My wife will be doing an 4-week English course in London in January, and she has the option to study in the morning or in the afternoon.

Considering open hours and the season (January 2015), is it better to have free time in the morning or in the afternoon to see attractions and wander around the city?

EDIT: My concern in this question is about how much time will be left to see attractions in London, e.g., Westminster Abbey seems to be open mostly in the morning and early afternoon, so having morning free time would be better for that. My question is about general open hours in London.

PS: The afternoon course is about 250 GBP cheaper than the morning one for 4 weeks.

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    As it stands, your question is going to be subjective. Some people are morning 'mind' people and prefer to study in the morning, others like getting up early and exploring, and then having study in the afternoon. It's probably too subjective in its present form.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 12:21
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    I edited clarifying my point. My concern is about open hours, I think that it wasn't clear on the phrasing. Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 12:30
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    IMO, after the edit the question seems on-topic. Voted to reopen. Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 15:21
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    IMHO the question is valid since at that time of year there are very limited hours of daylight in London.
    – Joel B
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 7:48
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    Purely one man's opinion: DEFINITELY take the cheaper course. That's a nice saving. Regarding seeing a few museums and the like: does it really matter what time it is outside? You're just walking around in a building with some exhibits.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 11:41

2 Answers 2


Since there is only eight hours of daylight in London in January I would suggest you take the afternoon class. If you take the morning class then most of the daylight hours will taken up studying inside. It is probably safer and more enjoyable to wander around an unfamiliar city during daylight.

For typical sunrise / sunset hourse see : Sunrise/Sunset Calendar

  • Hum do you mean that the morning has more available hours? Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 9:53
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    @LuizBorges, I can comment that a January morning has more daylight hours than a January afternoon because the sun sets quite early in the afternoon. Nevertheless, it might be overcast most of the time during the day :-\ I'd suggest to wander in the morning, take your class in the afternoon and save yourself the £250.
    – sks
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 11:39
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    Just did a quick search and found out that the sun sets a 16:00 in January... wow, never expected that since our winters have much more daylight. But then, London is at 51N latitude, and I'm at 21S. Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 12:16
  • Just to add that for some 'usually charging' tourist attractions queues tent to be longer the later in the day. An example that I experienced was the London eye, when I had to queue for 40mins when I arrived at 14:00, but walk straight on when I arrived at 10:30. Also some attractions allow for prebooks online, so you can avoid ticket office lines and go direct to the entrance. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 21:18

In general, museums and attractions tend to open at 10am. Exceptions of note are Westminster Abbey (9:30), Mme Tussaud's (9:30), Tower of London (9am).

With the exception of Westminster Abbey (closes at 3:30pm), museums and attractions seem to remain open till at least 5:30pm.

There may be fewer visitors earlier in the mornings for some of the attractions. However, your wife would only be able to spend 2h per attraction (vs. at least 4h in the afternoon), and most likely would only be able to visit one place per day. Whether that's worth an extra GBP250 or not is up to her.

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    (+1) Note that in London many (not all) museums have no entrance fee so you can easily come one day, have a look at a couple of rooms and come back the next day for more.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 13:02
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    @Relaxed: very good point, especially given the length of stay. They do take a "voluntary donation", though, and the audio guide is not free.
    – Jonas
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 13:19

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