Last updated on January 03rd, 2023
‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.’ So said Samuel Johnson, and in the 250 years since he spoke those words London has only gotten bigger, busier and more diverse.
With London offering everything life could afford, let alone a holiday, working out what to do there and when can be a puzzle. The best time to make a trip to London ultimately comes down to what experiences you have in mind, and how those experiences may be affected by the English weather.
Fortunately we will help you navigate London’s sprawling events and calendar alongside its unpredictable weather, to help make planning your next trip to the city a lot less like navigating a maze, though you may still need a map to master the city’s winding, criss-crossing streets.
What is the Best Time to go to London ?
# London in January | # London in February | # London in March
# London in April | # London in May | # London in June
# London in July | # London in August | # London in September
# London in October | # London in November | # London in December
1. January in London: the city au natural
With the Christmas season wrapping up, and many Londoner’s likely to be staying in on New Year’s Day, the start of the year is the perfect time to experience London at a quiet time away form the usual hustle and bustle of the tourist season.
As the Christmas lights and decorations come down and many locals return to work, January is the best month to get access to London’s indoor sightseeing attractions at their quietest, whilst experiencing the atmosphere of the city at its most natural, whether you’re frequenting quiet galleries or sitting beside the fire in a traditional pub to warm up after a bracing day out. Small but frequent markets and fairs do however provide some holiday bustle.
During the month of January, the average temperature in London is dropping to 9°C (48°F) during the day with around 8 hours daylight each day. Snow and freezing temperatures are possible. January is also a relatively wet month in London.
2. London in February: wintertime warmth
Though February may be a cold month for London, the city is still full of warmth with the atmosphere of Valentines day in the air. Like many cities across Europe, tourism in London is particularly quiet during this Winter month with short days and long nights. Early sunsets bring out more of London’s lights, and create a charming atmosphere amidst occasional snow.
Though many will be wrapped up in large coats this time of year, London Fashion Week brings a glamourous touch to the wintery city, whilst outdoor motor shows and indoor arts events mean that you won’t be stuck for things to do. This month also brings with it some of London’s cheapest hotel and accommodation rates, making it the perfect time to visit on a budget.
With an average temperature of 9°C (48°F) in London the weather is actually quiet similar in February than it is in January. At Night the average temperature drops to 5°C (40°F).
3. London during March: stirrings of spring
With the winter over Spring brings a stirring of beauty in London, as daffodils bloom across the city’s many parks. March is the perfect time to visit London during a quiet period that can boast surprisingly warm weather; longer daylight hours will give you more time to explore the city by day, especially after the clocks go forward into British Summer Time, whilst the end of winter weather reinvigorates the night life. The average day temperature is around 12°C or 53°F.
Travel to the capital in this month can benefit from some of the cheapest rates and reduced traffic, whilst all of London’s major attractions remain open for business. The end of February also brings with it new exhibitions into London’s art spaces as the Winter season gives way to Spring
4. April time in London: sunshine, showers and showtime
Spring is fully underway in April and the month is a cheerful time for London. Though it can be chilly, an early morning visit to one of London’s many parks and gardens to see the newly bloomed flowers is an unbeatable way to start the day. April weather can be unpredictable, jumping from showers to sunshine with great speed, this doesn’t deter Londoners from putting on some of the year’s earliest large events.
From the entertainments of the Southbank’s Underbelly Festival, to the athletic spectacle of the London marathon, April is a great time to see London blooming towards summer without the crowds of the peak tourist season, and witness the city in a natural state as you enjoy the famous and lesser known tourist spots without the heavy foot traffic.
The average temperature is rising and is around 14°C (59°F), night time can still be chilly with an average temperature about 7°C (45°F).
5. London in May: a city in bloom
As late spring approaches ever closer to Summer, May is a great time to make a visit to London. With all of London in bloom the Chelsea Flower Show arrives, bringing its world-class garden design to the heart of the metropolis. Elsewhere the clearer weather sees the beginning of London’s outdoor film and theatre season, so why not watch a film on a rooftop or in a garden, or pay a visit to the traditional open-roofed Globe Theatre for a Shakespearean delight.
Though May can still be a wet month, the rain comes in brief showers and is followed by warm days, and this constant play of rain and sunshine on warm days contributes to the city’s springtime character, as the fog disperses and views of London from the likes of the Shard or Primrose Hill can stretch for miles.
May brings better weather to London with plenty of sunshine and an average day time temperature of 18°C (65°F). Warmer days with temperatures over 25°C (77°F) are not uncommon.
6. June in London: summer in the city
With the winter weather gone, and the summer solstice approaching, the long temperate days of June are the perfect time to explore London at leisure and fill days with famous attractions like the London Eye, the Tower of London, and Parliament Square with the iconic Big Ben.
The races at the Royal Ascot bring out London’s finery, whilst the Queen’s birthday means those looking to see the city’s ceremonial side can catch the world-famous Trooping of the Colour parade. The city throngs with life, ‘a beating, a stirring of galloping ponies, tapping of cricket bats; Lords and Ascot,’ as Virginia Woolf put it, where the wandering visitor will never find themselves short of sights and sounds to keep them busy.
In London the average daytime temperature has now risen to a lovely 21°C (70°F). During the night and early morning temperatures drop to around 13°C (56°F).
7. London during July: the capital opens its doors
As July comes round the city of London swings open its doors to welcome in the tourist trade. Not only are pubs, restaurants, and galleries open for all to enjoy, but even the royal residence itself, Buckingham Palace, opens its doors to visitors. Alongside this, the warmth brings with it the beginning of the Cricket World Cup and a host of other sporting events, whilst elsewhere spectators flock to the musical charms of the BBC Proms.
As these events close, the nights remain warm enough for everyone to stay out and enjoy unforgettable summer evenings across the capital. So whether you’re watching from a stadium seat, or from a seat in a pub, the warm days (average of 23°C or 74°F) and warm nights (15°C or 56°F) of July are a perfect peak time to see London.
8. August in London: festive al fresco days and nights
During August Summer is in full swing and the capital’s restaurants and bars spill out into the streets with al fresco dining experiences. Everywhere is making the most of the warm weather and long days, with days jampacked with outdoor events like open air cinemas for visitors to make the most of.
During the sunshine is the perfect time to take a stroll up and down the banks of the Thames that are thronged with food-places, performers and theatres. With the school holidays kicking off, the capital will be especially ready to entertain children and families, whilst elsewhere the Notting Hill Carnival promises a vibrant weekend in the sun.
August is one of the warmest months in London with an average of 23°C (74°F), which is similar to July.
9. London during September: warmth across the waterways
The late September sun suggests that summer will soon be on its way out, but the warmth and long days are still here to stay for many weeks yet. September is the time when most British children go back to school, so tourist spots in the capital will be less busy than usual, though the weather no less temperate.
Totally Thames is a September-long celebration of the cities famous river, promising lots of outdoor waterside fun, whilst Open House offers month long access to some of London’s lesser known buildings, providing interesting and unique sightseeing experiences that aren’t available to tourists during the earlier summer season. For particularly savvy visitors and sight-seers, September is a great time to catch familiar and unfamiliar London locations at a unique angle.
Although temperatures start dropping, the average temperature is still a pleasant 20°C (13°C).
10. October in London: autumnal colours in the capital
As October rolls around London enters autumn, so expect sunny days punctuated by cooler showers. The parks and gardens of the city take on autumnal browns and oranges, but London itself shows no sign of slowing down.
With the half-term school holidays taking place there is much to entertain the children and keep families busy, whilst the end of the month is seen through with Halloween events, which bring with it a transformation of many of the cities locales and buildings.
You can expect an average of 16°C (60°F) to 10°C (50°F) at night.
11. The Capital in November: festivals amidst the frost
The wet weather makes its return to the capital as the winter comes around, so any visitors in November will need to be sure to keep an umbrella and warm clothing handy. Fortunately, London is stuffed with pubs, restaurants and indoor public spaces to keep you well fed and warm between your jaunts across the city.
Early in the month are Britain’s unique Bonfire Night celebrations, with toffee apples enjoyed around the warmth of a bonfire under impressive night long firework displays, whilst afterwards Remembrance Day takes a more restrained hold of the city with formal ceremonies and parades. There are also many other Winter Events that take place just before the start of the Christmas season, to lighten up the longer nights after the clocks go back an hour.
London starts to get a bit colder with temperatures range from 12°C (53°F) to 7°C (45°F),
12. London at December: the city at Christmas time
London in December during advent is a magical place to be, as large Christmas light displays and decorations go up to brilliantly light up the short days. The city buys into the Christmas cheer, so expect large Christmas Markets across famous spaces like Leicester Square, the Southbank, and Hyde Park.
Travel will inevitably be busier at this time of year, but as many Londoners go away to visit it family many places may be quieter. As well as hearty English Christmas foods and traditions, the city sees in the New Year in style with a titanic firework display in the heart of the city around Westminster. London is perhaps the best and one of the most romantic places to see in the New Year with a loved one.
At this time of year temperature is ranging from 9°C (48°F) to 5°C (40°F). However, you can’t be surprised if the temperatures hit 0°C (32°F) or lower at night.
What’s the Best Season to Visit London Weather-wise
The question of when to visit for the best weather is generally dependent on what you plan to do in London, with museum fans less dependent on fine weather than those looking to enjoy parks and gardens. However, for most people the best time to travel to London weather-wise is probably the late spring, around May, when the weather is fine and sunny without becoming too hot and stuffy on the Tube, and rainfall comes only in brief refreshing showers with winds low.
Visitors to the city at this time will also benefit from reduced crowds as the city is not yet in full tourist season. A similar argument can be made for the period of late September, with Fall sending local children back to school, reducing tourism in the city, though the nice weather doesn’t go anywhere!
Weather in London England
Winters in London are generally cold and wet, with snowfall often occurring in the later Winter during January and early February, with the temperature rarely climbing above 10 degrees Celsius. With the passing of winter however comes the colours of Spring, where visitors can expect the famous English rainfall punctuated by picturesque sunny spells. An early spring morning in one of London’s famous parks is not to be missed, as the cold crisp air thaws into springtime sunshine, with April highs climbing to around a temperate 16 degrees Celsius.
After the Spring season Summer is ushered in around late-May to early June, with hot sunshine made warmer by the city itself, though impressive storms can still interrupt city sunbathers, the temperature often sits at around 20-25 degrees Celsius, sometimes peaking nearer to 30. With late Summer running into the Fall London is still treated to sunshine, but the air is generally colour, making it a perfect time to enjoy wandering in the sun without feeling the heat too hard, and with the clocks not going back an hour until the end of October, the light evenings still draw out long and leisurely and highs from September falling only from 20 to 15 degrees Celsius.
Finally November brings London from Fall to Winter, as the clocks have gone back and days are shorter, with darker early evenings. November is an often rainy month that sees locals fill restaurants and pubs with warmth to escape the cold, with the lack of warmth in the weather made up for in communal events like Bonfire Night, as the capital prepares for another years Christmas celebrations during December, where the temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius and the festivities move indoors.
Seasons to Travel to London
Peak Season in London
The peak season in London is generally around the later Summer months, from around June to the earliest days of September, overlapping with local school holidays when Londoners and their families hope to make the most of England’s rare hot weather. Rain can still punctuate even the hottest of periods, and the city can become surprisingly humid, but if the parks get too hot there are more than enough indoor activities to catch a break from the sun and refresh yourself in the shade.
This season sees London’s most impressive array of outdoor events to make the most of the weather, so expect parks teeming with life and outdoor performances, large theatre schedules, refreshments galore, and ultimately crowds. But with the crowds comes an unbeatable bustle and atmosphere, as the city puts on its best shows to treat its international visitors.
Low Season in London (Cheapest Time to go to London)
London’s low season falls across the winter months in the capital, from November to February. The wet and windy weather generally discourages many visitors, and Londoners themselves are keen to stay indoors. Whilst chillier, this time of year brings out the warmth of the many city’s cosy spaces, from pub hearth fires to well-heated galleries.
This low season is also injected with lots of cheer by the Christmas season, which brings joy and warmth to the cold and short days, with the city decked in decorations and shops offering a wealth of retail experiences. Though the cold and potential snow may deter some people, seasoned travellers will be sure to find lots to do amidst the unique prettiness of the wintertime city, whose doors are always opened wide with inviting warmth.
Mid-Season in London
On either flank of the high summer season and low winter season are the shoulder seasons falling around Spring and Autumn, from around March to early May and September to late October. Though the weather can be a bit chillier, the combination of crisp early mornings and flashes of sunshine make the city a pretty place to wander, with a lot less rain than might be expected.
With most tourists generally absent, but the city itself as full of life as ever, the shoulder seasons, particularly the spring time period, are a fantastic time to visit to experience London on your own terms, free to enjoy attractions without the massive crowds, and indulge in slices of everyday London life unaffected by crowds of tourists.
For fans of parks and outdoor spaces these are particularly good windows to see London’s outdoor beauty, whilst fans of museums can benefit from reduced crowds during exhibitions and theatre buffs can enjoy a show before emerging into the refreshing night air for a wander around the heart of the city.
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