Frugal London Vacation Tops
Frugal London Vacation Tops

Best Time To Visit London, Plus The Jubilee

best time to visit london plus the jubilee
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It’s been quiet around here, and for good reason. We have just come back from a wonderful London trip. The icing on the cake was that neither one of us realized it was the Queen’s Jubilee, her 70th year as the queen of England. June is without a doubt the best time to visit London, it turns out.

Our trip to London was a spur of a moment thing, and it was supposed to be a five-day visit. In the end, it ended up being double that amount of time because the airline prices were expensive (now l know why 🙂 ), so l kept adding a day on both ends to soften the blow. I should have realized something was up.

view of Buckingham palace being set up for the jubilee
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As close as you could get to the palace and loads of people we camped out along the sides.

Best time to visit London and the Royal Jubilee

best time to visit london plus the jubilee
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You can just imagine our surprise upon seeing all the celebratory decorations around town in preparation for the jubilee. I have to say that l was initially not impressed as I’ve never been a monarchy fan, and therefore do not keep up with the news.

best time to visit London and the queen's jubilee crown in front of roger viver store made with flowers.
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Reminders of the jubilee were everywhere. We did see a lot of corgi designs, the Queen’s favorite dog breed.

It wasn’t until a friend mentioned that we were in a historic moment that it finally sank in, and l adjusted my thinking. Having been to London quite a few times, I was nonchalant, but l do realize now that we were indeed lucky to be a tiny part of the celebration. There was intangible happiness and pride that was everywhere. It’s safe to say that the Brits love their royal family, at least the Queen.

corgi design made of flowers ro celebrate the jubilee in London
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This was the biggest display we saw.

Why June is the best time to visit London:

Weather:

The first and foremost reason why l think June is the best time to visit London is the weather. There are very few days of rain in June (about 8), and even then, they are usually in short bursts. We had one day of rainy weather where we had to duck into stores and wait out the rain, but seven of the ten days were gorgeous with temperatures averaging about 60-75 degrees while the other days were clear but windy and a bit cooler.

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Camden looks a little more upscale than the last time l saw it, but still had lots of grunge.

Yes, I did wear a jacket on a daily basis because l am always cold, and any little bit of wind makes me even more so. Most tourists and everyday Londoners were in t-shirts and shorts, which l thought was just sheer madness.

Daylight:

The days are long with over eight hours of sunlight, so you can enjoy the outdoors for a lot longer. When the weather is pleasant to boot, you don’t mind waiting in a long line for tickets, restaurants, etc. A lot of restaurants have outdoor seating, way more than before since covid days and people-watching is great.

best time to visit London people and crowds near Trafalgar Square London
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Glorious weather meant people were out and about, and that made it even more amazing.

Crowds are still manageable:

While London in June usually has a lot of visitors, it is not as much as when it’s full-on summer, so you can still enjoy what the city has to suffer without the insanely long queues for everything, from restaurants to museums, and shows.

Things are not “summer priced” yet:

It’s no secret that prices in summertime increase in most major cities, London being no exception. The summer season starts on June 21. If you’re able to visit London before this, you can still enjoy somewhat reasonable prices, for London that is :-). It’s forecast that a mug of beer will average a wallet-busting 8 pounds this summer.

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Chinatown was even more festive at the best time to visit London with the addition of flags to the usual lanterns.

The kids are still in school:

Yeah!!! Most London schools break for summer in July so you practically have the city to yourself with other adults. If you’ve ever been stuck on a bus waiting for a mom and dad trying to choral three to four kids while lugging groceries and prams etc. while behind them is another family with screaming kids, you’ll appreciate that.

carnaby street in full decoration for the Queen's jubilee in London
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The Queen’s jubilee meant lots of celebrations around the city.

What to see in London:

In addition to the usual sights, such as the London Eye, Trafalgar Square (top picture), Big Ben, and the museums, we also went a bit out of the city to feel like London locals. We were in search of new experiences, which l felt that we got.

The London eye in the best time to visit London
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The London Eye. Just one of the many things to see in London. I went on it a long time ago.
Covent Garden London Apple Way with crowds.
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Covent Garden was all dolled up too.
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This was quite the shocker! What a difference. One of the guards told us that a certain English singer recently bought a flat there for a whopping 45 million pounds in the tower building. She couldn’t stop raving about the terrace and views from there.

What to eat in London:

Some of the observations we made were that, much like the rest of the world, the prices in London are insane! For instance, fish and chips, a staple, which before would have been between 7-8 pounds, were now 14 pounds and above (assuming you could still find it on the menus, the same for bangers and mash which Fede was really looking forward to). 

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We still ate fish and chips anyway. How could we not? 🙂

Coming from Valencia, where a full meal with starter, main, dessert, and a beer or glass of wine costs less than 13 euros (more often 10 euros), it was shocking. We continued to be shocked for those ten days :-). Valencia continues to be a bargain despite the fact that prices are also creeping up.

black woman with charcuterie board and glass of wine in a cave restaurant in London
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Lunch at a bar in a cave at the Embarkment. It was definitely cool.

London is so expensive and l always feel for the workers as most can not afford to live in the city. While this is indeed the same in other places such as Paris and Dubai, etc., it just seems like London slaps it on quite thickly. I have written previously on doing London cheaper.

ribs and Jamaican rice jerky
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Ribs and spicy Jamaican food… yeah!

Standing on a street in Knightsbridge for instance, we counted 9 two-toned Rolls Royce behemoths, 5 single-colored ones, one Rolls Royce SUV (ugly in my opinion), and countless S550 Mercedes (the best!), and at least 12 Tesla automobiles, all in less than five minutes. I would hate to live in a place like that, seeing it on a daily basis from my perch on a double-decker, my envy would lead to depression for sure.

Black woman with afternoon tea setting in front, sandwiches and tea and scones and
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Yes… we used Groupon to get an amazing price for a proper tea for two at a hotel.

One has to be super-rich to fully enjoy life there. Even Federico, who had always maintained that he would do any lowly job just to be able to live in London finally admitted that he would be miserable too. London will always be a fun place to visit, but as a place to reside? No, thanks.

One of my sisters came to visit from the suburbs whilst we were there, and that was great fun. Our paths had not crossed in a long time, and while we had hoped that we would be in Nigeria at the same time, it didn’t happen. Her visit was a couple of weeks after mine. Catching up with family is always a good thing.

She wasn’t super happy of course. It was a public holiday because of the jubilee. Her train had been very crowded and a journey that should have taken two hours at the most took over four and a half hours. She was just happy that she had chosen not to drive the whole way. I suspect had l not been her favorite sister, she wouldn’t have come! Haha…

The long weekend for the jubilee celebrations meant that most workers had Thursday and Friday off, so a lot of locals went away, or just stayed home and rested while the streets were flooded with us, visitors.

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June, in my humble opinion, is definitely the best time to visit London.

Since there are no more covid-related restrictions in the U.K, we saw very few people wearing masks. It was a bit weird at first, especially on public transport as we are still required to wear them in Valencia, but we soon got used to it, and yeah…we chucked the mask for the most part.

Take my money. Please?

Another observation we made was that it was practically impossible to spend cash anywhere! My advice? Leave the cash at home and pay for everything with a card. We seemed to be only able to spend cash at big department stores. Everywhere else, (even the food market stalls) and we were screwed. It has become a thing, one that I’m not sure how l feel about.

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A lot of stores participated in paying tribute to the queen for her jubilee.

So… when is the best time to visit London?

June, I say for the reasons listed above. I am a big fan of traveling off-season as there are tremendous savings associated with it, but it is also nice to enjoy a city at its best with June being the best time to travel to London.

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Have you been to London? and do you agree that June is the best time to visit London? What are your favorite things to do and to see? If not, would you like to visit this amazing city?

8 thoughts on “Best Time To Visit London, Plus The Jubilee”

  1. Wow! What a nice surprise you guys stumbled into. London, all dressed up, amazing weather and a visit with your sister. I agree London has become one of the most expensive cities in the world and even the ‘cheap’ hotels are more than most people can afford. We eat in the pubs a lot when we go, but even those are becoming ridiculous. Thanks for sharing your visit.

    Reply
    • It was indeed a nice surprise! I probably should have figured something was up with the airline prices… but we paid for it one way or the other haha! You’re right, the concept of cheap is not even there anymore, even my sister complains and she lives on a doctor’s salary. We’ll still keep visiting though as we love the city so much :-). Hope you guys are enjoying your new digs!

      Reply
  2. Kemkem, how lovely to be in London for the Queen’s Jubilee…even if it was not planned like that…lol.
    I am a huge fan of the monarchy and particularly love the Queen, I was in London for her 90th Birthday celebrations and managed to get a good view of her from behind the gates of Buckingham Palace when she come out on her balcony.
    There were lots of street parties going on, here where we live included…but we missed it all 🙁
    London prices are ridiculously expensive, we usually just eat at the food market or other street food just to keep things a bit cheaper.
    So nice that you met up with your sister, I loved that photo of the 3 of you together. You are absolutely right that June is a great month to visit London, with the weather being a lot sunnier and shoulder season prices a lot more affordable. I also love visiting it in September/October and enjoy the Autumn colors .

    Reply
    • I am such a goof when it comes to planning, but it was a nice surprise. I don’t really keep up with the royal news or anything like that. You must have enjoyed her 90th birthday celebrations. I have a friend in Berline who absolutely adores everything royal too. Did she wave directly to you? :-)-
      We did find the food market and street food were still reasonable. Fede had a stack of ribs and chicken that was for one at 14 pounds but it could easily have fed three because l helped him, and he still had some leftover. That is the way to go for sure to even things out.
      Yes, I find off-shoulder season visits to be absolutely wonderful. Fede wants to go see New England in the Fall, but l am so not looking forward to a U.S visit, so we’ll do it in England maybe haha!

      Reply
  3. KemKem- on the New England idea: think about it! We did it last year for our 30th and found a very reasonable VRBO in Boston for the first 4 days, then went up to Maine and then Vermont- all using sort-of-off-the-norm cabins, apartments, over garages granny units, etc… and the car rental was reasonable too. (and gas was cheaper than in California:(). There are still some “Yankee” opportunites to be found in New England… though we did get skunked in a few restaurants where we learned the reservations were going out 2 weeks in advance (I think it was a covid thing, so might be better this year). But one of those restraunts took pity on us and gave us a take-away meal that was fabulous- complete with awesome bottle of wine, and since we had a great apartment to go back to, it was all great! So do consider, because the fall colors were spectacular!

    Reply
    • Hi Caroline! Okay… I will definitely think about it as you’re right. The colors are just spectacular in the Fall l agree. He wants to see it badly, I didn’t even realize l talked about it that much, or of the New England clam chowder haha! A friend made us some not too long ago when he mentioned it to her, and it was pretty good, even put them in bread bowls. It still seems like the restaurants are having a hard time of things with staffing and all, just like the airlines and airports. Hope it all gets sorted by that time. If l can psyche myself up for such a long flight (I have become so spoiled 🙂 ), it will happen.

      Reply
  4. A real bonus, indeed, to be there for the Queen’s Jubilee. Everything looks so amazing, indeed. And yes, I have to mention the food – I love fish and chips and never had the chance to taste the “real” ones 🙂 Also never had “tea” (I still find its name funny) which seems perfect too.

    Interesting how things change regarding payments. It was just years ago that many places only took cash… how things change! I know they’re running a campaign for card payments here as well – but in Romania’s case the main reason is to fight tax evasion. Either way, I personally prefer paying with a card instead of cash 🙂

    Reply
    • It was a great bonus indeed, I ended up getting into it, complete with two little flags haha! My friend used to work at one of the big hotels, so we always had tea when l would visit, but it had been a long time. The Groupon was a godsend as there is no way l would have spent in excess of 50 pounds per person for tea no matter how good it was. We couldn’t even finish this one! The food markets seem to have the lowest prices and definitely worth checking out.

      I was very surprised at the cashless stuff. The worst part is that job that we’re back, they are changing the 20 and 50 pound notes so ours will be obsolete by our next visit🤣. Haha… I am sure they will keep fighting it over there. Who likes to pay taxes?😂😂 I think l still prefer cash.😏, or at least give me a choice!!!

      Reply

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