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When is the best time to visit London?

The best time to visit London England depends on your reason for visiting. If affordability and weather are most important to you, then the overall best month to travel to London is September.

If you’re traveling from the USA to the UK for a vacation, most overnight flights land in Heathrow or Gatwick airports and here’s how to get into London from either airport. Once you’re in London you’ll want to know how to get around London like a local. 

Once you’ve picked the best time to travel to London, why not get started planning your trip? You don’t want to miss any of the hundreds of unique experiences such as taking in a theater show or two, visiting world class museums, enjoying exceptional shopping or soaking up a thousand years of cultural heritage.

With a history stretching back to Roman times, London’s been a sought after destination for hundreds of years for a reason.

London is not only the capital of England and the UK but also one of the largest cities in the world covering 600 square miles with a population of almost 9 million. So much to see and do, but let’s start with the top reasons people want to visit!

The best time to visit London

  • Weather – June, July and September
  • Affordability – January and February
  • Sports – summer and fall
  • Theater – year round
  • Markets – year round
  • Attractions – September to June
  • Christmas – November to January
Carnaby Street

Best time to visit London for weather

  • The best months to visit London for optimum weather conditions are June, July and September.

If weather is a consideration, here’s what you need to know.

Hottest month: July averages 66 F/ 19 C but temperatures can go as high as 100 F/38 C although hot spells rarely last longer than a few days
Coldest month: January averages 43 F/ 6 C but temperatures can go much lower if a cold front moves in
Wettest month: October and November average 2.4 to 2.8 inches of rain but heavy rainfall can occur in the winter months also

London is in southern England, so forecasts for the rest of the country or the UK aren’t necessarily accurate. London will be warmer and drier due to its southern and easterly location.

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 of January and February. Hotels can also discount rates during this time. Average daily hotel room rate in London in 2020: £153 vs £73 in UK

  • 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
The Resident VictoriaThe Waldorf HiltonSt. James Court
Januaryfrom £122from £185from £179
Julyfrom £215from £271from £322
Septemberfrom £155from £196from £224
Sample Room rates for 4* hotels

Best time to visit for sporting events

For sports fans, London hosts world class sporting events year round so the best time may depend on which event you want to attend.

  • Wimbledon June 27 to July 10, 2022
    The longest running tennis tournament in the world is also one of four global Grand Slam tennis events. To book tickets you have to enter a public ballot which doesn’t guarantee tickets which are selected at random.
  • Rugby League World Cup 2021 postponed to Oct. 15-19, 2022
    Worlds best teams compete to win championship title.
  • UEFA Womens’ Euro 2022 – July 6-31, 2022
    London hosts 4 matches for the 16 nation teams competing to be the champions of European football.
  • RideLondon May 29 2022
    Weekend cycling festival which takes place across London.
  • London Marathon Oct. 2, 2022
    Each year 40,000 plus runners compete and run through London streets. Ready to enter?

Best time to visit for theater

  • Theater productions run year round in London so the best time to visit is during the run of a show you want to see! Check to see what’s on.

Popular scheduled shows playing in London 


  • Wicked Sept 2021 to Nov 2022
  • TINA – The Tina Turner Musical Aug 2021 – Dec 2022
  • Mamma Mia – Aug 2021 to April 2022
  • Anything Goes – Jul 2022 to Sept 2022
  • Back to the Future – Aug 21 to July 2022
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Oct 2021 to Oct 2022

Best time to visit London street markets

  • Any time of year is good to visit London for covered or street markets as most markets are open for shopping and dining year round.

Open 7 days a week

Open Sundays

Best time to visit London for Christmas & New Years

  • The holiday season from November to early January is the best time to see London if you’re looking for a festive party atmosphere.

London gets lit up during the holiday season so if you’re looking for a dazzling display of lights, decorations, markets and special seasonal events, visit during November and December and stay for New Years Eve.

  • Christmas at Kew | Nov 17 – Jan 9
    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 19 – Jan 3
    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 13 – Jan 16
    Harry Potter film sets are 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 1 – Dec 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.

Overall best time to visit London

September

  • 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 is an optimum time to visit London for the best combination of weather and affordability!

psst, you can plan your next trip with a little help from me

2 Comments

  • Mary R.
    November 25, 2021 at 7:39 PM

    Great info, especially for someone who’s never been to London like myself. Thank you for another superb travel guide! I look forward to traveling to the UK one of these days 😊
    Best wishes, Mary

    Reply
    • Tessa
      November 26, 2021 at 10:14 AM

      Oh you are so welcome! Hope you get the chance to visit soon. All the best, Tessa

      Reply

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