London in July

Old Apr 28th, 2010, 08:29 AM
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London in July

My husband and I have an opportunity to travel to London in mid-July with his company paying our expenses. I am concerned that all the sites will be mobbed with tourists and am considering staying home for this reason and going another time of year. Can anyone advise as far as how crowded museums and other sites are this time of year, or if there is any way to avoid the crowds? Thanks so much.
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Yes - major sights will be mobbed in July. Best way to avoid crowds is to go in May or October.

If you must go in July go to the most popular places early in the day - before they open - to avoid the worst of the mobs.
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 08:36 AM
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Any time anybody is picking up the bill in London, even when the pound is down, it's worth the trip.

Just don't go to the sights the tourists mob.

That still leaves you with roughly 1,000 truly fascinating things to do in London in every direction. Get a good guidebook. Rip out the first 20 pages. Throw them away. Go to everything else that appeals to you, including plays, concerts, movies, etc. Catch London on the fly. Go to unrepeatable events.

Go back when its raining, freezing, dark by 3pm and the pound is back up and have the major sights to yourself.
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 08:43 AM
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Honestly, if I were getting a practically free trip, I'd go regardless of the time of year. Maybe places like the Tower, London Eye, Westminster Abbey will be more crowded, but as nytraveler said, getting to those early will help. The Eye at night would be great as well. Take the British Museum as an example - there's just about always a crowd near the Rosetta Stone or the Elgin marbles, but wander off to other parts of the museum and it'll be much less crowded.

If the cost isn't a big deal to you, then waiting might mean your trip is a little less crowded. For me, it would absolutely be worth the tradeoff, unless you just really, really hate crowds (and in that case I would avoid a lot of London altogether - it *is* a major city).

If you don't go, can I?
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 08:44 AM
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I was there in November and saw plenty of crowds at places like the British Museum.
I heartily agree with zeppole--seek out things to do that aren't necessarily "must sees" for everyone else. You'll have a lovely time, and it's paid for!
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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I agree too. Go. If you would like a source for museums, theater, etc. that would be a bit more off the beaten path, has extensive listing of all as do the online versions of the local newspapers and

A few tips: 1. get out early in the day, 2. purchase tickets for some things in advance if you don't want to miss them (ideas you will see here on are Westminster abbey verger tours, Tower of London ceremony of the keys and of course theater tickets) and 3. realize that at many museums admission is free so if you find it too crowded you can just leave and not feel bad.

If there is anything in particular you are interested in, let us know here on I am sure you will find plenty of suggestions of how to do it even during busy times.
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 09:40 AM
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Nothing will be too mobbed to manage. Sure there are crowds -- but London is HUGE and it absorbs crowds very well. The Tower of London -- yes it gets crowded -- but if you get there at opening time, you'll be done by the time the really serious crowds arrive.

Westminster Abbey, -- can get crowded--but go early and pre-book a Verger's tour -- they are limited to 25 so are by far the best way to see the Abbey.

There are other strategies for getting around the mobs. The worst of the crowds are in August really.
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for the very helpful, encouraging tips and replies! You've convinced me to go
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Old Apr 28th, 2010, 02:46 PM
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