when is it best to take the England, Scotland, Wales tour?

Hi...We are planning to take the England, Scotland, Wales tour next August.
We are flexible and can go anytime during the month. It seems like the weather might be milder in early August, so we were thinking of going August 5th. It was then brought to my attention that it might be more crowded early in August because of all the families traveling at that time. I am not sure if crowds are an issue when traveling on a Tauck tour.
So, considering the weather and possible crowds, we are wondering when would be the best time to take the trip.
The tour dates we are considering are August 5th, 14th, 19th, 21st.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Sue

Comments

  • edited April 7
    Personally, we'd take the 17 August departure because we like the small group departures.

    Other considerations, after including the Tattoo which all of your departures have, are these items: Stirling Castle and the special dinner as described in the trip notes (reproduced below):

    "Small Group Departures – Select small group departures, averaging 24 Tauck guests, are priced from $7,690 per person double; specific dates apply – select "Small Group" in the pull-down menu above for complete pricing.

    Note: Tours departing August 5 – 26 will attend an outdoor evening performance of the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Tours of August 5, 12, 19 and 27 will not visit Stirling Castle due to the Tattoo.

    Small Group Departures of May 22; June 12, 24; August 3, 7, 17; and September 11 feature a special dinner presentation by Carolyn Robb, co-founder of The Royal Touch and former Executive Chef to the royal household of TRH Prince Charles and Princess Diana."

    from https://www.tauck.com/tours/england-scotland-wales-escorted-tour
  • Thanks for the feedback. You mentioned that for certain tour dates, the Stirling Castle would not be visited due to the Tattoo. Where did you read that?
    There is a tour departing on August 14th...will the Striling Castle be visited then?...that date also includes the Tattoo.
    As for weather and crowds.. should that be a factor in deciding which date we choose?
  • edited April 7
    Sue M wrote:
    Thanks for the feedback. You mentioned that for certain tour dates, the Stirling Castle would not be visited due to the Tattoo. Where did you read that?
    There is a tour departing on August 14th...will the Striling Castle be visited then?...that date also includes the Tattoo.
    As for weather and crowds.. should that be a factor in deciding which date we choose?

    I've added the link to the page where the date specific details are shown to my post and here: https://www.tauck.com/tours/england-scotland-wales-escorted-tour

    So, it looks like the 14th is good for Stirling Castle. That departure just won't have the special dinner as listed at the link and in my post. Perhaps not a big deal for you. Since, as I mentioned, we usually look for the small group departures, that's why we'd go for it all with the 17th departure.

    We haven't done this, but it is high on our "to-do" list. Unfortunately it'll be 2017 or later since we're already committed to our travels next year (Peru & the Galapagos in the fall too close to August).

    I can't imagine the selection of dates within a few weeks in August will have much variation in weather.
  • edited August 2015
    August is probably the very busiest time in London and everywhere in general because that is the month that the British school children are on vacation. As you are going on an organized tour where you will be jumping to the front of any lines, that probably does not matter, but anything you decide to do on your own could be more difficult without careful planning or buying tickets in advance. But if you don't go in August then you will miss the Tattoo. Weather, well it's Britain, so the weather is totally unpredictable.
    If I had a choice when to visit there, from my experience of living in England/ Scotland for a total of 43 Years and plenty of visits too, I would go in June, the gardens are at their most beautiful, it does not get dark until 10 pm in England and up to 11pm in Scotland, and the children will still be in school so it should be less busy. After that, the second week of September would be my second choice and late May my third. There"s a lot to think about.
    Small departure dates? For me, the small difference in numbers of the groups is insignificant and not worth the extra money, but that is only my opinion.
  • You can read about the weather in the "Before You Go" and other weather websites, but you know what they say about the weather in the UK. We went in early July, 2013 and had beautiful weather (blue skies, no rain) for the entire two weeks, but it was a bit warm- there was a heat wave over most of Europe that year. I've seen reviews of the Military Tatoo at Edinburgh Castle in August where it was the same- pleasant temps and clear skies. But, I've also read reviews and seen photos of people watching the tatoo all bundled up as best they could against the cold, wind-driven rain and extremely chilly temperatures- be prepared to layer and for any type of weather.

    Crowds- July and August are definitely the busiest- Scotland and Wales, except for Edinburgh Castle were not too bad. The streets in Chesters, Stratford Upon Avon (Shakespeare's house), and Oxford were really clogged with tourists. Bath and Stone Henge were busy, but not as much as the others. In July, in addition to tourists, Oxford was jammed with tweeners and teens- students from around the world attending Oxford to learn English. While generally well behaved, there were large groups of them roaming and clogging the streets, all the while talking loudly or busy texting, or both- basically being kids!

    London was busy as well, especially at popular tourist attractions- the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Churchill War Rooms, etc. were all busy. One afternoon in London, we stopped for at a McDonalds for a quick snack, fries and drink- bad idea. The place was packed with two large student groups- their chaperones had selected the place as a meet-up location. The impact of the tourists and crowds is two fold- it can make it harder and take you longer to do things- the crowds made it a real chore to get through Westminster. Thank goodness for the Vox listening devices- at least we could hear our guide even if we couldn't see her most of the time. It can be more time consuming and difficult to find a place to eat when the meal is not provided by Tauck. We would rather spend more time touring than trying to find a place to eat.
  • Sue M wrote:
    Hi...We are planning to take the England, Scotland, Wales tour next August.
    We are flexible and can go anytime during the month. It seems like the weather might be milder in early August, so we were thinking of going August 5th. It was then brought to my attention that it might be more crowded early in August because of all the families traveling at that time. I am not sure if crowds are an issue when traveling on a Tauck tour.
    So, considering the weather and possible crowds, we are wondering when would be the best time to take the trip.
    The tour dates we are considering are August 5th, 14th, 19th, 21st.
    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Sue

    I did this tour last August. I was on the last tour that went to the Military Tattoo so it would probably be the one around August 21st. There were some crowds as there are in all tourist spots but Tauck seemed to have a schedule that got us to places when the crowds were not as big. For example we were one of the first groups to get to Stonehenge and since our bus unloaded shortly before the next came in, we had minimal crowds.

    The weather was not unbearable. We had a little rain but considering one always hears about how rainy it is there, we had basically none.

    If you have extra time in Edinburgh, I would suggest going out to the Royal Yacht Britannia. I did this the morning that the tour was starting in the evening and it was fascinating.
  • You will have to take the weather as it comes, I have lived here all my 74 years and survived! I agree with July/August being the busiest. Also, in 2016 it is Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday so there are big celebrations planned for that 12 - 15 May, which are based around Windsor Castle. There is a website about that. On Sunday 12 June there is a massive street party for her in the Mall just in front of Buckingham Palace, and the previous day is her annual Birthday parade (Trooping the Colour).
    A very exciting time coupled with the fact that by then Her Majesty will have become the longest reigning monarch of all time.
    It almost leaves us breathless with her pace of life, but her personal stamina will doubtless show through.......as usual.
    Richard
  • Richard, it's great to hear all the celebration news from you, it's going to be really useful for people to read about here.
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