When to Visit England
The best time to visit England is May through October when the weather is typically warm, and the sun shines more often. While it can rain at any time of the year, this is the drier period, making it ideal for sightseeing, and all the attractions will be open too. If you’d like to avoid the biggest tourist crowds while enjoying a good chance for pleasant temperatures, you’ll want to plan your visit in May or late September/October. While summer is the warmest and driest, it’s also the busiest season which can mean long lines, higher airfare, and the year’s highest room rates. While you might still need a rain jacket, lightweight clothing like shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and dresses are a must with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher.
The best time to visit for hiking in the Lake District is March through June, although late September through mid-October brings brilliant fall colors to the landscape. The beaches are best visited in the summer, with swimming a possibility from mid-May through September. If you’d like to attend one of England’s many music, art, or food festivals, the majority take place in the summer, including the Glastonbury Festival in June.
The varied climate of England makes it a destination that can be enjoyed all year round. A seasonal climate overview is provided below.
While the weather in England is notoriously unpredictable and it’s impossible to miss the rain entirely, April and May can be a great time to come with mild temperatures averaging in the mid-50s to low 60 Fahrenheit (13 to 17 Celsius). It’s ideal for sightseeing without the crowds of summer and there’s a good chance the sun will make an appearance occasionally. The further you go in the season, the warmer and sunnier it’s likely to be, with the flowers even more vivid under clear skies. In late April, bluebells blanket the wooded areas, but by mid-May, the weather will be more reliably pleasant. Visiting anytime in this shoulder season typically means shorter queues, better room availability and rates, and all of the attractions will be open for a full range of sights and fun tourist spots. Plus, the Chelsea Flower Show, an over-century-old event attended by members of the British Royal Family, takes place in May.
Summer is the peak tourist season, which means you’ll need to book your reservations well in advance and prepare to deal with some crowds and waiting in line. But on the upside, you’ll enjoy the warmest, driest days of the year – just remember that as with all British weather, it can still rain, or you might experience some of the record heat that’s occurred in recent years. When the sun is shining, both locals and visitors tend to head outdoors, enjoying everything from sunbathing and surfing at the beaches to dolphin spotting along the Lizard Peninsula. This time of the year also brings some fantastic festivals and events, including the Glastonbury Festival, one of the world’s largest and most famous music and arts festivals hosted over five days in late June.
Early fall often sees wonderfully warm, sunny days, but this season can range anywhere from the mid-40s to the high 60s Fahrenheit, (around 8 to 20 Celsius). It’s not exactly sunbathing and swimming weather but it’s ideal for sightseeing and activities like hiking among colorful foliage. Toward the end of September and the leaves start to change, the tourist crowds thin while the number of food festivals increases, marking the harvest. Temperatures dip further in October and by the time Halloween arrives, places will be much quieter and cooler. It can be a lovely time to enjoy tranquility and magnificent scenery, but if you wait until November, you can expect a significantly higher number of grey days with lots of drizzle. In the mountains, there may even be snow. On the 5th, join in the celebration with Guy Fawkes Night bringing bonfires and fireworks.
December is usually cold and damp with a good possibility of snow in the north. Temperatures are typically in the 40s Fahrenheit (single digits Celsius), getting colder the further north you are. Still, this can be a great month to visit England and enjoy the holidays with Christmas lights twinkling across the cities and villages There will be Christmas markets and festivals to celebrate throughout England. If you’re here on New Year’s Eve, you can enjoy big celebrations held in all the major cities, especially in London, but floats, live music, and fireworks characterize many. January is usually the coldest month of the year, but clear blue skies and crisp mornings are common with temperatures usually hovering around the low 40s (5 to 6 Celsius) or lower. February isn’t much different, continuing the “low season” which means far fewer tourists other than around the holidays.
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