Wondering what is the best and worst time to visit England, UK? I’ve got you covered.
Imagine stepping into the charming cobblestone streets of England, your senses captivated by the rich aroma of fish and chips and the iconic red telephone booths that seem to transport you into a different era.
But, knowing the best and worst time to visit England can make all the difference in how you experience the cultural richness of this beautiful country. It’s a blend of ancient history and modern sophistication, where royal palaces rub shoulders with vibrant street art, and quiet, serene gardens provide a respite from buzzing city life.
In the land of changeable weather, the unpredictability of English weather is part of its charm.
One minute you could be strolling under sunny skies, the next, you’re reaching for an umbrella as you’re greeted by a sudden rain shower. That’s why it’s crucial to know when to plan your trip to truly experience England’s grandeur without being held back by unfavorable weather or large tourist crowds.
Whether you’re here for the bustling city life of London, the historical marvels of Bath and Stonehenge, the serene landscapes of the Lake District, or the captivating coastline of Cornwall, timing is everything.
This article will guide you through the worst and best times to visit England, including the coldest, hottest, and cheapest months, giving you the perfect roadmap for your English adventure. Stay tuned for specific tips and tricks to experience England’s charm while dodging the downsides.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
Worst Time to Visit England
England has a reputation for gray skies and frequent rain showers throughout the year, but it’s not all doom and gloom. The period from November to February, which marks the winter season, could arguably be the worst time to visit England.
The weather can be very cold, and heavy snowfall is common, especially in the northern regions. Temperatures often drop to around 41°F (5°C), and the days are short with sunrise late in the morning and sunset early in the afternoon.
Not to mention, many attractions have limited opening hours or are closed altogether. Plus, there’s always the risk of flight delays or cancellations due to adverse weather conditions.
If you don’t mind bracing the chill and are equipped with a good winter wardrobe, you could find some charm in the quieter streets and snow-covered landscapes.
Best Time to Visit England
While it might be cliché to say there’s no bad time to visit England, some periods are certainly better than others. From late spring (May) to early autumn (September), you’re likely to find warmer weather and longer days.
During this time, temperatures typically range from 59°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C), making it a great time to explore the bustling cities or hike the serene countryside. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a heatwave in July or August when the mercury rises above 86°F (30°C).
Plus, the summer months host numerous cultural and music festivals like Glastonbury and Notting Hill Carnival, adding a splash of color and vibrancy to your visit.
Remember, during the peak summer months, popular tourist spots may be crowded, and prices for accommodation can increase. If you prefer avoiding the crowds, May, early June, and September are great alternatives, offering pleasant weather with fewer tourists.
Coldest Month in England
Typically, January stands as the coldest month in England, with average temperatures dropping to about 41°F (5°C). The chill is more profound in the northern regions, so pack your thermals, hats, and scarves if you’re planning to visit around this time.
Despite the cold, January has its charm with frost-covered landscapes and crisp winter walks in the English countryside.
Hottest Month in England
July generally marks the height of summer in England, with temperatures occasionally peaking above 86°F (30°C) in the southern and central parts of the country.
Remember to pack light clothing, stay hydrated, and apply sunscreen generously to protect yourself from the English summer sun. Despite the heat, summer brings the joy of outdoor festivals, picnics in the park, and punting in Cambridge – some quintessential English experiences.
Rainiest Month in England
When talking about English weather, it’s impossible to ignore the topic of rain. England is well-known for its fair share of wet days.
The rainfall is pretty well-distributed throughout the year, but if you’re trying to avoid the rainiest period, you’d best look at October. This month typically sees the highest average rainfall, around 3.6 inches (91mm).
Don’t be too discouraged, though – this also means dramatic, brooding landscapes and the perfect excuse to duck into a cozy English pub for a warming drink. As they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather in England, just inappropriate clothing!
Worst Month to Visit England
As England experiences typical European weather patterns, the least appealing time to visit, generally speaking, is in January.
The post-holiday charm swiftly evaporates, leaving in its wake chilly temperatures, typically around 41°F (5°C), and shorter daylight hours. England’s notoriously grey skies are at their gloomiest and rainfall is frequent, often leading to increased indoor crowding in museums and galleries.
While snow is relatively rare, it does occasionally occur, particularly in Northern England and can disrupt travel plans. If you’re a lover of cozy pubs, theater performances, or finding budget-friendly travel deals, you might still find January to have its own unique appeal.
When is Off-Season in England?
In England, the off-season typically falls in the winter months from late October to early March. This time of year is characterized by colder temperatures, reduced daylight hours, and some attractions operating on reduced hours or being closed.
It’s a great time to visit if you enjoy quieter museums, less crowded sites, and lower accommodation rates.
Cheapest Month to Visit England
Travel expenses tend to be lower in the colder months. January, following the holiday season, often provides the cheapest travel and accommodation options. With the festive rush over, airlines and hotels usually drop their prices. And as a bonus, you’ll encounter fewer crowds at popular attractions.
Best & Worst Time to Visit Devon & Cornwall
Devon and Cornwall, two counties in Southwest England, are among the region’s most attractive destinations, offering quaint coastal towns, breathtaking cliffs, and picturesque beaches. The best time to visit Devon and Cornwall is between June and September.
With average highs of 60°F-66°F (15°C-19°C), you’ll enjoy warm and longer days ideal for coastal walks, surfing, and exploring historic sites like Tintagel Castle.
July and August can be crowded, as it’s a popular time for local vacationers.
The worst time, particularly if you’re keen on outdoor activities, is during the winter months (December to February), when temperatures drop and rainfall increases. Cornwall’s Eden Project, but, offers indoor tropical and Mediterranean biomes that are great for all-weather visits.
Best & Worst Time to Visit London
London, the vibrant English capital, buzzes all year round, but for the most enjoyable weather, plan your trip between May and September. The temperatures range between 59°F-73°F (15°C-23°C), and the city is lively with outdoor events like the Notting Hill Carnival and Wimbledon tennis championship.
Avoid the peak summer (July and August) if crowded tourist attractions are not your cup of tea.
The worst time to visit London is January and February. Though London’s museums and theaters continue to charm, the weather is often cold (average highs around 48°F/9°C), and the skies are frequently overcast.
Best & Worst Time to Visit Northern England
Northern England, encompassing cities like Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool, as well as the stunning Lake District, has a cooler climate than its southern counterparts.
The best time to visit is from June to August, with average highs of 59°F-66°F (15°C-19°C), providing suitable weather for exploring the urban culture or hiking in the countryside.
September can also be a lovely time to visit, with fewer tourists and the onset of autumnal colors.
The worst time to visit is during the winter months (December to February), when days are shortest and temperatures often fall below freezing. However, if you don’t mind a bit of chill, the Christmas markets in Manchester and Leeds can add a festive flavor to your visit.
Best Month to Visit England
The best month to visit England largely depends on your preferences. For warm weather and a plethora of festivals and events, July and August are excellent choices.
Do keep in mind these are also the busiest months. For a balance of good weather and fewer crowds, May, June, and September are fantastic. May, in particular, when gardens are in bloom and the weather is warming up, is a favorite among many visitors.
Best Time to Visit England for Specific Interests
If you’re a lover of particular activities, the timing of your visit to England can enhance your experience significantly. Here’s how to align your trip with your interests:
For those passionate about exploring historical sites, immersing in local cultures, or photographing beautiful architecture, the best time to visit England would be during spring (April to June) and early autumn (September and October).
This period offers moderate weather, fewer tourists, and uninterrupted access to England’s multitude of castles, museums, and heritage sites like the Tower of London, Stonehenge, and Bath’s Roman Baths.
Adventure seekers looking to experience England’s rich landscapes, from the rugged Lake District to the tranquil Yorkshire Dales, should consider visiting from late spring to early autumn (May to September).
These months provide the best conditions for hiking, camping, and other outdoor pursuits. Enjoy the serene beauty of England’s national parks, coastal paths, and picturesque countryside in pleasant, dry weather.
If your idea of a perfect trip involves hunting for fashion bargains, then the best time for you to visit England would be during the massive January and summer sales.
Post-Christmas sales kick off from late December and extend through January, offering fantastic deals on high street and luxury brands. Similarly, July brings the summer sales, where you can grab trendy seasonal attire at discounted prices.
Month-by-Month Weather in England
January: With the chill still lingering, January in England often sees temperatures around 41°F (5°C). Despite the cold, shoppers can enjoy numerous post-Christmas sales that sweep the city stores.
February: February sees slight temperature growth to 43°F (6°C). It’s cold yet worth experiencing the tranquil winter walks across parks and old English woodlands.
March: March brings the start of spring, the blossoming daffodils, and an average temperature of 48°F (9°C). Less crowded attractions provide a peaceful ambiance.
April: April sees the full force of spring, with bright blooms, sunny days, and an average temperature of 52°F (11°C). England’s gardens and parks are a must-see.
May: May offers favorable weather for outdoor activities and countryside exploration. It has an average temperature of 57°F (14°C), perfect for seeing the spring bloom in its full glory.
June: With the arrival of summer in June, longer daylight hours, music, garden festivals, and an average temperature of 63°F (17°C) await travelers.
July: July is the hottest month in England, with temperatures reaching 86°F (30°C). It’s a busy tourist season with plenty of summer events happening around.
August: In August, seaside resorts in England buzz with tourists. The month maintains warm temperatures of around 64°F (18°C), making outdoor activities enjoyable.
September: Autumn steps in September, providing temperatures around 60°F (16°C). With fewer crowds, it’s a month of peaceful exploration.
October: With temperatures around 54°F (12°C), October turns England’s parks and forests into vibrant landscapes showcasing the hues of autumn.
November: November, with temperatures dropping to 48°F (9°C), is notable for England’s unique Bonfire Night traditions, celebrated with great enthusiasm.
December: December in England is festive, with Christmas markets springing to life and enchanting holiday lights illuminating the streets amidst 43°F (6°C) temperatures.
Best & Worst Time to Visit England Conclusion
Navigating the seasons and deciding on the worst time to visit England might initially seem overwhelming, but armed with this knowledge, you’ll be more than prepared to plan your ideal trip.
Whether you’re seeking the temperate summers, the blossoming springs, or even braving the winter for lower costs and fewer crowds, England is a country that can cater to every traveler. It’s all about aligning your interests – be they history, hiking, festivals, or simply enjoying a quiet, off-season retreat – with the right time of year.
As we’ve seen, rain is an ever-present companion in England, so remember your umbrella! Above all, don’t let the weather discourage you. England’s unpredictable climate is part of its charm, ensuring each visit is unique.
No matter when you choose to visit, you’re sure to create unforgettable memories in this stunning country.
More England Travel Guides
Worst Time to Visit London (publishing soon)
Best Instagram Captions for London Vacation