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Britain/United Kingdom/England/Visiting Northern England beginning of Dec


So my grandfather and a couple cousins and I are considering traveling to the northern part of England (northern Wales, Manchester, York etc) the first week of December.  We are concerned about the weather, if it will be too cold to actually enjoy the sites or whatnot, and whether or not the historic sites and attractions would be closed at that time of year.  What do you think? Is it worth it to make the trip?  And what other tips do you have? And what sites do you recommend seeing?

ANSWER: Wales and England are different countries, so be careful you don't mix them up and get stared at by the locals, please!

In North Wales there are various castles, Manchester has fabulous buildings, museums and art galleries and York has tiny streets, an amazing Minster and the best railway museum in the world!

All are open, and your definition of cold might differ from the local view, as I don't know where you are from, of course.

However, it's a lot of ground to cover in a week, especially as it will take you several hours to get from London (I'm assuming that's your starting point) just to North West Wales.

Let me know how you're travelling, what you consider cold and what sort of things you are interested in, please!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the prompt response!
My family is from Utah in the U.S. so we are very used to freezing cold winters, feet of snow from November to March, and temperatures near freezing.  I heard that winters in England are more rainy that snowy though, which sounds like it may be even warmer than here in Utah.
I'm so glad things are still open at that time of year, by grandfather was concerned we wouldn't be able to see any castles or sites.
We are interested in historic sites, places with a lot of history.
Do you think it would be just as fun to go in December than any other time?

Well, places for tourism will be quieter, but city centres will be busy, with Christmas shopping - and roads and buses / trains will be very crowded too,

You didn't say how you were getting around, but do look at the rail timetable and fares, as tickets bought at the last minute can be expensive. For example, Llandudno to York is over 60 each and takes around 4 hours.

UK weather is variable - we can have snow for a few days (at most) in a whole winter, but can also have warm sunshine .., there's no "weather by date" that much of  the rest of the world has.

To get from Heathrow, assuming an early arrival after an overnight flight, will take most of your first day, with a tube across London and then at least 2 trains, so do look at the train timetables, as a week is perhaps a little short to see so much .. you could spend 4 of your 7 days just travelling (London to Wales, day in Wales, travel to Manchester, time there, travel to York, time there, then back to London and out to the airport).

These sites should help you: for train times and fares North Wales Castles

Let me know where I can help further,  please.


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Alun Hill MCIJ


As a full time, UK based, travel journalist, I travel almost constantly around the whole of the UK, searching out restaurants, hotels and "must see" places. Visitors for both business and pleasure are welcome to ask questions. I almost always travel by public transport, so questions on rail, air and coach / bus travel are also very welcome. I also regularly write about and use the "Eurostar" rail service between London and Continental Europe - which uses a tunnel under the English Channel - so I am able to help with any questions there, too.


I'm a full time, UK based, travel journalist. I travel almost constantly around the whole of the UK, searching out restaurants, hotels and "must see" places for my readers. I have been writing about, filming and reporting from UK tourism destinations for over 12 years. I cover both "business" and "pleasure" trips for my readers.

I am a member of the "Chartered Institute of Journalists" (the world's oldest professional body for journalists), the "British Association of Journalists" and "The International Travel Writers Alliance". I hold a full UK Press Card, issued by the Metropolitan Police at Scotland Yard, London.

National and local press in UK. Local and National TV in the UK and Europe (Germany, Hungary), reporting on travel and tourism in the UK.

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