When is the best time to visit London: In-depth seasonal guide to visiting London by a Local
These post shows you the best time to visit London, giving an in-depth season guide to visiting London and how to best plan a trip to London no matter the season
London is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and the largest city in Western Europe. London has the perfect blend of modern wonders and English charm.
London’s theatres, galleries, and museums experience none of the seasonal lull all year round, and the restaurant scene and nightlife are a hub of activity from January to December.
No matter what time of the year you visit the UK, there is always something to do in London.
However, it’s great to tailor your activities to fit the different seasons and know when’s the best time to visit London.
I have designed this guide to ensure you never get bored in London no matter what time of the year you’re visiting.
When is the best time to visit London England?
Best time to visit the UK - A month-by-month guide
London in summer
Summer begins in June and ends in the second week of September. During this time, the city’s parks are buzzing with music and food festivals. There are so many hot events in London during the summer months, you’ll be spoilt for choice. The summer months are one of the best time to travel to London.
Londoners know that the warmer months means less clothing, Alfresco dining, glasses of Pimm’s (aka Pimm’s O'clock), cocktails and after-work drinks at some of the cities best rooftops bars or outdoor cinemas.
Here are some activities to do in London for each month during summer.
Things to do in London in June
This is a time to enjoy some of London’s most famous royal events, lots of outdoor events, and sunshine too.
We celebrate the official birthday of the Queen in June with the Trooping the Colour, an impressive military parade in the city centre. The Masterpiece London is another amazing annual London event held in June, where visitors get to see the beautiful pieces of art, unique jewellery and fine antiques at this unmissable art fair.
But some of my favourite events in London in June are Taste of London (a must if you’re a foodie) and Open Garden Squares weekend which sees some of the most hidden and private green spaces in London open their gates to the public.
Things to do in London in July
The month of July is another action-packed month in London. The Wimbledon Championships run from 2nd of July until the 15th of July. If you aren’t able to get tickets, you can always watch the matches in one of the many pubs and bars in the city.
July is also when the annual Somerset House series start, along with music festivals such as Wireless festival in Finsbury Park and Lovebox in Victoria Park.
If you’re more into classical music, then don’t miss the BBC Proms also in July.
But my favourite event in July in London is Pride in London, the pride parade through central London which celebrates London's GLBT community and is a weeklong event.
Things to do in London in August
August is one of the warmest months in the UK (but this is the UK, and even in summer the weather can be unpredictable).
The main event that everyone gears up for August in London is the famous Notting Hill carnival - Europe’s biggest street festival which is held over a weekend and celebrates the Caribbean community of London.
Even though too many Notting Hill Carnival is a two-day event for the Caribbean community in London, preparation for the carnival occurs months before the actual weekend with ‘Fetes’ (soca parties) held in the run-up to carnival.
Check out my post on everything you’ll ever need to know about Notting Hill Carnival.
Things to do in London in September
The last of the summer months comes with an exciting range of fashion, music and architecture festivals. The Totally Thames offers visitors and residents an opportunity to see artworks and enjoy concerts in unique places and explore the history of the Thames through walks and free exhibitions.
The London Design Festival allows you to explore large-scale installations. But the two hot ticket items of September in London are London Fashion Week Festival which allows you to catch up on the latest fashion trends and quirky street style, while the Open House London will enable you to step into some of the most private, iconic and unique buildings in the capital for a weekend. Making summer one of the best time to go to London.
Act fast for the Open House London as there are usually limited amounts of tickets released and people come to London just for that weekend to attend the Open House London.
Last year I got to visit The Reform Club and Burlington House: The Royal Society of Chemistry. Buildings that take part in Open House London includes Downing Street, Unilever House, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Burlington House, Home House, Bloomberg European Headquarters and Royal Academy of Music - Theatre and new Recital Hall.
The month of September has plenty in store for you.
London in Autumn
Londoners don’t hibernate just because its fall. In fact, the city’s parks are typically at their best when the air is crisp, and the colours change. Just in time for the autumnal colours.
If you are in London in October or November, you are in for a treat.
Things to do in London in October
London celebrates its drink and food scenes in October while Halloween displays the spooky side of UK’s capital.
Celebrate the city’s diversity as Trafalgar Square plays host to Diwali on the Square festival.
Leave the kids at home and experience London's Museums at Night.
Things to do in London in November
As the evenings get darker, the streets of London sparkle with Christmas lights and fireworks lighting up the skies for Bonfire Night.
The month of November has lots in store, especially as festive cheer takes over the city from mid-November.
Besides Bonfire Night (Guy Fawkes Night), there are other amazing events and activities including The Lord’s Mayor Show and the EFG London Jazz Festival.
Taste of London winter and the fantastic Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (my fav) arrive in London just in time for Christmas.
London in winter
As the saying goes, “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing”. It is important that you have the right gear as the winter months arrive. Come along with a good quality jacket and boots so you can prepare yourself to take on the city during the bitter winter months.
It is a time to drink loads of mulled wine (or just wine), and maybe, make the most of the late January sales if you visit in February. The winter months are one of the best time to visit London for shopping.
Things to do in London in December
December is London’s most magical month, with plenty of things to do in London, as people celebrate Christmas and New Year. The streets sparkle with Christmas lights, and the shops are full of people gift hunting as they round off their Christmas shopping list.
Get into the festive mood by experiencing some of the city’s seasonal activities: go ice skating at one of the manyice rinks in London - like The Natural History Museum, Somerset House and Winter Wonderland Hyde Park
Go shopping for Christmas food at one of the charming Christmas markets and enjoy the concerts and carols around London’s biggest Christmas tree.
Things to do in London in January
Make the most of the capital’s free attractions in winter and pick up some of the best bargains in the city due to the cold weather. If you are planning to visit London on a budget, January is the best month for your trip as London attractions are quieter than usual.
It is a great time to enjoy a visit to some popular attractions - like London Eye, Madame Tussauds London, Thames River Cruise, West End theatres and much more without the regular queues.
Things to do in London in February
Filled with romance, fashion, and pancakes, the month of February is a time for city-wide celebrations. Most families visit London in February because UK schools usually have a week-long half-term holiday. High season in London is considered to be June and July. The cheapest month to fly to London in February.
If you visit London during the February half term, most venues will host family-friendly activities, and the popular attractions will be busy.
The weather is usually cold so ensure you wrap up warm. The London Classic Car Show, London Fashion Week, and Chinese New Year are some of the best events and activities to participate in during February, while Valentine’s Day offers you an opportunity to enjoy some of the best restaurant/luxury hotel treats in London.
London in spring
Londoners leap for joy as we welcome longer daylight hours and plenty of fun events for locals and visitors alike.
As the days get lighter and warmer, so do the activities. The streets get busier; the skies shine brightly, and the fun moves outdoors to outdoor cinemas, rooftop bars, pop-ups, street food events, beer gardens and parks. Spring is a welcome change after the gloomy winter season.
Things to do in London in March
Spring in London arrives in March with lots of fun festivals, Mother’s Day celebrations and Irish cheer. Though the weather is still cold, it is a great time to visit places like Kew Gardens, Kensington Palace gardens, or any of the top gardens in the capital.
Other amazing events and activities in March include St. Patrick’s Day, Pancake Day, Women of the World Festival, and Mother’s Day.
Things to do in London in April
By April, the coldest months have ushered in a period of a few rains showers and more sunshine.
April in London is also marked by the blooming of cherry blossoms (or Sakura). Some great places to catch them are Greenwich Park, Kew Gardens, Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, Regent’s Park and St Paul’s Cathedral. April is one of the best months to go to London.
With Easter in April (as in 2019), most London attractions will make arrangements for special activities and exhibitions over the Easter weekend. Keep an eye out for egg hunts, Easter-themed afternoon teas, and chocolate-themed treats at any of the top chocolate shops in the capital.
The main event for most runners in London will be the gruelling 26.2 miles that are the London Marathon. The race sees the capital filled with runners not only from London but worldwide trying to get their PB (personal best) times. This is really fun to watch, and I’ve worked as a volunteer in the marathon and loved it.
So, if you’re a keen runner or just want to help out during the marathon sign up to volunteer for a charity.
Things to do in London in May
May is for flower shows, cultural celebrations and open-air theatre: the month of May, with spring well underway, offers visitors an opportunity to meet the best designers, artists, and engineers during the London Craft Week.
Celebrate London’s heritage with events and exhibitions on London History Day, head to Somerset House’s Photo London to check out top quality photography from across the globe, and visit alfresco parties and pop-up bars during London Wine Week to enjoy the special tasting sessions the city offers.
Now you know when’s the best time to visit London, now the only thing left is to book your tickets to London.
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