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Best Time To Visit London

Best time to visit London

London, unfortunately, has gotten the title of a city that suffers from nonstop rain. You’d be pleasantly surprised to know that it is not the case. The popular European city actually has pleasant weather all year around and there is really no best time to visit London. Of course, there are busy holiday times and less busy ones, but that is true with all classic touristy places.

London sees the maximum crowds, whether local or from overseas, during summer vacation and the winter holidays when schools are out. If you wish to avoid the crowds, then a trip during the off-season – from January to April and then again from September to November – is highly recommended.

The weather in London is generally cloudy but it is considered to be the driest city in Britain. Summer is from June to August and it is a comfortable time to visit. The temperature rarely goes above 20 degree Celsius, and it is a wonderful time to walk about seeing the city.

Spring can come to London as early as in February and carry on until May, when it starts to get warmer. Spring is when the city experiences its maximum rainfall. The months from October to early November signify autumn and that is another time when London gets a lot of rainfall.

Winter hits London around November. The lowest the temperature goes to is usually around 4 degrees Celsius. The city might get an occasional flurry of snow, and when it does, it usually means the city and its airport will come to a standstill.

London has the right mix of historical and contemporary attractions, suitable for visitors of all age groups. London is family-friendly and you can plan the perfect vacation to London for your loved ones.

Peak Season (June-August)
The weather is warmest in summer and it is hands down the best climate to visit London. This is also when the city hosts numerous events and you can feel the vibrant buzz of the city during these months.

Shoulder Season (September-October, March-April)
September to October is a much under-appreciated time to visit London. This is the next best season to visit London. The weather has started to get a bit chilly but with a thick overcoat you can easily beat the cold. The crowds have reduced and you actually get more of London to yourself. March to April is also a great time because the days are starting to get warm, but the crowds are yet to arrive.

Low Season (November-February)
Winters in London are cold and wet. And if you don’t mind a bit of (okay, a lot of) rain and cold weather, then you can plan a trip to London between November and February. Time it around Christmas and New Year to keep your spirits high.

Travel Seasons

Min/Max Temperature

Season

June - August

21-23 degrees

Warm and pleasant

November - February

9-12 degrees

Cold and heavy rains

March - May / September - October 

12-16 degrees

Moderate to heavy rain


 London in Spring (March to May)

Temperature: Avg. of 16 degrees high to 12 degrees low

Weather: London during spring season is a wonderful time. The chill has started to abate, not fully though, but it is a pleasant time to be there. The sun feels warm and it is quite a pleasure to move about the city soaking in the many attractions and sites. The flowers are a colourful riot and the missing crowds just add to the joy of being in London in spring. 

Significant events: If you have an eye for critically-acclaimed films, then you will like to be present here for the London LGBT Film Festival in March. Continuing on your art escapades, this is also the time when museums in London open their doors after hours for night-time exhibitions and cultural events. After you’ve satisfied your artsy side, then perhaps we could interest you in the London Marathon in April or the University Boat Race earlier in March. The Chelsea Flower Show is a spectacle that you cannot miss. It just goes to show how crazy Londoners are for flowers and gardens.

Why you should visit now: The weather is great, but mainly the crowds are yet to show up. You will get good deals on hotels and tickets, but mainly, you will have most attractions to yourself.

Know before you visit: Weather in London is unpredictable. Carry a brolly (umbrella) at all times. Expect rains and expect to feel miserable.

Tips: Rain gear and be ready to shift plans depending on the weather.

 

London in Summer (June to August) 

Temperature: Avg. of 23 degrees high to 21 degrees low

Weather: Summer is a celebration of life in London. People are simply thrilled to have a few months of warm, sunny days. Weather of London in summer season is perfect to have a picnic; people sit in the open enjoying their beers and the city converts into a walking plaza since everyone wishes to get a bit of the sunny weather. But this is also when you will get a lot of crowds. This is when schools across the world have their summer break and many families choose to come to London to have a good time.

Significant events: The arrival of summer sees London gear up for Wimbledon. The famous tennis tournament attracts visitors from all across the world. Equally popular is the Ashes series, one where the Australian and English cricket teams fight over the ashes of cricket stumps in an age-old, friendly rivalry. Whatever your opinion about the royalty, this is a good time to peep into their homes, with their permission of course. It’s quite an experience, they say. Summer time is when London explodes with musical concerts, both indoor and open-air. Head to the Royal Albert Hall as well as Hyde Park, Field Day, Lovebox and All Points East to enjoy a musical experience unlike any other. And then there is the Notting Hill Carnival. An explosion of costumes, music, food and spectacular floats.

Why you should visit now: London is buzzing with events and festivals now. And while it could still rain, the weather is as good as it can get. And long summer days means plenty of hours of sightseeing.

Know before you visit: You’ve not seen crowds until you’ve seen London in summer. Hotels, shows, the London Eye, etc. will all be sold out or you’ll have to stand in line for long. Pre-book as many tickets as you can to save time.

Tips: It might not rain in summer but it will be humid and sticky. Wear loose cotton or linen fabrics and keep yourself hydrated at all times.

 

London in Autumn (September to October)

Temperature: Avg. of 16 degrees high to 12 degrees low

Weather: The summer humidity is starting to dissipate along with the crowds. Weather in autumn season of London is slightly chilly but nothing that you can’t tackle with a coat and your enthusiasm. It starts to rain a little more and that can add to the chill factor. The autumn leaves begin to make an appearance and that imbues the city with lovely colours.

Significant events: Those with an eye for art and design will appreciate the London Design Festival as well as Frieze Fair, both of which give the traveller a chance to explore London’s art scene. Celebrate the presence of the Thames with a month-long festival of food, music, exhibitions and various river competitions. Once again the museums of London open their doors after hours for late night events.

Why you should visit now: The weather is great and the days are still long, meaning you get more time to enjoy the various attractions. Additionally, the crowds are thinning, which translate into lower prices and more space to enjoy yourself.

Know before you visit: The days will start to get short quickly, so plan your itinerary properly to make sure you don’t miss out on any spot because of fading light.

Tips: Carry an umbrella with you every time you step out. This is the season when it rains regularly.

 

London in Winter (November to February)

Temperature: Avg. of 12 degrees high to 09 degrees low

Weather: Winter is a beautiful time in London if you can brave the cold and the wet weather. There is a distinct nip in the air but when you are bundled up in warm clothes you won’t feel it much. The days are short, with the sun setting as early as 4 pm, leaving you with little time to see all the attractions. Luckily, there are fewer people in London in winter, allowing you to see the city at leisure without getting the feeling of being rushed.

Significant events: It’s Christmas time, and all of London is decked up in beautiful lights and decorations. Hyde Park also hosts a special Winter Wonderland, which is a festival of food, rides and more. Celebrate Bonfire Night, an event dedicated to a botched attempt of blowing up the Parliament. Expect fireworks and festivities. Tantalise your taste buds at the Taste of London Winter food festival where some of London’s best restaurants participate. You can also watch cooking demonstrations at this fantastic food and wine festival. Don’t miss the 10-day EFG London Jazz Festival that attracts some of the best British and international talents. Make the most of the free events of this festival. Lastly, shopping. London has its annual sale period in January and you can get some really great bargains.

Why you should visit now: Winter is not a popular time among tourists, so you will have the place pretty much to yourself as you go sightseeing.

Know before you visit: Day time is really short, so you need to pack in a lot of sightseeing in fewer hours.

Tips: It’s cold, wet and gloomy all of winter. Carry plenty of warm clothes and don’t forget to pack your umbrella.

A trip to London is on every traveller’s must-see places. Why don’t you plan one soon? At Thomas Cook, our experts are standing by to help you in prepping and planning for your vacation to London. Our curated London Tour Packages have been designed to offer the best of London as per your discerning tastes. Pick the one that suits your preferences. Should you require, we can also offer you ticket and hotel accommodation assistance. Do get in touch with us for all your visa and currency needs as well.

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