The Getaway
12 Months of London Weather: What to Expect and How to Prepare

London, a city of timeless charm and modern vibrancy, dances to the rhythm of its ever-changing weather. From crisp winter mornings to balmy summer evenings, the British capital offers a year-round spectacle of atmospheric moods. But don't let its reputation for rain and fog fool you – London's climate is full of surprises.

Whether you're planning a visit or settling in for the long haul, understanding the city's weather patterns is key to making the most of your London experience. By preparing for the shifting seasons, you'll be ready to embrace everything from cozy pub afternoons in December to sun-soaked picnics in July.

So, let's embark on a journey through London's calendar, exploring what each month has in store and how you can stay one step ahead of the weather.


01 January: Chilly and Damp

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - Feb 28, 2018: A winter landscape of benches and street lamps near Tower Bridge in London, Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock

January in London is characterized by chilly temperatures and damp conditions, setting the tone for the winter season. The average temperature hovers around 5°C (41°F), with lows dipping to about 2°C (36°F). This cold weather is often accompanied by a persistent drizzle, creating a foggy environment that covers the city.

While snow is rare, Londoners might see a small amount once or twice during the month, turning familiar views into beautiful winter scenes. However, this snowfall doesn't last, soon becoming slush in the city streets.

The weather greatly affects everyday life, with everyone wearing extra warm clothes. Thermal underlayers and waterproof boots become essential items for braving the outdoors. Many Londoners choose to stay indoors during this time, making it a great month to visit the city's excellent museums and galleries.

Despite the cold, January provides special chances to enjoy London's warm atmosphere. Warm pubs become places of comfort, serving hearty meals and hot drinks to keep the cold at bay. For those going outside, the cool air and sometimes clear skies are ideal for energetic walks in the city's parks, where winter animals and frosty views show a different kind of beauty.


02 February: Cold but Brightening

LONDON- SEPTEMBER, 2019: Wet and moody London street with a black taxi cab driving in torrential rain on Regent Street William Barton/Shutterstock

As London transitions from the depths of winter, February brings a gradual increase in daylight hours, offering a glimmer of hope for the coming spring. Even though it remains chilly, with temperatures usually between 4°C to 8°C (39°F to 46°F), the days get longer by about 1.5 hours throughout the month, which makes the city feel brighter.

Even with a general shift to warmer weather, February might still bring some sudden cold periods and icy mornings. These clear, crisp days are ideal for quick walks in London's parks, where the first signs of spring start to show. Snowdrops and crocuses may begin to appear above the ground, signaling the upcoming seasonal shift.

To navigate February's variable conditions, it's wise to bring a mix of winter and transitional clothing. Layering remains key, with warm coats and scarves still necessary, but lighter options should be on hand for unexpectedly mild days. Waterproof footwear is essential, as the ground can be damp from melting frost or occasional rain showers.

For those seeking indoor activities, February offers a unique spectacle at Kew Gardens' annual Orchid Festival. This vibrant display provides a tropical respite from the lingering winter chill, showcasing exotic blooms and offering a preview of the colorful seasons ahead. It's a perfect example of how London embraces the transition between winter and spring, providing visitors with memorable experiences regardless of the weather outside.


03 March: Spring Awakening

Spring Daffodil field scene with British Telephone Box in the background

As London shakes off the last vestiges of winter, March ushers in a palpable sense of renewal. With average high temperatures climbing to 12°C (54°F), the city experiences a noticeable shift towards milder weather. Yet, March is well-known for its unpredictable weather, often bringing a combination of sunny periods, unexpected rain, and sometimes cold breezes.

This month of change brings London's parks to life with the first blooms of spring. St. James's Park becomes a golden spectacle as daffodils blanket the area, signaling the arrival of the season. The gradual increase in daylight hours and warmer temperatures encourage both locals and visitors to spend more time outdoors, exploring the city's parks and gardens.

To handle March's changeable weather, wearing layers is key. A lightweight waterproof jacket is crucial for unexpected rain, while a combination of long-sleeve shirts and lighter sweaters makes it easy to adapt to changing temperatures throughout the day. Having good walking shoes is important for enjoying the new spring views.

Even with the general shift to warmer weather, it's smart to stay ready for sudden cold periods. March might still surprise you with brief returns to colder conditions, so keep your warm clothes within reach. This month is ideal for activities that can be enjoyed both inside and outside, like visiting the newly reopened outdoor cafes and terraces, with museums and galleries as alternatives for wet weather.

For those seeking a typical London spring experience, a walk through Kew Gardens provides an opportunity to see a variety of awakening plants, from early-blooming magnolias to the initial appearances of cherry blossoms, preparing for the full bloom in the coming months of April and May.


04 April: Showers and Sunshine

British parliament, Big Ben and Westminster bridge at sunset in London, UK

As London fully embraces spring, April brings a delightful mix of showers and sunshine, living up to its reputation for changeable weather. With average temperatures ranging from 7°C to 13°C (45°F to 55°F), the city experiences a noticeable warming trend. Yet, what really defines April is its unpredictable nature, characterized by quick shifts from clear skies to heavy rain.

April records about 43mm of rainfall over roughly 14 days, ranking it among the rainier months in London's year. This increased precipitation, combined with longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures, creates ideal conditions for the city's parks and gardens to burst into vibrant life. Cherry blossoms and magnolias reach their peak, transforming areas like Regent's Park into picturesque settings for outdoor activities.

To navigate April's fickle weather, it's wise to always have a small umbrella handy. Layering remains key, with a light waterproof jacket over breathable clothing providing the flexibility needed for sudden temperature changes. Shoes that resist water are recommended for walking through the city's increasingly verdant parks.

Even with a few rain showers, April experiences a noticeable increase in outdoor activities. The London Marathon, typically held in late April, attracts thousands of runners and viewers, reflecting the city's spirit and sense of community no matter the weather. This iconic event offers visitors a unique opportunity to see London's diverse neighborhoods and lively atmosphere.

For those seeking to enjoy the season fully, a visit to the Chelsea Physic Garden or Kew Gardens provides a stunning display of spring blooms, perfectly capturing the essence of the month with its mix of growth and occasional rain.


05 May: Mild and Pleasant

LONDON, UK - APRIL 14, 2015: Canary Wharf view from the Greenwich hill. Modern skyscrapers of banking aria

As London fully embraces spring, May brings a delightful shift towards warmer and more stable weather. With average high temperatures reaching 18°C (64°F), the city experiences comfortable conditions perfect for outdoor exploration. The longer evenings, with sunset occurring around 9 PM by month's end, provide ample opportunity to enjoy the city's parks and outdoor spaces well into the evening.

May often treats Londoners and visitors to occasional warm spells, with temperatures sometimes climbing into the low 20s°C (high 60s°F). These pleasant conditions spark a noticeable increase in outdoor events and activities across the city. From open-air concerts in Hyde Park to food festivals in Borough Market, May sees London come alive with al fresco entertainment.

To make the most of May's mild weather, it's wise to pack a mix of light layers. Days are usually warm, but it can get a bit chilly in the evenings, so bringing a light jacket or sweater is a good idea. Don't forget to bring sunscreen and sunglasses, as sunny days become more frequent and UV levels increase.

One of May's highlights is the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show, typically held in late May. This prestigious event showcases stunning garden designs and horticultural displays, attracting visitors from around the globe. Booking tickets in advance is essential, as this popular show often sells out quickly.

For those seeking to embrace the season fully, a picnic in one of London's royal parks offers a quintessential May experience. Regent's Park, with its beautiful rose gardens in full bloom, provides a perfect setting to enjoy the mild weather and lush greenery that characterize this pleasant month in the British capital.


06 June: Early Summer Warmth

Westminster Abbey viewed from Victoria tower gardens, London, UK

As London transitions into early summer, June brings a noticeable increase in warmth and daylight. Average temperatures climb to a pleasant 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F), with occasional spikes into the mid-20s°C (mid-70s°F). This month marks a significant shift in the city's atmosphere as Londoners and visitors alike embrace the longer days and balmy evenings.

The summer solstice on June 21st offers an impressive 16.5 hours of daylight, allowing for extended outdoor activities well into the evening. This abundance of light energizes the city, with parks and outdoor spaces bustling until late. Yet, with the warmer weather, there's a chance of heatwaves, making it important to drink plenty of water and find shade during the hottest part of the day.

London's event calendar can be very busy with activities in June. The prestigious Trooping the Colour ceremony, usually held in early June, offers a spectacular display of British pageantry. Outdoor festivals, from music to food and culture, pop up across the city, taking advantage of the favorable weather.

To make the most of June's conditions, light, breathable clothing is advisable. It's also smart to have a light jacket or sweater for the evenings when it gets cooler. Protecting yourself from the sun is key, so remember to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when you're outside.

For a typical June experience, think about going to an open-air theatre performance in Regent's Park or having a picnic in one of London's many green spaces. The warm weather and long days are ideal for enjoying the city's outdoor activities, from riverside walks along the Thames to dining outside in charming neighborhoods.


07 July: Peak Summer

London, UK - 30 May, 2021 - People taking a picnic and enjoying sunny day in Greenwich park I Wei Huang/Shutterstock

July marks the zenith of London's summer, bringing the warmest temperatures and longest days of the year. With average highs reaching 23°C (73°F), the city basks in a comfortable warmth that can occasionally spike to 30°C (86°F) during heatwaves. This peak summer month transforms London into a vibrant outdoor playground, with parks, rooftop bars, and riverside walkways teeming with locals and tourists alike.

The extended daylight hours, with sunset occurring around 9:30 PM, allow for long, leisurely evenings perfect for outdoor dining and entertainment. Yet, this perfect weather also brings the highest number of tourists of the year, making well-known spots more crowded than usual. It's advisable to book tickets for major sites and events well in advance to avoid disappointment.

July's clement weather provides the ideal backdrop for numerous outdoor events. The Wimbledon Tennis Championships, typically held in early July, draw tennis enthusiasts from around the world. Meanwhile, open-air cinema screenings pop up in parks across the city, offering unique movie-watching experiences under the stars.

To navigate July's warm weather comfortably, light, breathable clothing is essential. It's also smart to bring a light jacket for the cooler evenings or surprise rain showers. Protecting yourself from the sun is key, so remember to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. For those who find the heat bothersome, choosing places to stay with air conditioning might make your visit more pleasant during the hotter spells.

Even with the city's warmth, London's many parks provide a cool escape. Enjoying a picnic in Hyde Park or a boat ride on the Serpentine are perfect ways to relish the summer warmth while taking a break from the busy city life.


08 August: Warm and Festive

London, UK - July 16, 2019: People at the tables inside Pop Brixton, event venue and the home of a community of independent retailers, restaurants, street food startups and social enterprises. Alena Veasey/Shutterstock

August in London continues the summer warmth, with average temperatures ranging from 14°C to 23°C (57°F to 73°F). The month often sees occasional heat waves, where temperatures can soar above 30°C (86°F), making it essential to stay hydrated and seek shade during peak hours.

As school holidays are in full swing, August marks the height of tourist season in London. Popular attractions can be crowded, so it's advisable to book tickets in advance and visit early in the day to avoid long queues. Even with many visitors, the city feels alive, with a lively atmosphere in its streets and parks.

The month is filled with outdoor activities and celebrations, making the most of the pleasant weather. From open-air cinema screenings in parks to food festivals celebrating diverse cuisines, there's something for everyone. The highlight of the month is undoubtedly the Notting Hill Carnival, held over the August bank holiday weekend. This spectacular celebration of Caribbean culture features colorful parades, live music, and delicious street food, attracting over a million visitors.

When packing for August in London, focus on light, breathable clothing. Comfortable walking shoes are essential for exploring the city and participating in outdoor events. Don't forget to bring sun protection, including sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

As the sun sets later in the evening, typically around 8:30 PM, take advantage of the extended daylight hours. Evening picnics in parks like Regent's Park or Hampstead Heath offer a perfect way to enjoy the warm summer nights and possibly catch a beautiful sunset over the city skyline.


09 September: Mild Autumn Beginnings

Red Telephone booth and autumn leaves at sunrise. Fall in London, England

As summer gently fades, September ushers in the first whispers of autumn in London. The city experiences a gradual cooling, with average high temperatures around 20°C (68°F), creating ideal conditions for exploring the city on foot. This mild weather, combined with shorter days, marks the beginning of a subtle shift in the city's atmosphere.

One of the most noticeable changes in September is the decrease in tourist crowds. With schools back in session, popular attractions become less congested, offering a more relaxed experience for visitors. This makes it an excellent time to explore iconic sites like the Tower of London or the British Museum without the summer queues.

The city's parks and gardens begin their transformation, with early signs of autumn colors appearing. Kew Gardens becomes a particularly enchanting destination, as the leaves of its diverse tree collection start to turn golden and russet. Coming here is a great chance to see the seasonal shift in a remarkable place.

While days stay warm, nights begin to cool down, making it a good idea to bring along a light jacket or sweater. This makes September perfect for daytime outdoor activities and spending evenings in London's famous pubs or restaurants. The month also sees the return of cultural events, with theaters and concert halls launching their autumn seasons, providing a rich array of entertainment options.

For those seeking a uniquely September experience, consider attending the Totally Thames festival, a month-long celebration of London's iconic river featuring art installations, river races, and educational events.


10 October: Autumnal Chill

London in autumn time: view to the Tower Bridge with colourful autumn leaves in front

As London fully embraces autumn, October brings a noticeable shift towards cooler temperatures and increased rainfall. Average highs drop to around 15°C (59°F), with lows dipping to 9°C (48°F), signaling the need for warmer clothing. The city experiences an average of 71mm of rainfall spread over about 13 days, making a waterproof coat an essential item for exploring the capital.

The shorter days become increasingly apparent, with sunset occurring around 6:30 PM at the beginning of the month and advancing to about 4:30 PM by the end due to the end of daylight saving time. This earlier darkness lends a cozy atmosphere to the city, with warm pubs and cafes becoming even more inviting.

October sees London embrace the Halloween spirit, with themed events popping up across the city. From spooky tours of the Tower of London to family-friendly pumpkin carving workshops in local parks, there's no shortage of autumnal activities. The London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre is a highlight for book lovers, featuring talks and readings by renowned authors.

To prepare for October's weather, pack warm layers that can be easily added or removed. Having a waterproof coat is important, and so is carrying a durable umbrella. Despite the cooler air, the fall colors in London's parks create picturesque paths, making it wise to wear comfortable, water-resistant shoes for enjoying the outdoor views.

For a typical October experience, think about going to Richmond Park to see the annual deer rut, where impressive stags vie for mates against a scene of rich autumn leaves.


11 November: Grey and Misty

Group of girls hurry at the rain with umbrella in the city

As London transitions deeper into autumn, November brings a distinct chill and an increased likelihood of foggy mornings. The average temperature drops significantly, with highs around 10°C (50°F) and lows dipping to 5°C (41°F). This cooler weather is often accompanied by a misty atmosphere, creating a moody, atmospheric backdrop to the city's historic architecture.

The month sees an uptick in rainfall, with an average of 63mm spread over about 16 days. This combination of damp and cold makes it necessary to wear warm, waterproof clothing. A high-quality jacket, water-resistant boots, and items like gloves and a scarf are important for staying comfortable while outside.

Despite the grey skies, the city lights up with the excitement of Bonfire Night on November 5th. This special British event marks the failure of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, with impressive fireworks displays throughout the city. Primrose Hill and Alexandra Palace are favorite places to watch these brilliant fireworks against the London skyline.

As the holiday season approaches, the city begins to don its festive attire. Christmas lights start appearing on major shopping streets like Oxford Street and Regent Street, creating a magical atmosphere that contrasts beautifully with the grey skies.

For those seeking indoor activities, November is an excellent time to visit London's world-class museums and galleries. The shorter days and cooler temperatures make it perfect for spending time in art, history, or science museums. Many of London's cozy pubs also provide a comforting escape, offering filling meals and warm beverages to combat the autumn cold.


12 December: Festive Winter

Festive christmas decorations in front of the Tower Bridge with snow

As winter fully embraces London, December transforms the city into a festive wonderland. Temperatures drop significantly, with average highs around 8°C (46°F) and lows hovering around 3°C (37°F). Snowfall is uncommon in London, but there might be a slight sprinkle towards the month's end, which brings a magical feel to the holiday vibe.

The biggest change in December is the significant reduction in daylight hours. The winter solstice on December 21st marks the shortest day of the year, with sunset occurring as early as 3:51 PM. This early darkness, however, provides the perfect backdrop for London's spectacular Christmas lights and decorations, which illuminate the city's streets and landmarks.

To navigate December's cold weather, layering is essential. Thermal underwear, warm sweaters, and a high-quality waterproof coat are must-haves. Remember to wear accessories like gloves, scarves, and hats to keep away the cold winds.

December is still a great time for outdoor activities despite the chill. Christmas markets pop up across the city, with Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland being a particular highlight. These markets offer everything from handcrafted gifts to mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. For a truly festive experience, try ice skating at one of London's outdoor rinks, such as those at Somerset House or the Natural History Museum.

Indoor attractions also come into their own during this month. Museums and galleries often host special winter exhibitions, while theaters present beloved Christmas shows and pantomimes. The cozy pubs and restaurants of London become even more inviting, offering seasonal menus and warm retreats from the cold.


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