London is a city that is wonderful all year round, with the majority of the attractions being landmark buildings, museums, shopping and soaking in history it is somewhere that can be enjoyed in any and all seasons. The weather in London might be pretty variable, even on the same day, but in relative terms it is still quite mild year round and each season comes with different experiences, benefits and considerations. Often times travellers are put off by the weather, the crowds or lack of events at certain times of the year, so with this in mind we’ve complied a guide to the best time to go to London across all 4 seasons. This way when you plan your trip you can make the most of the time of year and have the experience of the city you want!
Best Time to go to London: Winter- December to February
Winter in London is cold but not generally too extreme. It does snow at least a few times during the winter period but London is generally warmer than the rest of the UK with average temperatures between 2-6 °C . however its not unusual for the temperature to drop below zero!
One of the benefits of travelling to the UK in winter is that it can actually be the driest time of year and not always grey and dull. You can expect clear crisp days as well as the odd snow storm! You should some prepared for it to be cold, pack a good coat, hat, gloves and shoes that will keep your feet warm but you are comfortable walking distances in. One of the good things about London too is that the Underground is warm all year round as well as most shops having their heating blasting out, in fact, it can mean you get too hot will all your layers on when you step inside!
Before Christmas and New Year
Winter in London is a story of two halves, before and after Christmas! The city is so different in its vibe and energy before and after the big day and it’s something to keep in mind when planning your trip.
Before Christmas, particularly in the last few weeks leading up to the day the city really comes alive with colour, light and cheer. London at Christmas time is truly magical and a sprinkling of snow really adds to the winter wonderland atmosphere. For Christmas shopping, strolling around the wonderful markets, ice skating, Christmas festivals and generally just soaking in the marvellous ambience of the city there is no where better. Then there is the world famous New Year celebrations where the London Eye is centre stage for an incredible fireworks display!
The other side of things when it comes to the Christmas build up in London is just how busy it gets! London is never quiet but Christmas time is especially busy with locals shopping and enjoying the festivities alongside visitors from the UK and overseas. It can be overwhelming at times and the crowds also makes transport and accommodation more expensive too.
After Christmas and New Year
January and February are quieter and laid back months in London, but there is still plenty to see and do. If you’re looking for deals on airfare or hotels, this is the time to come with Montcalm Hotels in London offering special packages to draw in visitors. This time of year might lack the magic of the pre Christmas build up but it makes up for it in value for money as well as being one of the quietest time of year as everyone recovers from the excesses of Christmas.
Weather after Christmas generally does get colder but the rain also slows down too, this is the best time of year for those bright, sunny and crisp winter days we mentioned earlier.
The football season is in full swing over the winter with the Christmas fixtures being some of the most important. During winter too it might be easier to get tickets due to the cold temperatures! If you don’t fancy braving a game then cheering your team on in a cosy pub is the perfect alternative alongside a traditional Sunday Roast and a pint!
Best Time to go to London: Spring- March to May
Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit London. The weather is starting to change and becomes a lot milder but it can rain quite frequently too in spring and it’s not uncommon to have one last unexpected cold snap too! So whilst spring should be generally warmer than winter you should be sure to pack for pretty much all weathers and especially those coming from warmer climates might find it cooler than expected especially early spring. A raincoat and umbrella are a must pack!
Festivities in Spring
Spring might have the potential for the odd downpour but the warmer weather, sunnier and longer days also mean that the UK is in bloom! London in spring is particularly beautiful with cherry blossoms, daffodils, roses and tulips making the city a sea of colour. The many parks and gardens of London are the perfect place to explore at this time of year and the mild weather makes and longer days make it easy to cover more ground and still be comfortable.
Easter also bring with it many spring festivals too which both celebrate the change in seasons as well as Easter itself. This time of year also means many places opening up again after winter such as farmers markets as well as street food stalls also beginning to pop up too.
Spring also signals the end of the football season so fans can catch the most dramatic games of the year with cup finals and season defining games happening almost every weekend! For those wanting to experience our national game then this is a perfect time of year, however tickets might be hard to come by!
Best Time to go to London: Summer- June to August
Nothing quite beats Europe during the summer, this time of year you will hit some well needed heat and sun in the capital which can really make the city feel alive!! However, this IS the UK, so a downpour can happen at any time and British summers do tend to be humid rather than dry which makes rain and even storms common. London can get unbearably hot at times as well, just last week it hit 39c and honestly, 30+c in London is so much worse than 30+c in places like Thailand or Melbourne due to the layout and age of the city. The UK in general is built to keep warm, heavily insulated old buildings with small windows and no AC too as well as the poor ventilation on The Tube and the sheer amount of tarmacked narrow streets in the capital doesn’t help!
Usually you can wear shorts and t-shirt and a comfortable pair of trainers to explore the city in Summer but it’s advisable to always bring along a hoody or at least a rain jacket folded into your bag just incase too! Summer can often mean 4 seasons in a day in London and across the UK!
Summer festivities in London as Well as Budget.
London really does come alive in the summer, as soon as the mercury rises above 20c us Brits love to get outdoors and make the most of it. BBQ’s and picnics in the park, afternoons in the beer gardens of the many pubs as well as numerous festivals and live events all over the country really gives the place a buzz! Summer is the perfect time to get outside and explore the outdoor activities and events London has on offer, the city has a lot of beautiful parks, gardens and green spaces as well as trendy rooftop bars and open air theatres too. In summer it feels like there is something happening almost every night!!
With the good weather and numerous events as well as the school holidays summer in London can be very busy! Alongside the hot weather it can also make it feel a little claustrophobic and chaotic with the temperature down on The Tube being particularly unbearable! This time of year is also the most expensive for flights and accommodation with hotels like Marble Arch by Montcalm London booking up quickly. It’s best to plan ahead and book early if you are travelling to London in the summer.
Best Time to go to London: Autumn- September to November
The climate changes in London drastically around the second week of September. Autumn temperatures range between 11-15 °C as summer slowly fades away, although you may get lucky through October with some warm weather. As always with London it can be unpredictable at this time of year so you should pack for all weathers but it shouldn’t get too cold. Recently the British summers seem to have extended well into September so early Autumn is a great time to visit as its usually still pleasant but not as stifling as the summer heat.
Festivities and considerations for Autumn in London
Given the mild temperatures, there are a lot of annual events hosted in London around this time, including some themed events for Halloween and Guy Fawkes/ Bonfire night on the 5th of November.
With the kids heading back to school and the chaos of the summer dying down along with prices it makes Autumn a perfect time of year to head to London. With the numerous parks in London the change in season brings with it a beautiful display of gold, red and orange as well as a chilled out vibe.
So, when is the best time to go to London?
In truth there is never a bad time to visit London, with so much to see and do that can be enjoyed in all weather, London is always a good idea! However, to make the most of the trip you should consider what is most important to you. Do you hate the cold weather and want to take in the atmosphere of the summer and explore the outdoors more? Or are you on a strict budget or trying to avoid crowds, maybe then Spring and Autumn are best for you? Or, you want to experience the magic of Christmas in London?
For us having visited many times before we loved the sun and heat of the summer and the crowds too! Sure, it might cost a bit more but we’ve been lucky enough to have friendly live in the capital so we’ve saved there in the past!
Have you visited London? What was your favourite Time of Year?
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