London Weather

What is the weather like in London?

Despite the myths about the ceaseless rain, the main feature of London weather is unpredictability. You can write a book about it! The locals never know if it will rain or shine and are often armed with both an umbrella and sunglasses. Though the weather in London is generally mild, do not be surprised to experience all four seasons on any given day without warning. The Met Office is where you head for a reliable forecast.  

Does it really rain that much in London? 

According to the official data, it rains around 156 days a year, or between 11 and 15 days a month in Great Britain. The wettest months are usually October and November, while the driest ones are March and July. Thankfully, not all these precipitations arrive in London, and its fame as the capital of rain and fog is highly exaggerated. There are grey and rainy days, especially in the autumn, but there is plenty of sunshine and in-between days too. 

Not all the wet is the same in the nation's capital. A warm and refreshing June drizzle is something to experience. The rain forecast that may look threatening in the weather app often turns out to be just a few drops of water. It is true that October's downpour is when you rather stay indoors, but London is perfect for that too.

For a smooth experience in London, do not resist the idea of rain. Embrace it. Dress for it. Water is life. It keeps the multiple parks lush green for you. 

Summer in London 

Summer in London is a longed-for season that turns on the heat in the capital. The skies are blue. The grass is emerald-green. The trees, some of them hundreds of years old, are covered with leaves and provide solid shade from the merciless sun. All sorts of flowers are in full bloom, scattered around the parks, alleys, river walks and private gardens like colourful confetti. 

Summer in the capital starts in June and lasts until mid-September. The weather is usually mild, between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. In recent years, the heat waves broke records with the temperatures reaching 35 - 37 degrees on some days. It is more of an exception than the norm though.

Your summer suitcase should be filled with t-shirts and shorts, flower-patterned dresses and bathing suits, blazers and hoodies for the chilly evenings and a light raincoat for the wetter days. Don’t forget the picnic blanket, sun hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. 

Autumn in London 

Autumn is a gorgeous time in Britain’s capital. It starts in mid-September and lasts till the end of November or early December. The trees turn red, gold and yellow, inviting you for dreamy walks in the parks where listening to the satisfying crunch of colourful leaves under your feet is a type of meditation. 

Autumn brings more rainy days. The skies are often grey. It gets dark earlier, and the temperatures plummet to 5-10 degrees Celsius during the day and 3-4 degrees at night.

Autumn in London is an excellent opportunity to spend memorable family moments taking pictures outdoors, rain or shine. Pumpkin spice drinks and Halloween are other highlights of the season. 

Make sure your family stays warm during your holiday. Opt for the rubber boots or wet weather suitable footwear, wind and rainproof jackets, cosy jumpers and trousers.    

Winter in London 

Winter sees busy Londoners dressed in all shades of black, grey, and brown rush about their business, dreaming of a warm cup of tea, and with a Christmas shopping list in mind. London winter starts in December and lasts until nature is ready to wake up in late February - early March. Winter temperatures drop as low as 0 degrees and occasionally to minus digits. Days are dark and short. Rains are frequent and can sometimes turn into snow. Snowfall is not common but possible, with the last few years giving Londoners a chance to build their own snowmen.

The cold season is marked by indoor cosiness, winter menus in the restaurants, cinnamon-spiced drinks in the coffee shops, and most importantly - Christmas festivities. Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is one to mention. Lasting for 6 weeks from November to January, this incredibly popular family-friendly festival offers a wide variety of Christmas attractions, entertainment, food, drinks, and a lot more.

Your winter wardrobe should include all the same items as the autumn one with one exception: add more layers. The footwear better has some fur or fleece lining. Hats, gloves, scarves, and cosy knits are a must-bring, or you will find yourself purchasing them in London. Don’t forget to pack partywear for Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations.  

Spring in London 

Spring in London takes you on a journey from the local flora and fauna peacefully awakening from long winter hibernation to nature in full bloom, ready to kick off the glorious summer. Blooming white, baby- and hot pink cherry trees. The carpets of purple and yellow crocuses. Bright red tulips. Tender green leaves, breaking out of sleep. And the cheerful singing of birds. London looks rejuvenated. 

The spring in London starts in early March and lasts until late May-early June. Though the weather can still be pretty cold, rainy and windy, the days get longer and brighter. The temperatures rise from 10 - 12 degrees in March to 18-20 degrees in early June, with the nights getting warmer too. The rain is still a frequent visitor, but surprise! Sometimes it is accompanied by the rainbow. 

Pack plenty of spring-coloured layers for your family - trousers, jeans, leggings, short- and long-sleeved tops. Rubber boots and waterproof footwear are still a must, as are the raincoats.    

How to be prepared for any weather when travelling to London? 

It is a good idea to check the long-term weather forecast when planning your trip to London. But keep in mind that it is not always 100% accurate. London is full of surprises! 

Pack the raincoats and waterproof footwear with you or purchase them at the family-friendly department stores such as John Lewis and Marks&Spencer when in town. 

Bring plenty of layers if you travel in the winter. 

Be prepared equally well for the sunshine and the rain during the summer months. You never know, right? Befriend the sunglasses, sun hats, sun protection and light, breathable summer basics to explore London. But don’t forget the umbrella! 

When is the best time to visit London? 

London is a fantastic destination at any time of the year. Its numerous attractions are designed for both indoor and outdoor fun. The city’s mild climate means there are hardly any weather restrictions for your family holiday. 

When is London most crowded? 

Summer in London is a popular tourist season, with holidaymakers from all over the world storming the capital. June, July, and August usually see the school break around the globe. Expect London to be crowded with families exploring the museums, queuing outside the landmarks such as London Eye and filling the outdoor verandas for al fresco dining.

December is another busy month due to the Christmas shopping season in London.  

Holidays and festivals in London 

London is a diverse, multicultural hub with large ethnic communities from every corner of the Earth. Most religious and cultural holidays are celebrated in town. 

The year ends and starts with a fabulous New Year’s Eve party on Trafalgar Square on the night from the 31st December to the 1st January. The fireworks light up the sky while people hug, kiss and wish each other a wonderful year. 

It is followed by Chinese New Year. Chinatown is decorated with thousands of red lanterns and other festive symbols. The crowds of Londoners head to the district to take pictures and enjoy the wonders of traditional and modern Chinese cuisine.

Easter, usually in April, is a religious holiday and a beautiful tradition that marks the start of the spring after the long winter months. Yellow daffodils, colourful flowery bonnets, Easter egg decoration, hot cross buns and Easter egg hunts are a few things that make this time so special for the families. 

Eid celebration gathers together the members of a large London Muslim community. Diwali, the festival of lights, is also celebrated on Trafalgar Square and attracts thousands of local Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. Hanukkah is another beautiful tradition high up on London’s events calendar. 

There are multiple smaller religious and cultural celebrations, international exhibitions and themed festivals throughout the year in London. Notting Hill Carnival takes place every August. The Queen’s Birthday is marked in June. The Guy Fawkes night, aka the Bonfire Night, lights up the sky with a myriad of fireworks in November. Mega popular Pride takes place in June or July. 

Halloween is a big success amongst Londoners. And this is not only for its pumpkin-spiced lattes and fancy decor. Children and adults alike dress in their scariest outfits, head out to trick-or-treat for candy, and have all sorts of spooky fun.

The year in London is wrapped up by Christmas activities across London. The preparation for the highly anticipated Yuletide starts as soon as the Halloween decorations are off on the first days of November. The Christmas shopping season sees thousands of people heading to Oxford Street and Regent Street with its department stores and designer boutiques, or Covent Garden and Shoreditch for a bit of an indie feel. There are office Christmas parties and family outings all over London too. Christmas is a very special time to experience London!  

What is the best season to visit London? 

Every season in London brings one or another perk to your holiday. You’re spoilt for choices! Dreamy colourful blooms of the spring, green heaven and busy buzz of summer, magnificent golden autumn, and festive winter cheer in anticipation of Christmas and snow will each make your family holiday unforgettable. 

If you don’t mind the crowds of holidaymakers, summer is the safest option to visit London. It is an exciting time for the families as it brings special exhibitions, children-focused workshops, music festivals, outdoor cinemas and other entertainment that doesn’t run during other seasons. 

Christmas in December is an equally magical and children-friendly time to visit London. Magnificent Christmas lights are lit, every shop window looks like a work of art, and the shopping is an out-of-this-world experience. It’s worth mentioning mouth-watering traditional British Christmas treats such as roast turkey, Beef Wellington, sweet mince pies, gingerbread, candy canes and festive puddings.  

If you'd rather avoid the crowds, a trip during the off-season from January to April and from September to November is a better option. The last week of February, the last week of October and the Easter holidays in April can still be busy though. This is when English children have their time off from school. 

When to avoid visiting London?

London on and around the special events such as summits, championships, and international music competitions can be another level of "crowded". It is challenging and exhausting for a family. Unless you aim to attend the event, check the London calendar in advance to avoid surprises. 

What to wear in London? 

London is one of the world’s capitals of fashion. Alexander McQueen, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, and Paul Smith are just a few big names from the long list of talented designers. 

Naturally, Londoners have a great sense of style. The way they dress looks effortless, but don't be fooled. There is always a thought behind it.

How to dress like a Londoner?

Locals prefer casual, comfortable clothes to impractical outfits. They don’t dress to impress. Nothing is flashy without meaning. 

The need to layer up is dictated by unpredictable British weather. The principle is: wear a t-shirt underneath and a jumper or a jacket on top. You never know! 

More and more women in London prefer flats to high heels unless they head for a night out. Casual or sport-casual footwear is accepted almost everywhere. 

A lot of locals carry their belongings in backpacks nowadays. London is a big city, and the commute takes a while. The practical bag is easier on your back and can fit all your devices and chargers, books, training gear and even a homemade lunch. 

People in London know how to stay dry and warm during colder months. A classic black or camel trench coat is popular in the spring and autumn. A wind- and waterproof parka or a puffer jacket is a must-have in the winter. Natural fur is worn less and less in the city.    

A London shopping spree will help you dress like a local. From democratic Oxford street to high-end Bond street, or even hippy Camden Market, you will definitely find something to your liking. 

What to wear when it is cold in London?

There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. These are the words of wisdom from the British people. The late autumn, winter and early spring can be chilly and feel unwelcoming in London. Cosy knits, water- and windproof outerwear and footwear with fleece or fur lining, hats, gloves and scarves are your best friends during colder seasons. And a good old cup of tea for you and hot chocolate with whipped cream for the little ones, of course.   

What to wear when it is hot in London? 

A heatwave in London can literally melt your brain and is better spent in a shady green heaven of some centrally-located park, on the lush grassy blanket. Opt for light, breathable clothing and avoid dark colours. Befriend the flip-flops, tees and shorts. A sun hat or a parasol is a good idea. A water bottle is compulsory. Protect your skin with sunscreen. 

What to wear during the in-between months in London?

The “in-between” spring and autumn weather reigns most of the year in London. It is very unpredictable. Be armed with umbrellas and waterproof outerwear & footwear, long sleeves and comfy trousers, waterproof backpacks and hats. This way, you’ll be prepared for any surprise London weather has in store for you.

What to wear when you go sightseeing?

Exploring London is a demanding activity. Avoid anything that looks like a great idea in the morning but can cause trouble by lunchtime. Your comfiest shoes for a lot of walking. Your favourite jeans to share memories with. Stretchy tops, hoodies, knits and rain gear are all your go-to items. People in London dress in the most practical manner, with flats preferred to heels, black dominating other colours, casual rather than uptight. Don’t overdo it. Londoners are not easy to impress. Join the locals’ fashion style and blend in perfectly. 

What to wear when you have dinner out in London? 

Eating out? This is when you can make a bit of an effort. When you go out for a nice meal in a non-fast food restaurant, you aren’t expected to wear your sweats and trainers. Though you still can do it if you absolutely want to. Some restaurants have a dress code, strict or not quite. It can be good to check that out beforehand. Jeans are normally accepted everywhere. Combine them with a shirt, a jumper, and a blazer for a smart casual look. A dress or a suit will make you stand out unless you’re eating out in white-collar financial districts like Mayfair or London City during a workday. 

What to wear when you go to the opera/theatre/musical? 

Though there are no defined rules for what to wear to see a show in the West End, locals prefer to dress up for the occasion. Why not? It is common to see evening dresses, tuxedos and ambitious hair-dos in the theatres. If you crave an upscale occasion style, feel free to look as dressed up as you like. 

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