Best time to go to London

If you are sure that London will be the destination of your next getaway, all you have to do is choose the time of the year when you will travel there. Let's see what the options are!

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

7 min read

Best time to go to London

St. Paul's Cathedral | ©Daniel Roe

Depending on when you have your vacation and the plans you want to make, the climate of the destination is something to consider when planning those long-awaited days of rest. In the case of London, its climate is oceanic, with cool summers, cold winters and significant rainfall distributed throughout the year.

But what is the best time to travel to London? Do not worry! In this post we analyze this issue so you can get an idea of what awaits you in the city during each season so you can choose the one that best suits everything you want to see and do in the British capital.

1. When is the best time to travel to London?

London Bridge from The Shard| ©Matt Brown
London Bridge from The Shard| ©Matt Brown

If we make an assessment from the economic and climatic point of view, the best time to go to London are the spring and autumn seasons because temperatures are pleasant, there are fewer tourists in the city and prices although they are expensive, are moderated a bit.

With London something curious happens if we compare it with other European cities and is that being the most visited of the continent, you could say that lives in a kind of continuous high season because prices are usually high. This is especially noticeable during Christmas and summer when the weather is better in the British capital and there is an avalanche of tourists.

In the event that you still do not have a specific date to visit the city, in my opinion the best time to travel to London is spring**(April and May**) and autumn**(September and October**). Temperatures are mild, there are plenty of sunshine hours and you can find better prices than at other times of the year.

In any case, when planning your trip, it is always a good idea to check the average temperatures in London to choose the right activities to do during your stay and the clothes you will pack in your luggage.

Book the best tours in London

2. London in spring

On the Thames River Cruise| ©Andy Roberts
On the Thames River Cruise| ©Andy Roberts

Although in the northern hemisphere it is spring since March, in London this month is hardly different from winter and it is the months of April in London and May in London when the change of season is most noticeable. Temperatures become a little milder compared to winter and little by little the days gain hours of daylight.

As for the rain is usually frequent but nothing surprising in London at this stage. Clouds are very present in the British capital and it can rain at least half of the days of the month. So when the sun shines, Londoners take to the streets for all sorts of outdoor activities.

It's a great time to take a cruise on the Thames, go on a guided tour of London or browse the flea markets for a special souvenir or have a picnic in one of the city's parks and gardens.

Book a Thames cruise

The spring tourist season

One of the advantages of visiting London in spring is that the influx of tourists is less than during the summer and although the streets are crowded is not as intense so you can visit the monuments of London and London museums more calmly.

In addition, except at Easter, London prices have not yet skyrocketed as in summer because it is not high season and you can find some interesting deals on accommodation in the center. The perfect area to move around the city by public transport, especially if you like to take the London Underground.

In this other post you can read what to see and what to do in London in spring.

3. London in autumn

Autumn in Waterloo Gardens| ©carlfbagge
Autumn in Waterloo Gardens| ©carlfbagge

Next to spring, autumn(September in London and October in London) is another good time to travel to London.

Temperatures are still pleasant during the day although without the typical summer heat. However, as the season progresses, the nights become cooler and the humidity increases, as does the rainfall. Keep this in mind when you go to pack your suitcase!

During the fall, Londoners take advantage of the days that dawn with good weather to have a drink on a terrace, play sports or stroll through the parks of the British capital. With the change of leaves this season brings, there is a burst of color in the gardens of the city and nature looks beautiful. In addition, London shines with a special light, which is perfect for a photographic tour of its parks and streets.

However, the days are getting shorter and it gets dark earlier so if you plan to do some outdoor activities during your stay remember to plan ahead.

Book the best tours in London

The influx of tourists in autumn

As is the case with spring, the number of tourists in London in autumn is lower compared to summer. This means that the queues to access the main attractions of the capital are smaller and you can go sightseeing without crowds and with more tranquility, which is a joy!

In addition, with the arrival of the new season prices fall and it is easier to find interesting deals on accommodation and flights for a little less money.

It is also a good time to travel to the city because there are a lot of events like the Underbelly Festival in Southbank on the banks of the Thames, the Oktoberfest or the Illuminature festival.

In this other post you can read what to see and do in London in autumn.

4. London in summer

Enjoying the Summer Solstice| ©Stonehenge Stone Circle
Enjoying the Summer Solstice| ©Stonehenge Stone Circle

Coinciding with the warmest temperatures of the year and the holiday period, the months of June, July and August make up the high season in London.

The weather at this time is ideal for traveling to the British capital because temperatures rarely exceed 25 ° C, the days are longer and it is the season with less rain. However, don't get overconfident because the typical summer thunderstorm can suddenly form, which cools the atmosphere and leaves you shivering, that's why you should always carry an umbrella and a thin sweater in your backpack!

During the summer you can take advantage of the longer daylight hours to make an excursion from London to its beautiful surroundings (for example to see the summer solstice at Stonehenge), see the inside of Buckingham Palace when the Royal Family goes on vacation, watch the sunset while having a drink on a rooftop, explore the most charming secret places in London or enjoy the best summer cinema outdoors.

Book a secret tour of London's neighborhoods

The summer tourist season

Summer is the peak tourist season in London. This means that the streets are crowded with tourists, hotel occupancy is almost total and prices go up.

If you want to visit London during this season my advice is to book your flight and accommodation in advance to try to get better prices, as these skyrocket, and the same with your tickets to the tourist attractions you want to see as availability runs out very quickly!

Although it is a period with more tourists, it is worth visiting London in summer because there is a lot of atmosphere in the streets and events such as the food festival Taste Of London, the Notting Hill Carnival or the music festival Wireless Festival.

In this other post you can read what to see and what to do in London in summer.

5. London in winter

Enjoying Ice Skating| ©Ungry Young Man
Enjoying Ice Skating| ©Ungry Young Man

Except during the Christmas season in London, winter is not the best time to travel to London because the thermometers start to drop considerably and it is freezing cold. Temperatures hover around 5 ° C and even fall even lower and freezing easily, especially in the months of January in London and February in London.

During the day the daylight hours are scarce because it gets dark very early. If you add to this the Thames mists, cloudy skies and frequent rainfall, the possibility of making plans is reduced and you want to be outdoors as little as possible.

But that doesn't mean you can't entertain yourself by doing things. If the day isn't good you can always do indoor activities such as visiting the Harry Potter Studios Park, attending a West End musical or one of the city's museums and going for a traditional afternoon tea.

Book tickets for Harry Potter Park

Winter tourist crowds

Going to London during the months of January and February can be a good time if you don't mind being cold and if you are looking to save on your budget, as prices go down a bit and you can find good transportation and accommodation options.

However, if you can't tolerate the low temperatures, even if it is low tourist season and there are fewer people in the city, it is better to wait until spring.

Prices rise towards December in London in preparation for Christmas, as London is beautiful during the holidays and attracts many visitors.

From mid-November in London there are plenty of Christmas festivals where you can go to hang out, ice rinks, food markets and a lot of other surprises. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend you to visit it!

Also, if your trip coincides with New Year's Eve you can also experience how the New Year is celebrated there and see the wonderful fireworks show at the London Eye.

In this other post you can read what to see and do in London in winter.

We compare the different seasons to visit London in the table below

  • Spring
  • Mild temperatures
  • Regular rainfall
  • Medium season
  • Busy tourist attractions
  • Summer
  • Pleasant temperatures
  • Occasional rain
  • High season
  • Busy tourist attractions
  • Autumn
  • Mild temperatures
  • Frequent rains
  • Medium season
  • Less crowded tourist attractions
  • Winter
  • Cold temperatures
  • Heavy rains
  • Low season
  • Tourist attractions not very crowded