London's weather and temperature are unpredictable factors. In fact, it is said that in the same day it is possible to experience the four seasons, since it can vary between torrential rains, cold and heat in a matter of minutes. We explain everything you need to know about the weather, temperature and the most appropriate clothing if London is your next destination.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
Because of the temperate oceanic climate that reigns in the southern part of Great Britain, the average temperature in England does not reach very extreme values, even in summer.
While London winters are usually cold, with an average temperature ranging between −4 ° C and 14 ° C, summer values do not usually exceed 20 ° C. Frost may occur in some suburbs of the British capital between the months of November and March.
It should be noted that in summer the average temperature of the city center is usually around 5 ° C higher than that of the surroundings, since the urban area generates the heat island effect (heat accumulation due to the presence of heat absorbing materials in the infrastructure).
From June to August, which are the hottest months par excellence, the temperature during the day ranges from 18 to 26 ° C maximum.
The area of Northolt, to the west of the city center, attracts atypical values (very far from the average) in recent decades. Thus, in 2010 there was a temperature record below zero: −14 ° C.
However, it is estimated that before the twentieth century values were recorded even below −20 ° C. The most copious snowfall of the last two decades also took place in this area.
What time of year to travel?
Although there are many tourists who prefer to travel in summer because, in general, the temperatures are better than at other times of the year, it is also true that in winter you can enjoy various tourist attractions.
On the other hand, as we said before, traveling in summer is always a great advantage when visiting any world capital. Here are the main advantages of each season.
Without going any further, spending Christmas in the British capital is a highly recommended option if you want to travel to England at a time other than summer. In that case, the average minimum temperature is 2.7 ° C and the maximum is 17.2 ° C.
Among the main reasons and options for traveling to London in autumn-winter, we highlight:
- Rain: Although this is a disadvantage for most travelers, there are those who enjoy water boots, umbrellas and raincoats. If you come from countries whose climate is warm, such as Spain, a change of air can turn your trip into a refreshing experience. The rain is a good opportunity to enjoy the famous English tea in a cafeteria.
- Snow: While it is true that snow falls rarely, seeing the famous red telephone booths or snow-covered Hyde Park is something that can only be done in winter. For snow lovers, the image of snowy London will be one of the best experiences of traveling in winter.
- Malls: Harrods, Selfridges or Harvey Nichols are the big shopping centers in London. If you visit the city in winter, you can enjoy them in their maximum splendor, admire the latest trends in fashion and, above all, shelter from the cold.
- Gastronomy: What better way to fight a rainy night than to have dinner in a typical restaurant? While in summer we recommend opting for the famous take away, Winter is the perfect occasion to make gastronomic routes around the city, for example.
It should be taken into account that in December, January, February and March it wakes up around 06:45 in the morning and it gets dark around 4:00 p.m. For its part, in October and November it gets dark a little later: around 6:00 p.m. in October and around 4:30 p.m. in November. The hours of light, therefore, at this time are about eight or nine.
From April until about mid-August, the good weather is noticeable in the British capital, although the probability of meeting one or more rainy days is high, since the average number of rainy days per year is at 106.6 with about 1,460 hours of sunshine in total.
Therefore, what are the main advantages of traveling to London between April and August? We summarize them below:
- Spring: April and May are the quintessential London spring months, which means that from this month there will be more sun and less rain. It is a good time to visit the parks of London or even take a Thames cruise.
- Outdoor events: Most London outdoor events begin around the month of May. The season of music festivals in the largest parks as well as the open-air theater also begins at this time.
- Buckingham Palace open doors: given that in summer Queen Elizabeth II enjoys her vacations outside Buckingham Palace, it is at this time that visitors who so wish can take a look at the majestic facilities in which the Queen performs her state duties during the year.
- Museums at night: Another of the great advantages of visiting London in May is that museum schedules change, so you can visit the main museums and galleries at unusual times. It is also common for them to organize special events and activities. You can check the schedules of the museum or museums that you plan to visit on their website.
- Festivals: between the end of May and until August, London is filled with some of the most famous festivals in Britain, adapted to all tastes. The Wimbledon tennis championship, the ceremony Trooping the color, the gastronomic festival Taste of London, etc. are some examples. Other options are the London Zoo or the WWT Center for the Conservation of London Wetlands.
- Children activities: in the middle of summer it is when more activities for the whole family can be found. From the Science Museum to Southbank center, including the Notting Hill Carnival, the little ones will have a blast at this time of year.
Another advantage is that we will have a greater number of hours of sunshine per day, around 12-13 hours in total. While in April it dawns about 06:30 in the morning, it starts to get dark at 7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
In May and June, the sunrise takes place between 4:40 and 5:00, and the sunset at approximately 9:00 PM. In August and September it starts to get dark sooner.
Recommended clothing and accessories
When preparing the trip to London, we must bear in mind that we must be prepared for rain at any time of the year, that is, either in winter or summer.
However, officially the rainiest time of the year is around September and the end of November, although as we say it could leave a very rainy day also in the middle of summer.
This implies that carrying rain-adapted clothing in our suitcase is essential. Although the most common when we face this type of storm is to resort to the umbrella, the truth is that moving around the city with him throughout the day is somewhat uncomfortable.
In addition, if it is windy it is frequent that it ends up breaking, so our advice is that you choose a waterproof jacket with a hood, oilskin or K-way.
What is certain is that in winter, due to the microclimate we were talking about above, frosts and persistent snow are not frequent.
This means that it will not be necessary to wear clothing adapted to such adverse weather conditions, but warm clothing is advised, even if we go in the months of June, July or August. Going equipped with a jacket and comfortable rain-resistant footwear is basic.
A good idea is to dress "in layers," that is, a short-sleeved shirt with a warm sweatshirt over it and a coat, for example. In this way, if we go from cold to heat in a short time, we can get rid of the upper layers and thus not pass heat and vice versa.
To be updated at all times regarding the temperature and weather conditions that will be in the British capital, there are several very useful resources for the traveler.
First, we can get information if we watch British television. Weather information is always provided at the end of the informative. The UK radio is also a very practical resource in these cases.
On the other hand, if we are not going to have access to television or radio, there are other equally feasible resources, such as telephone, fax, SMS or Internet. Just by typing "weather in London" or "weather London" in our usual search engine, we will get updated information.
We can use the telephone number 09014 722 051 and they will provide us with information about the weather in central London. The disadvantages of this is that the call costs 60 p / min from landlines. To know the weather of the southeast and the center of London, we can send a fax to the number 09065 300128.
By SMS, if we send «wthr5» followed by the desired British locality to 82222 We can also get the current weather. This service is available for all networks except for Virgin.
London is one of the main capitals of Europe, which is why it is possible to find numerous events during every month of the year, each adapted to the current weather conditions. However, these are the main celebrations:
- Guy Fawkes Night: also known as Bonfire Night (Bonfire night), is an event that takes place on November 5 of each year. It is celebrated with several typical dishes such as caramel apples, jacket potatoes, bonfire toffee, black peas with vinegar, etc.
- RHS Chelsea Flower Show: This is the largest floral exhibition in the city and takes place during the month of May. Therefore, many hotels and restaurants offer special tea services at 5:00 pm and menus in honor of the exhibition. We can see what it is about in the following video:
- Trooping the Color: It is the celebration of the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II and consists of a majestic military parade around the city. The street The mall It is from where you can best enjoy it.
- Wimbledon tournament: for tennis lovers, the Wimbledon Tournament is the perfect occasion to enjoy this sport. Its duration is two weeks and it is the tennis tournament belonging to the Grand slam most prestigious in the world. Tickets are acquired only by public lottery, but there are always excess applications, so it is difficult to get one of the 500 available.
- Notting Hill Carnival: This is the biggest European festival that takes place during the last weekend of August. It is a Caribbean-themed festival that is celebrated through the streets of West London. It usually starts on Saturday with a percussion group contest and ends the following Monday (holiday in London) with the main parade and the after-party.
There are many other events, celebrations and festivals for all tastes. In February, for example, the Chinese New Year is celebrated in style and also the famous Carnival Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, in which the famous pancake races take place.
The popular London Marathon is one of the biggest races in the world and takes place in April. The Gay Pride Parade, known as Pride London, stains the London streets of pink and is also another sight worth seeing.
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