My husband travels internationally and on occasion I go along and we extend his work week a few days to go see a new city. We're planning a trip to Paris, Holland, & London in a week. Current itinerary would put us in London starting Friday September 13 - Tuesday September 17. I just figure out this is apparently Fashion Week in London. I'm wondering if it's a good idea to make our first trip here at that time. Should I expect to spend a lot more money on hotels, etc? Would there likely be a great number more people at touristy sites and therefore longer lines? Harder to get into restaurants? I don't have any idea what Fashion Week would entail. Not sure if it would only be focused on wherever the shows are or if the whole area would be a bit more of a pain to navigate. We generally have absolutely no interest in fashion shows. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I understand London is quite expensive as is and I certainly don't want to make a tactical error by visiting when the price is even higher. Thank you. :)
I don't know about hotels costing more. But, as someone who lives in NYC, I don't find Fashion Week here affects me unless I go to the area where the shows are (usually Lincoln Center). I don't think the rest of the city sees more tourism because of. The fashion people usually are in New York a lot and aren't really there to be tourists. I'd imagine the hotels in the area of London with the most shows would be booked up, but London is HUGE, so I doubt the whole city will be booked up because of it. In fact, I bet the fashion people mostly stay at the fancier hotels anyway. London has plenty of B&B's and mid-range options that probably won't be affected much. Worry about your Paris lodgings if you haven't booked them, however. September is trade show month and Paris usually is booked up.
Thank you! Surprisingly, I was available to find an ok fare at Hotel Valodon in the Rue Cler neighborhood for this weekend. I made a booking request a few days ago which was accepted. I validated it but for some reason they emailed and said I hadn't done so at the right time so I lost the spot. The rate had increased 10 euros. Then I went to travel advisor today and found the same deal for 5 euros less than the original one. Weird and lucky. So is 250-300ish pounds a typical cost in London then? Eek.
I went to London during Fashion Week last year. I arrived without a hotel booking, so when I went to the hotel booking office at St Pancras Train Station, there was not a lot of availabilty, but they were able to get me a place. It was very small and overpriced, but at least I was able to get a place. Other more expensive places were available. I found that London was no more crowded than usual. I don't even remember Fashion Week being mentioned on the news. So I would say do not let Fashion Week stop you. Just make sure you have a hotel booked, and when you get to London you will only notice Fashion Week if you want to notice it.
Thank you, Ted. May I ask, did you find the hotel price to be higher than it would be if not during Fashion Week?
With the possible exception of last year's Jubilympics, London is just too big for a minority interest like "fashion week" to have any real effect outside the interests of the fashionista weirdos. The annual marathon could have an affect on hotel bookings and road closures, but not something as tiddly as fashion week, except for the really posh hotels/restaurants/venues. I doubt you will even notice it is on - most of us who live in or near London certainly don't!
Hotels will be crowded and more expensive, especially more upmarket places in central London. Otherwise the city's big enough to absorb the number of people. One specific thing I've observed is that Somerset House seems to be frequently used as a venue, so if you're hoping to see the Courtald art collection there it might be a problem.
I think the high cost of your hotel room will have more to do with how close the trip is to when you are booking than anything else. Maybe stay a little farther out? I stayed in the Swiss Cottage area at the Avoca House hotel and it was just a ten minute tube ride to the main sight areas. Most guidebooks don't recommend that neighborhood, which is well to do and residential. It is in fare Zone 2, however. Just a thought and an example of the kinds of places go look for. I don't know if they will have availability at this point, though, since it's a B&B and smallish.
The place I stayed was a B&B costing about 100 pounds per night for a tiny room. Similar places in other parts of Britain cost about 20 pounds per night. I suspect that the price had to do with the location (near Oxford Circus). I think it was a case of all the cheap rooms being gone, plus no hotels needed to do special deals to attract business.
Fashion Week shouldn't affect your trip or your budget. It's always expensive! For me Fashion Week means I don't plan on going to Somerset House during that time.
We were in London during Fashion Week in 2011. We wouldn't have known except we visited the Courtauld Gallery and event notices were posted there. We didn't encounter any crowds, but we visited on a Monday morning so perhaps things weren't quite up and going then. Went back on a Friday afternoon and didn't see any crowds then either.
Thank you all. This is helpful information.