so all the tourists seem to at least stop in for a look. That said, both places were still manageable. Overall, I didn't feel like the city was that much more crowded in August, in comparison to the other times of year when I had been in London. I think most of the attractions do a really good job of handling crowds. And you might even find that there are some benefits of being there during peak season: attractions have longer hours and many offer special late night openings, tour buses run more frequently, and there seemed to be more discount opportunities. Also, London's weather can be icky and unpredictable year round, but during August you'll almost certainly have a minimum amt of rainful and some of the warmest temps of the year (without being hot and sticky in like East Coast summers.) You'll have a great time!