London crowded?

Oct 20th, 2013, 07:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 29
London crowded?

I'll be in London late October early November, I heard something about half term. So how crowded do you think London will be around this time, I've been in December and it wasn't crowded at all.
sundaymorning is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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No crowded then any other time - as a lot of Brits will take their kids and go on half term vacations. Plus there won't be school groups at the museums.

Not really a concern to the average tourist I don't think
jamikins is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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If it's holiday time, there will be kids on days outs with parents. If it's term time, there will be kids on days out with the school. It doesn't make that much of a difference. Personally, I avoid school holidays, but that's because the trains to and from London are much busier and it's harder to get cheap tickets.
anicecupoftea is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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I find the trains way less bus because the kids and teachers aren't trying to get to work!
jamikins is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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I don't know if it's half term for London kids; I think that is this week. Some European countries have half term the week starting October 28 - but it won't make much difference in terms of crowds. In my experience December is usually more crowded, for Christmas shopping.
Tulips is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Oh to be able to jump on a train to London at will without needing to remortgage the house and sell your grandmother, rather than buying an off-peak ticket weeks in advance. We are not in regular commuting distance of London, not with our dire train service. And bound to get worse with all the rail investment going to HS2.
anicecupoftea is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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The bizarre differences between the answers you're getting here are the result of one simple, sempiternally true, fact:

London, by practically any standards, is crowded 364.5 days a year from 0700 to 2330 (it's uncrowded till about 1100 on Christmas morning). All the seasonal stuff does is shift the crowds round a bit.

Schools (remember, in English, "school" is something you go to only till you're 18) don't synchronise holidays (there's no national half term, a very large proportion of central London schoolchildren attend schools whose housekeeping isn't dictated by any local authority, and anyway there are 32 local authority school boards in London, as well as nigh on half a dozen different Catholic and Anglican dioceses).

On the commuter route I take most often, rush hour crowds thin out trivially when the major school board concerned has half-term: some offpeak trains get busier. But it's all marginal.

The simple fact means a simple moral: if crowds worry you, go somewhere else (New York, perhaps, or Paris. Some similarly insular village, anyway). Coming to London means putting up with lots of human beings, and trying to create a strategy to avoid them is an exercise in futility.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 02:13 PM
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Guess it's more a matter of perspective.
I was in London last week, and major museums like V&A or Tate Modern were not "crowded". Obviously there were other visitors, but "crowded" from my perspective would have meant that I had not been able to move around as I wanted. Which was not the case.
The area where I was staying (near South Kensington tube) was busy during rush hours, and not really busy otherwise. Most traffic jams were caused by mommys in their X5s blocking the street near the French school to drop off their kids.
Oxford Circus and Street were a zoo like always.
The Piccadilly line was seriously crowded, the District line was not. Not too much help, I guess.
There are always so many people coming to London, also for hundreds or thousands of conventions or meetings each day, in or out of peak tourist seasons, that I think you hardly ever see a "quiet day" in London.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 02:24 PM
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I was in London this past week and found that Tate Modern and the V & A were not crowded. The Piccadilly line was only bad during commuter times. Stayed near Earl's Court so rode the District and Piccadilly lines nearly every day.
lateinlifetraveler is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 12:50 AM
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Speaking as a local:

Avoid the Tube and the Tube stations between 8.00-9.30, and again between 4.30-7.00 if you don't like crowds. And avoid in particular the Piccadilly line at peak hours - too many people with backpacks and suitcases in addition to the regular commuters. Half term in London is this week, but most of the school groups (and there are usually quite a lot) you do find will be visiting from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy etc. They visit all through the school year.

Try to time your visits to the biggest/best known museums and art galleries on weekdays. They tend to get crowded on Saturday afternoons (less so in the morning) and on Sundays. In my experience you get a large number of parents with younger children (5-12) visiting the Science and Natural History museums at half term - but once you get inside, the crowds disperse, the museums are so large.

Oxford Street is to be avoided on Saturday afternoons (too many family groups and bunches of tourists who walk slowly, taking up much of the pavement). Apologies for that somewhat negative comment, but if you know where you are going and don't want to spend half the day getting there, it can get very frustrating!
Grindeldoo is offline  
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