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When is the cheapest time to travel to England and Ireland?

My husband and I want to visit England and Ireland sometime in 2012. The month really doesnt matter.. just want to go when it is the cheapest time to travel. Any suggestions? March? April?

Posted by
970 posts

The absolute cheapest time is the dead of winter. It's cold, wet, and the sun comes up after 9am and sets around 4pm. The upside is that airfares are at their cheapest, as well as hotels and B&B's. Accommodation rates, however, do not vary as much as airfares. If your interests will keep you inside much of the time, all that may not matter much. Otherwise, March ought to be a bit cheaper than April. But can still be a bit nippy. Only way to know for sure is to price prospective trips. For hotels /B&B's, go directly to their sites or just call them. For airfares, I look at farecompare.com, plug in tentative dates and destinations in ITA Software's Matrix site (Google it) and have AirFareWatchDog.com send me alerts. And... do you now that American runs a daily nonstop from RDU to Heathrow? Leaves here early in the evening; the return flight leaves around 11am. Seldom discounted much because it serves business travelers.

Posted by
970 posts

The absolute cheapest time is the dead of winter. It's cold, wet, and the sun comes up after 9am and sets around 4pm. The upside is that airfares are at their cheapest, as well as hotels and B&B's. Accommodation rates, however, do not vary as much as airfares. If your interests will keep you inside much of the time, all that may not matter much. Otherwise, March ought to be a bit cheaper than April. But can still be a bit nippy. Only way to know for sure is to price prospective trips. For hotels /B&B's, go directly to their sites or just call them. For airfares, I look at farecompare.com, plug in tentative dates and destinations in ITA Software's Matrix site (Google it) and have AirFareWatchDog.com send me alerts. And... do you now that American runs a daily nonstop from RDU to Heathrow? Leaves here early in the evening; the return flight leaves around 11am. Seldom discounted much because it serves business travelers.

Posted by
94 posts

In the past I've found the cheapest airfares to U.K. were usually November and February but, of course, weather can be awful. It depends where in the U.K. you are going. If London, it might not make much difference unless they have a repeat of this past winter when many things, including transport shut down. I just got back from Ireland yesterday. I found an airfare sale on United which required you go before March 31 and come back within 30 days. Weather was variable; rain was not too bad but the winds were very strong. I did find that several attractions had limited hours at that time of year and a few not even open until after Easter. Some B & Bs are not open all year with some not opening until April or May. But lodging rates were lower and you did not have to worry about booking much in advance unless there was a special event or weekends in places like Galway and Dublin.

Posted by
100 posts

We were in Ireland, Wales & England in December of 09 and were able to get good prices at some B & B's by booking in advance and asking for their best rates. Lots of places replied that they were closed (it was the last 3 weeks of December & over New Years), so we were glad we booked ahead. We were just in Ireland this past March and mostly paid 70 euro for a double room. I never felt comfortable dickering about price since their economy is in such bad shape and people were telling us how glad they were to start to see tourists starting to come back. I think a lot of places charge more in the summer though. Both trips we had places we wanted to see that were closed. A lot of the smaller historical sites don't open until April or May, so there were a couple of times we followed a sign and were disappointed. In December we had to hustle in a couple of places because they close early. It really wasn't very green either, the grass was, of course but no leaves were out on trees yet and we could only imagine what the narrow lanes look like when it's full summer! However, there were times that we were the only people at some sites. We had the Book of Kells to ourselves for long enough to see what we wanted. We were the only people at the Rock of Cashel in December on a rainy, windy day. There were times where we were the only non-locals in pubs. We loved that!

Posted by
75 posts

I went to London in November...I got a package deal that included airfare and 9 nights in a hotel for about 2400 total for two people (through British Airways)... I thought that was a pretty good deal. We were there the last two weekends before the first of the big snow storms hit, and I loved it. Even though the weather was cold, there were so few tourists... The biggest sites like the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul's were practically empty. That is a HUGE perk of traveling off season. It was cold, but not as cold as the east coast of the U.S. would be at the same time. I'd suggest early November or late March.