June or August? Which is the better experience?

This will be my first trip to the UK! Very excited. I will be traveling solo on the small group England, Scotland Wales land tour. I need to decide: June or August. I'd like to avoid heavy summer crowds as much as possible. The weather in both months should be welcoming. Has anyone been either in June or August and can share what their experience was like? Pros & cons? Would much appreciate learning from you. Thank you. :)


  • June is one of the best months to go, it’s too busy in August when the British schools are on vacation. In June, it doesn’t go dark in Scotland until about 10pm, a little earlier as you go south. Flowers and bushes are at their best.You need to book asap or you won’t get your preferred dates.

  • Hello British! Thank you. That's helpful. My options are June 9th or Aug. 25th. Honestly, I am leaning toward June simply because I don't think I can wait until the end of August! I just returned from a special Sept. trip to Greece; my return after 22 years, and my summer was tinged with angst because I was so eager for Sept to get here! Not a good feeling.

  • A reason to consider August would be if the trip included the Edinburgh Tattoo. By the 25th, it might be over but if not, we thoroughly enjoyed the Tattoo. We were there in August of 2019 and didn't consider the sites to be too crowded.

  • Just another opinion, but I would not base the timing of an entire trip just for the tattoo. It also makes Edinburgh very very busy, you could hardly move for people when we were last there in August because the Fringe festival is also on. There seems to be a split on the forum between loving the tattoo and the opposite.

  • The last date for the 2023 Tattoo Is August 26th so unless you go on your own to the Tattoo, the August 25th departure won't include it. It's on my list to see at some point perhaps on a tour or on our own.

  • We did this tour in 2017 at the end of Jun/beginning of July. Don't underestimate (as I did) how cold, windy and/or wet it might be. I ending up buying a fleece pullover and later a lined rain coat. Of course, by the time we got to London they were close to heat wave temps. As for crowds, it was starting to get crowded in Edinburgh. The bus takes you from Holyroodhouse up the royal mile to the castle and I remember that being a fairly slow crawl.

  • Not sure if you want to see Buckingham Palace on your own, but it's only open in the late summer and early fall. Not sure if the planned refurbishment will affect next year's opening. Otherwise, I would say June is the better time to go,

  • Buckingham Palace openings may change because it was based on when the Queen was in Scotland. It’s not clear whether King Charles will be there, I get the impression he may want to remain in Clarence House, so opening to the public could be more, less or different times of the year. I would keep an eye on any reports about this next year. It’s a great tour and I love the gift shop.

  • I read somewhere that King Charles has decided he won't live at Buckingham Palace, at least until a $500-million reno is complete. The restoration and repairs to the Palace are said to include new wiring, plumbing and heating, and is thought to be about halfway into the 10-year renovation. In the meantime he will use it only for work. I don't know how that will affect tours. Currently, the State Rooms are open to visitors for 10 weeks each summer and on selected dates for guided tours during winter and spring.


  • For 500 million, they should scrape it and build a new one :)

  • We did A Week in Scotland specifically in August so that we could attend the Tattoo and the Fringe Festival. Yes, it's crowded, but we live in New York (nothing is more intense than visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center during the holidays!).

    It's fun, zany and really quite safe. We went to the Tattoo with Tauck, so they handled all the arrangements. We stayed a few extra days to see fringe performances - most tickets bought same day. And after a full day of crowds and stimulation, we retired to our lovely room at the Balmoral. Bliss!

    Note: rode the elevator down with Eddie Izzard who was performing at the Fringe. We discussed shoes - his heels were definitely higher than mine! 😉

  • We once saw him walking along the street in London.

  • Thank you everyone! And thank you Claudia Sails for your suggestion re: being prepared for rainy, cold weather in June. I will be bringing raincoat, fleece and proper walking shoes. :) I've booked the June 2023 small group tour. Looking forward! :)

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