London is one of the true ‘cities of the world’. With an unrivalled history, an abundance of things to see and do and some of the finest dining options available anywhere in the world, it’s no surprise that almost 20 million people visit the capital each year.
As great as the city is, one thing that can’t be relied upon when planning a visit is the infamous (and unpredictable) English weather.
That’s precisely why we’ve put together this guide – to advise you on the best time to visit London. We want you to get the very best out of your visit, and that means visiting at the right time. So, when should you visit London?
Traveling in Spring
Springtime is beautiful in the UK. The daffodils and bluebells will be in bloom and the countryside will be looking even more beautiful than usual. The weather will be bright and airy with a slight chill in the air.
There are two main concerns when traveling to the UK in spring: rain and school holidays. If you arrive too early in springtime, there’s a good chance you’ll get caught out by the cold and wet. Try to arrive after March for the best weather.
Also remember that, when the kids are off school, a lot of the locations and events you want to attend might get busy. You’ll want to make sure you avoid the Easter break (5th to the 23rd of April 2019) so things are much quieter. It’s the perfect time to visit places like Stonehenge or Windsor Castle.
Traveling in Summer
It may be surprising to some, perhaps, but summer in the UK can get hot. And I mean really hot. This year, in July, London saw temperatures hotter than Mumbai, Barcelona and Mexico City. July and August can be so warm in fact that you really don’t need to worry about the rain. Even though summer sees the most rainfall of all periods in the year, the odd thunderstorm will be a bit of a relief!
However, you do need to think about foot traffic and the school holiday rush. The British summer holidays in 2019 are between the 19th July and 4th September so it might be wise to avoid these times. Mid-to-late September is the ideal time to visit; the weather will still be great but the kids are back at school.
Traveling in Autumn
Autumn is definitely my favorite time of year. As the trees start to turn, the British countryside takes on beautiful new hues of red, orange and brown. It’s the ideal time of year for walking, with sunny spells and crisp air. Leave it too late in autumn, however, and you’re bound to experience more than a few showers of rain.
I recommend early-to-mid October for the perfect autumnal excursion into the UK. It’s not so late that the winter rains are setting in, and you’re still likely to catch some real sunny spells across the country. Be mindful of the half-term school holiday in late October which can get a little busy, though certainly not as busy as the summer holidays.
Traveling in Winter
Without a doubt, winter is the greyest season of the year. Wait until its cold enough, however, and many parts of the UK are transformed into a winter wonderland that can give you some of your most memorable Christmas and New Year’s periods.
Don’t travel in early November – it isn’t yet cold enough for snow and you’ll see a lot of grey, wet weather. Instead, wait until late December and January. It’ll be a little busier around Christmas time, but you’ll get to enjoy the fairy lights, Christmas markets and roasted chestnuts by the fire. It’s the best time of year to visit the north of England and Scotland. Just remember to wrap up warm.