5 August 2008

English Invasion

DH and I will be leaving this weekend to travel throughout England for two weeks. I have been to England twice before, but this is a first for DH. He has a friend that lives and works in London and he and his wife have been gracious enough to ask us to stay at their flat while we're there.

I have left all the arrangements and travel plans completely up to DH, so I am basically sitting back and enjoying the ride!

My only concern at this point, is my travel wardrobe. I was previously in England at this time of year and spent most of my time in sweaters, trying to stay warm. I have been checking the weather in London for the last few weeks and it appears that this summer is warmer than the summer I experienced several years ago. I want to travel light (with only a carry on bag) and since we will have access to laundry facilities, I am hoping to only bring three to four days worth of clothes and just wash them as needed. I have sewn several pieces of clothing to take with me and I'm hoping that employing the principle of layering (adding on if it gets cold, removing if it gets hot) will suit me well. I have my comfy leather walking shoes and sandals all broken in and I also made sure to purchase a raincoat, as it appears to be crazy rainy in London right now. I guess if worst comes to worst, I can always buy (yeah, Visa!) any article of clothing that I require, but didn't pack.

Any Brits out there that can offer some insight as to the weather this time of year? Any others that can offer some travel wardrobe advice?

P.S. I scammed the Big Ben picture from Wikipedia.

18 comments:

Dzesika said...

Sounds like you've got it all figured out. I lived in London for four years and rarely wore shorts in the summer (lots of skirts, though, a good compromise between shorts and trousers) ... and carried around lots of layers!
One thing to note, if it's rainy make sure your walking shoes don't mind getting drenched ...

Vicki said...

Have a great time!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I live in England :-) and can tell you that at the moment, the weather is quite variable. We are having some sunny, warm days with temperatures ranging between 18 and 25 degrees celsius. These are mixed with some muggy cloudy days and for the last few days we have had some heavy rain. It is often showery at this time of year. Your idea to bring layers is a good one - a day can be warm enough for just a t-shirt at noon, then be chilly enough to add a cotton jacket in the evening. Hope this helps. Julie

Fiona McLaren said...

I'm in bed in London as we speak... the last few weeks have been horribly hot and humid, but it seems this has now been replaced with what can only be described as warm but drizzly. In short, prepare for everything! My current dress code is a light dress with or without tights, a cardigan and an umbrella.

MarilynB said...

Enjoy your trip. I certainly hope that you plan to do some fabric shopping, just make sure to leave some room in your suitcase. If you do shop, be sure to visit Edgeware Road just off the tube stop and Berwick Street in Soho.

Anonymous said...

I lived in England for several years. I never EVER remember it being humid! The Brits would complain that it was humid every once in awhile but it wasn't even close (I'm from the midwest)! Maybe London gets hotter with all the concrete?!?! I can clearly remember wearing a wool sweater during one particularly chilly August. I would just take a jacket or cardigan to get you through. One of my favorite things about England was the climate. Perfect.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Shannon - have a wonderfully, glorious trip. Go to the Albert & Victoria museum and Libery of London's fabric store for me! Don't forget to take copious notes, lotsa pictures and share it all with us when you return!!!

Catherine said...

Shannon, I live in Manchester which is not as warm as London but I can tell you the weather is variable at the moment, as always. It is quite warm though but we are having a lot of showers. Layers are he way to go, but most days I wear pants/skirt and a top with no need for a jacket. Do bring your rain coat and brolly!

You should also check bbc weather on the internet just before you leave, they are the best for the forecast.

Dilly said...

Hi Shannon! I'm a Londoner and as the others have said it's quite variable this year... The last couple of weeks have been pretty warm and humid (around 28'C), but at the moment it's a bit cooler - low 20s - and rather rainy! I've been ok with a short sleeved top and a skirt with no tights, plus a cardie or light jacket for the evening. I wouldn't bother with a raincoat if I were you - much easier just to stick with an umbrella otherwise you'll boil if you get on a bus or the tube.

Places I'd recommend to visit (obviously sewing related!):
- Victoria & Albert Museum (Cromwell Road, South Kensington Tube - I work at Imperial College just opposite the V&A so wave to me if you do visit!) for the Fashion and textile galleries
- Goldhawk Road (the section between the tube station and Shepherd's Bush Green) for the fabric shops
- MacCullough & Wallis (Dering Street, just off Oxford Street opposite John Lewis, Oxford Circus/Bond Street tubes) for the haberdashery on the 1st floor.

Have a brilliant time!

Dilly x

Anonymous said...

Shaukat, old brompton rd, close enough to the V&A, liberty prints cheaper than liberty and silks have fun

Nancy K said...

Have a great time Shannon. You may want to bring only one carry on, but where will you put your fabric purchases?

Anne Frances said...

Right now ( Friday morning) it's raining lightly in North West London and about 21 celsius - 70 Fahrenheit. The five day forecast is for much of the same. But it can quickly turn to much colder and windier even at this time of year, and definitely be colder further North. So do bring a couple of lightweight but warm cardies/sweaters, and socks or tights to keep feet warm.

I'd add VV Rouleaux off Sloane square or just off Marylebone High St for ribbons and some trims if that would be of interest and R.D Franks close to Oxford Circus for fashion and sewing books and magazines (NB they are closed on Saturday)
Have a wonderful time!
Anne Frances

Anonymous said...

I'm not lucky enough to live in the UK, but if you happen to go to Hampton Court, there is an embroidery school there. They manage and repair all the royal items. And they do let tourists come through to see what they are working on. It isn't an extensive tour, but it is fascinating!

Have a great trip!

angie.a said...

I'm jealous! Have a wonderful trip!!

Tany said...

London, there's a place that I'd like to visit in the future! Have a safe trip and lots of fun!

Tany said...

Here are two articles of interest for you: http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/127/london-haberdashery-shopping
and
http://www.fehrtrade.com/article/140/london-fabric-shops-goldhawk-road

melissa said...

Hahah, thanks, Tany! I was just about to post those myself. :)

I'm in London, and unfortunately this summer is just as bad as last year's. Yesterday I was sat at my desk in my leather jacket trying not to shiver. And it's August.

Definitely bring long trousers and skirts, short sleeves and several jackets or sweaters for layering. It's really been unseasonable cool for the last few weeks and shows no sign of stopping. We haven't had that much rain (despite the weather report icons), but just a few sprinkles each day that may catch you unaware if you don't carry an umbrella with you at all times!

If you'd like a coffee and some local knowledge, drop me an email and I'd be happy to have my brain picked.

French_Seam said...

You MUST take a raincoat, something light you can roll up. It's the school hols (vacation) & so traditionally it rains every day!
I would add Borovicks Fabrics (Berwick St, just off Oxford St), Franks fashion bookstore (also off Oxford St) & VV Rouleaux (Sloane Square: superb for trims, ribbons) to your visit.
Have a superb time, I just wish I could meet you for a shopping trip ;)