UPDATED AUGUST 2023 The best time to visit London England depends on why you’re visiting.
I know you don’t want to miss out on uniquely London experiences like a London theatre production, visiting world class museums, enjoying exceptional shopping and soaking up a thousand years of cultural heritage.
But, unless you’re traveling to London for a specific event, why not choose a time of year with fewer crowds and better weather?
The overall best month to travel to London is September – see my why below.
With a history stretching back to Roman times, London’s always been a sought after destination. London is not only the capital of England and the UK but literally one of the largest cities in the world. Greater London covers 600 square miles with a population of almost 9 million.
GETTING THERE: Traveling from the US to the UK? The busiest airports are Heathrow or Gatwick outside London. Here’s how to get into London from either airport. Once you’re there, this is how to get around like a local.
Best Time to Visit London
Here’s the best time to visit London depending on what’s most important to you.
- Weather? it’s May, June and September
- Affordability? January and February
- Sports? Spring through summer
- Theater? Year round
- Markets? Year round
- Attractions? September to June
- Holidays? November to January
Best Time to Visit London for Weather
The best months to visit London for optimum weather conditions are May, June and September.
What you need to know:
Hottest month: July averages 66 F/ 19 C but hot spells rarely last longer than a few days
Coldest month: January averages 43 F/ 6 C but temperatures do go much lower
Wettest month: October and November average 4.8 inches of rain but October through January can be wet
London is in southern England, so keep in mind London will be warmer and drier than most other areas in the UK. You may have heard about the summer heat waves here in England and Europe. If you plan to travel during the summer months, ask if your London accommodation has air conditioning (known as air con).
Why not start looking at hotel options now?
Best Time to Visit for Affordability
The most affordable months to visit London are January and February.
Get the best deals on airfares to London during the winter months. Hotels may also discount rates during this time. Average daily hotel room rates in London have increased so book ahead to get your best deal. Expect to pay the highest rates during summer’s high season!
- Super low season: January and February
- Low season: November to March
- Shoulder season: April to mid June and September to October
- High season: mid June through August
Best Time to Visit for Sporting Events
London hosts world class sporting events year round but these are few worth checking out.
- Wimbledon July 1-14 2024
The longest running tennis tournament in the world. Book tickets by entering a public ballot. Tickets are selected at random.
- London Grand Prix June 2024
- RideLondon – May 26 2024
Weekend cycling festival which takes place across London.
- FA Cup – May 25
- Super Bowl Live Screening Feb 11-24
- London Marathon – April 24 2024
40,000 plus runners compete and run through London streets. Ready to enter?
Best Time to Visit London for Theater
Theater productions run year round in London so pick a show you want to see and book tickets. The main theatre district is in the West End of London.
- TINA – The Tina Turner Musical
- ELF the Musical
- The Book of Mormon
Best Time to Visit London Street Markets
Visit London’s covered or street markets any time as most markets are open year round. Large markets usually combine food stalls, antiques, apparel and a huge variety of crafts, art and bits and bobs. Portobello is known for it’s antiques and Columbia Road for it’s flowers and plants.
Open 7 days a week
Best Time to Visit London for the Holidays
Looking for a festive vibe? The holiday season from November to early January is the perfect time to visit.
London gets lit up during the holiday season so expect a dazzling display of lights, decorations, markets and special seasonal events during November and December. Why not stay for New Years Eve! Here’s some dates for 2023-24
Christmas at Kew | Nov 15 – Jan 7
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in Richmond, London turns into an enchanted lit fantasy after dark. More info.
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park | Nov 17 – Jan 1
Fairground rides, Christmas markets, ice skating and sculpting workshops turn this famous park into a wonderland. More info.
Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros Studio Tour | Nov 11 – Jan 14
Harry Potter film sets get transformed into a snowy wonderland as part of a self guided tour at Warner Bros Studio Tour. The Forbidden Forest and the Great Hall get a festive and magical makeover for the holidays. More info.
Christmas Carols at St Paul’s Cathedral | Dec 15 & Dec 23-24
Get in the mood by attending a free carol concert or a friendly service at the legendary London cathedral. More info.
Seasonal Festivities in London | December 1-31
From lights, decorations, ice skating rinks, Christmas markets, carolers to the spectacular lit tree in Trafalgar Square, London lights up for the holiday season all December long. Don’t miss the imaginative store window displays along Oxford Street. More info.
New Years Day Parade | Jan 1
Floats from around the world, performers and stunt motorcyclists put on a traditional New Years Day parade through the streets of Londons West End and the theatre district. More info.
Book ahead to get the best rates in a central location.
Overall Best Time to Visit London
- Daylight hours: 11:40 to 13:33
- Sunshine: 6 hrs per day (similar to August)
- Rainfall: 26mm /1.02”
- Affordability: Shoulder season, with some discounted rates
- Attractions: All attractions are open with normal hours
- Average room rate: 73% cheaper than July rates
September is the ideal time to visit London. The weather is usually warm, mild and sunny with little rainfall. Attractions, gardens, museums, markets and the theater are still operating at normal times and hours. You’ll find fewer crowds because most schools are back in session. Room rates are likely to be less expensive than peak summer.
Overall, September gives you the best combination of weather, attractions and cost!
psst, you can plan your next trip with a little help from me