I'll be travelling to the UK in January. I know what I want to visit: Edinburgh, Glasgow, York, Leeds, Liverpool and London.
As Edinburgh is my first stop and I'll be arriving in the evening, I'll book the hostel in advance, probably in a week or two, just to be able to forget about it and keep planning other things.
What I don't know is if I should book everything in advance, in every city I'll be visiting, or just wing it and book while I'm there... Will I have trouble finding accomodation in hostels if I don't book in advance?
This is similar enough to the trip I took last May for me to safely say you won't have a problem winging it and I am also now a big fan of travelling this way. Admittedly, I didn't stay in hostels but it would be similar. You can always call a hostel the night before you travel to make sure of a vacancy but as you are travelling during the low season I expect you won't have a problem.
I also highly recommend Betty's Café Tea Rooms in St Helen's Square, York.
Have a great trip!
In January it is fairly quiet - you will not have to book - but I suggest you phone or email before to check they are open / have vacancies. You can make provisional enquiries without having to book through online sites.
Keeping it flexible is very much recommended. You may well meet interesting people and change your plans as a result. Be warned though, my now wife met me on day 3 of her holiday and ended up cancelling the rest of her bookings - and the flight home!
How are you travelling? The weather is unpredictable then and days are short.
I suggest you have a look at couchsurfing.org too - great way to meet locals.
Best of luck!
I would agree with the last poster. Alas, in January many of the interesting, historic and quirky hostels in Scotland and England are closed or reserved for booked parties. The main cities that you want to visit, however, are likely to be open and you have a good chance of last minute booking.
However, I would advise ALWAYS phoning ahead for your next night's accommodation and do not arrive in a strange city without a bed. Hotels in city centres are always expensive, even the chain ones.
If your desired hostel is full,ask for a list of bed and breakfast establishments from a tourist office. Single rooms are in short supply, though but do exist. A full cooked breakfast thrown in keeps you going for hours.
When planning activities remember it gets dark at around 16.30 in Scotland and about half an hour later in England. This why January is not popular apart from the weather. Wrap up warm and waterproof and enjoy yourself.
Thanks for the great advice!!!!!!
UK is the best place to visit. But there is usually need to book rooms before you come as there is plenty of despicable accommodation.
When in london i would recommend booking in advanced, its very busy! and london will probs still be pricy however alot of the museums like the natural history are free entry so you wont be short of things to do
2 weeks in advance would be enough, more or less?