The best time to visit London is from March to May, when temperatures are mild and the city’s parks are green and in bloom. However, late spring, along with summer, is also the main tourist season, and hotel and flight prices reflect the increase. You are more likely to find deals on airfare and accommodation in autumn and winter, although you will also find cold temperatures.
December in London is also an incredibly popular place to be during the holidays, so expect the streets to be full of English and international tourists.and no matter when you travel, you should pack an umbrella: London is known for experiencing misty days and showers all year round.another thing to keep in mind: it is almost impossible to escape the crowds in London.
When is the best time to visit London?
- Best time to book hotels in London: London is a busy destination all year round, so try to book the best hotels in London and the best family hotels in London 4-6 months in advance.
- Best time to see the royal sites: Summer is your best bet for a chance to see all the royal sites in London, as many residences are only open to the public while the occupants are on holiday.The state rooms at Buckingham Palace are available for visits from late July to September, Kew Palace is closed during the winter months, and Clarence House (home of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall) is only open to the public in August, the only month of the year when all the sites are open for visits.June brings the pomp and pageantry of Trooping the Color, the Queen’s birthday parade and the annual regimental review, as well as the opportunity to rub shoulders with the aristocratic crowd at Royal Ascot.
- Best time to shop: all the best sales in London, including the very popular summer offer from Harrods, take place in late June and early July.The shops are the busiest and generate most of their revenue during December; expect a lot in the festive atmosphere during this month, but not many bargains.the January sales after Christmas combined with the break in tourism in that month can generate general savings on shopping, airfares and hotel rates.those looking for great deals throughout the year can head north to Bicester Village, the centre of luxury shopping where Kate Middleton is rumoured to shop.
- Best time for shows and theatre: tickets for West End shows are easiest to get during the January/February tourist break, and many can be found at great discounts during this time through the annual GILT (Get Into London Theatre) promotion.August is a bit confusing: families who go to the theatre can get free children’s tickets during the London Theatre Children’s Week, but many smaller shows and comedy acts have packed up and headed north this month for the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival.These shows will be back, along with new acts directly from The Fringe, to mark the start of the new theatre season in September.
- The best time for children and families: London is a great city to visit with children, and it can be surprisingly affordable as there are many free museums and galleries and getting around is easy and affordable: children under 11 travel free on buses and tubes.Every August, London Kids Theatre’s Week offers a free children’s ticket for every adult ticket purchased for many of the West End’s best shows, along with behind-the-scenes tours, workshops and quizzes to entertain and enlighten budding actors. (Children’s Week tickets go on sale in June, and popular shows sell out quickly, so plan ahead.)The warm summer weather is perfect for burning off excess energy in London’s parks and playgrounds, but expect family attractions to be busier when school is not in session, not only during the summer, but also around Christmas and Easter, and during the mid-term breaks that occur in February, May, and October.If your family can travel in the spring or autumn, you’ll reach the ideal point where the weather is pleasant and prices are not high.the charm of Christmas in London can be magical for a child, but the seasonal crowds can be difficult to handle with youngsters and passers-by.
- The best time for museums and galleries: London’s museums and galleries are quieter during the January and February sightseeing dip: they won’t be empty, but you’re likely to avoid the queues and large crowds.The week between Christmas and New Year can also be surprisingly sleepy – expect family attractions (Natural History Museum, Science Museum, London Transport Museum, etc.) to be busier when the children are out of school during the summer, during the main holidays and during the mid-term breaks in February, May and October.It is worth noting that many museums and galleries offer late visiting hours at least once a week, giving night owls the opportunity for a (relatively) quiet visit once the daytime crowds have left.
- The best time for Christmas activities: Christmas comes early to London, providing ample opportunity to enjoy the seasonal festivities.Most of the shops, holiday markets and skating rinks are open and in full swing in mid-November.the big tree in Trafalgar Square is lit up during the first week of December, and Christmas games and pantomimes are held throughout the month until early January.Many museums and attractions are closed from 24-26 December (and everything, including public transport, is closed on Christmas Day), so tourists would do well to plan trips before or after this time.boxing day sales attract crowds to shops during the week between Christmas and New Year, but museums and galleries remain relatively quiet.expect the lights, screens and markets to stay up until early January.
- High season (May to mid-September, December): London is very turbulent in the late spring and summer months, when the weather is warm and children are out of school, and during the seasonal shopping and activity fever in December.
- Mid-season (mid-September to November, March to April): London’s mild spring and autumn weather attracts many tourists, although the city does not tend to be as crowded as in summer. It is easier to get hotel and theatre bookings, and airfares are within reasonable range.
- Low season (January and February): expect cool temperatures and heavy rain during these months, along with a substantial decrease in tourism. Those who don’t mind the humidity and cold can find excellent deals on airfares and hotel rates in the off-season months, and will be rewarded with smaller crowds and queues.Pack warm clothes and an umbrella.
London weather by month
- London weather in January: January is the coldest month in London, with a daily average of 9°C. It is rarely cold enough for snow, although if a cold spell is going to occur, this will be the month for it. Generally you can expect constant rain and cold wet winds. It would be good to plan warm clothes, waterproof boots and indoor activities.(Average maximum temperature: 9°C. Average rainfall: 52mm.)
- London weather in February: Temperatures remain cold throughout this month, although the rain warms up in the showers and there is a good chance of a sunny day here and there. By the end of this month, the first spring flowers will be ready and start to bloom.(Average maximum temperature: 9 ° C. Average rainfall: 39 mm.)
London weather in February: temperatures remain cold throughout this month, although the rain warms up in the showers and there is a good chance of a sunny day here and there.)
- London weather in March: March weather in London is notoriously difficult to predict. Depending on the year, mid-March in London could be 18°C and sunny, or just above zero with snow. However, the average daily maximum increases throughout the month, along with spring flowers and the chance to see the sun.
- London climate in April: like March, April in London is a mixture of cold weather and warm, spring days.In general, temperatures oscillate in the Celsius teens, spring is in full bloom and the tendency to warm up continues (average maximum temperature: 15°C. Average rainfall: 43 mm.)
- London Climate in May: May can be a glorious month to visit London.The average temperature in the high teens, the parks are green and blooming, and the late afternoons extend during the daytime to about 9 p.m. However, as in any London month, cloudy days can be wet and cold, and it is best to be prepared for the possibility of rain (average maximum temperature: 18 ° C. Average rainfall: 50 mm.)
- London weather in June: The long days of June in London have an average of eight hours of sunlight, and temperatures increase while the cloud cover decreases throughout the month.(Average maximum temperature: 21 ° C. Average rainfall: 43 mm.)
- London Climate in July: July is the hottest and driest month in London, with 7-10 wet days and average temperatures in the 20 degrees centigrade.Humidity ranges from 46-85%, and nights can be cool.the underground without air conditioning can be particularly sticky at this time: it is a good idea to dress in light layers and carry a bottle of water.(Average maximum temperature: 23°C. Average rainfall: 41mm.)
- London weather in August: The hot summer weather continues into August, with temperatures starting to drop slightly towards the end of the month.expect high temperatures in the low 20s and lows in the mid-teens, but be prepared (as always in London) for the possibility of rain.(Average maximum temperature: 23°C. Average rainfall: 48 mm.)
- London weather in September: September cools down a little as London heads into autumn. Average daily high temperatures are around 20°C, and days are shortened: the sunset will be around 7:30pm. The possibility of rain is still looming, but it is likely to fall in showers, not downpours.(Average maximum temperature: 20°C. Average rainfall: 49 mm.)
- London weather in October: heavy rain and fog return to London in October, the wettest month of the year in the city, but with an average of only 15 rainy days, you are likely to see sunshine and get soaked.Trees change colour and drop their leaves, and days that are not wet and windy can be lovely for walking, with high temperatures in the upper teenage years. (Average maximum temperature: 16°C. Average rainfall: 71mm.)
- London weather in November: London temperatures continue to drop throughout November, with maximum averages in the lower teenage years, and rain becomes more constant.Expect and plan for cold, wet and windy weather, although you may be surprised by one or two days of pleasant sunshine.(Average maximum temperature: 12°C. Average rainfall: 63mm.)
- London climate in December: cold, wet and dark.Temperatures generally remain below 10°C and most days are rainy, although snow is rare. Days average one hour of sunlight, with sunset before 4pm, much better for enjoying the lights and festive seasonal displays. (Average maximum temperature: 9°C. Average rainfall: 53mm.)
London Events & Festivals
London Events in January
- London New Year’s Day Parade: big American style street parade from Piccadilly to Parliament Square, at noon on January 1st.
- London International Mime Festival: much more than mime, a celebration of circus and performance, puppetry and shadow play at various venues in central London.
- Get Into London Theatre (GILT) promotion: heavily discounted tickets to over 65 shows in London for performances during January and February.
London Events in February
- Chinese New Year Celebration: the largest outside Asia, with lion dancing, a parade through the West End and cultural entertainment in Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and Shaftesbury Avenue.
- London Fashion Week: the fashion industry converges on Somerset House in central London, where the world’s top designers showcase their autumn collections in a week of exhibitions and parties by invitation only.
London Events in March
- BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival: the British Film Institute’s queer film celebration, showcasing over 50 critically acclaimed international films at BFI Southbank.
- The University Boat Race: 250,000 spectators line the banks of the Thames from Putney to Chiswick Bridge to watch the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
London events in April
- London Marathon: traffic grunts and spectators cheer as 36,000 runners make the walk along the Thames from Blackheath/Greenwich to the shopping centre in St. James Park.
London Events in May
- Museums by Night: twice-weekend after-hours admission to museums across the UK, showcasing evening exhibitions of limited duration and cultural events.
- Chelsea Flower Show: the horticultural equivalent of London Fashion Week.
London Events in June
- Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: artwork by honoured and emerging artists on display at Burlington House in Piccadilly during the world’s largest open-ended art exhibition.(June August)
- Trooping the Color: it’s a great show when the Queen inspects her troops and leads them down The Mall from the Horse Guard Parade to Buckingham Palace on her annual birthday march.
- Royal Ascot: kings and riffraff dress up, drink champagne and play ponies in this crème de la crème of British horse racing events.
- City of London Festival: a cultural arts festival with music, comedy, dance, film, talks and tours.over three weeks in various parts of the city.
- Taste of London: sample the produce of some of London’s finest restaurants and watch cooking demonstrations at this popular food and wine festival in Regents Park.
- Open Garden Squares Weekend: over 300 of London’s most secret and spectacular gardens are open to the public for one weekend only.
- The Wimbledon Championship:A two-week international Grand Slam tennis tournament in late June and early July, held at the All England Club in Wimbledon (40 minutes by train from central London).
London Events in July
- Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – See June.
- Wimbledon Championships – See June.
- Hampton Court Palace Flower Show: Exhibition gardens and horticultural workshops abound at the world’s largest annual flower show in southwest London.
- BBC Proms: Classical music fans fill the Royal Albert Hall during this eight week orchestral music festival, with daily concerts and £5 tickets for those «prommers» who are willing to give up a seat.(July September)
- Pride in London: a week-long celebration of all things GLBT, culminating in a massive parade through central London from Baker Street to Trafalgar Square.
- BBC Proms – See July.
- Notting Hill Carnival: Europe’s largest street festival is a two-day Caribbean feast with live music, food, spectacular floats and costumes, and over a million revelers.It takes place during the August holiday weekend at W10, West London.
London Events in September
- BBC Proms: See July.
- Totally Thames (Mayor’s Thames Festival): a month-long artistic and cultural celebration on and around the River Thames, with colourful regattas, river races and community events.
- Open House London: a weekend of architecture and design events, where hundreds of historic buildings and architecturally important sites, normally off-limits, are opened to the public for sightseeing.
- London Fashion Week: the fashion industry converges on Somerset House in central London, where the world’s top designers showcase their spring collections in a week of exhibitions and parties by invitation only.
London Events in October
- Frieze Fair: explore or buy works by established and emerging artists at two massive art fairs held in Regents Park: find contemporary pieces at Frieze London and antique works up to mid-century at Frieze Masters.
- BFI London Film Festival: the British Film Institute’s annual autumn film celebration, showcasing hundreds of critically acclaimed international films and Hollywood premieres at the BFI Southbank and IMAX theatres.
- Dance Umbrella:A two-week international dance festival, celebrating 21st century choreography from around the world at various venues in London.
- Diwali on the Square:Thousands fill Trafalgar Square to celebrate the festival of lights with live music and dance, food stalls and marketplace, and activities for the whole family.
- Museums by Night:Twice a weekend of after-hours admission to museums across the UK, which showcase time-limited evening exhibitions and cultural events.
London Events in November
- Guy Fawkes Night / Bonfire Night:Annual remembrance of the infamous 1605 Gunpowder Plot, with bonfires and fireworks all over London.Alexandra Palace and Battersea Park have the best exhibitions, held around the 5th November, with the biggest events taking place over the nearest weekend.
- The Lord Mayor’s Show: a flotilla on the Thames and a fireworks display on this great street parade and carnival in honour of London’s newly elected Lord Mayor of the year, takes place on the second Saturday in November.
- Memorial Sunday: the heroes and victims of war are honoured on the second Sunday in November with a parade, memorial concerts and a royal ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
- EFG London Jazz Festival: a ten-day celebration of vocal and instrumental jazz music, with hundreds of British and international events at venues across London.