I will be flying to England this coming Sept 17 for a month's vacation. I would love to have an idea of how soon I should be making reservations for hotels and b&bs. Initially I plan to stay in Winchester for about 5 days, then going up to the Gloucester-Malmesbury-Devizes area to stay for a few weeks. So am wondering how soon I should be making reservations. I don't want to make them too early, but don't want to wait until the last minute either.
I don't think it's too early. Maybe if more than six months out, you might wait. We usually wait until six weeks due to my indecisiveness over the itinerary, and it has cost us in terms of both money and availability of our top choices. With such a long period to stay, you may want to look into apartments. They might be willing to give you a great deal for a long term stay, assuming you mean to stay in one place after the first five day stop. I am not sure how busy it is throughout England in late September, but we have traveled in much warmer and drier places at that time of year in Europe and did not find them to be too crowded. But if you already know what you want, why not act now to get the best places.
The good news too, is that your traveling after school starts in the UK. University starts later, but the school kids will be back. The one thing to check on is whether or not there are any special events going on in the cities / towns that you want to visit. Find the town website and you'll be able to see if there are any festivals. You'll probably want to go to the festival. : ) Pam
If it was me, I would make the reservations now. I don't think it's too early. One time when we were traveling to England, I had a terrible time getting a reservation in the location I wanted because there was a big horse show going on. So many were already booked. Pamela is right to check out what's going on during the time you will be there.
We've done this - we would reserve right away. One advantage of an early start is to request certain rooms, non-smoking, etc.
Thanks everyone for the helpful replies. Now I have more of an idea of how to go about things.
Every room I've stayed in the UK for at least the last decade has been non-smoking so that shouldn't be an issue. I believe it is now the law. It is definitely not too early to make reservations. You will actually find the better rooms in the nicer B&Bs will frequently be already booked. I'll usually start making reservations when I'm sure of my plans and that's usually 3 or 4 months before the trip. I definitely agree with the earlier comment on renting an apartment or cottage if you'll be staying in one place for a week or more. This is especially cost effective if you will have a small group traveling with you.
Hotels can still legally allow smoking in their bedrooms in England if specifically designated as a smoking room - but in no public area.