View of the London Eye from afar during summer, the best time to visit London

The Best Time to Visit London in 2023 (By a Local)

The best time to visit London is usually between May and June or September and October when the weather is still warm but there are fewer tourists. There are great activities to do in London any time of the year, so you will still have a great time even if you go outside of these months.

There are many things you’ll need to factor into your decision when determining what time of year you’d like to visit London, including your London activity list

As a London local for three years, I’ve put together this article that will help you decide when to visit. We’ll go through specifics like weather, avoiding tourists and crowds, seeing special events, and highlighting the pros and cons of traveling to London in each season.

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When is the Best Time to Visit London

Typically, the best weather in London happens in the late spring/early summer and late summer/early autumn periods, which are the months of May, June, September, and October. The summer months of July and August and December near Christmas are generally the busiest times of year for tourists. 

That being said, London is an amazing destination to visit year-round and offers world-famous attractions, events, and restaurants during every season. Let’s get into the breakdown of the best time to explore London based on your preferences.

When to Visit London for Good Weather

View of people wandering in Marylebone during a sunny day
Marylebone on a sunny day

The warmest month in London is July, with temperatures normally peaking at 30°C/86°F, but averaging in the 20s°C/the high 70s – low 80s°F. 

These temperatures stay fairly consistent in August, typically starting to drop to the high teens in celsius and 60s in Fahrenheit in September. October is when it really starts to cool off, bringing in that authentic fall weather.

In my opinion, June and September are the most ideal times to visit for enjoyable weather and reduced crowds. You will also catch the start and end of summer weather and activities during these months. These also make great months for day trips from London.

London is one of the most popular cities in the world, so you can prepare to see crowds regardless of what month you’re traveling, however, the summer and Christmas time tend to be the peak times of year for visitors.  

When to Visit London On a Budget

The clear blue sky over central London
Clear skies in central London

If you’re visiting London on a budget, then I would avoid going during peak season, which typically includes the months of July, August, and December. 

July and August have the warmest weather and lots of events that attract many tourists, along with kids’ school summer and winter holidays, Good Friday and Easter Monday. In December, people visit from all over the world to view the famous Christmas lights displays.

Bank holidays are another expensive time to visit, so I would recommend checking bank holidays in the country you’re flying from to avoid inflated prices.

For the best value, I would recommend visiting London in the early spring, early autumn, or winter after the holidays. The winter months bring colder weather, although London offers tons of exciting indoor activities such as museums, themed festivals, concerts, and other events.

Visiting London on a budget also depends on where you stay in the city, so I’d recommend choosing a place to stay in London in conjunction with deciding when to visit.

The Best Time to Visit London for Families and Kids

A colorful white rabbit flower displayed during the Chelsea Flower Show
White Rabbit flower display during the Chelsea Flower Show

Generally speaking, any time of the year is a safe bet to travel to London with kids, as the main tourist attractions are open year-round. 

Oxford Street is one of the most popular areas for families, offering key museums, shops, and restaurants. For a better experience of Oxford street, I recommend going during the non-peak months and avoiding the summer and December.

Depending on your priorities for the family holiday and whether you prefer indoor or outdoor activities, I would recommend aligning the trip timing with this. Museums, galleries, children’s festivals, shows, and shopping can all be done indoors, so it might be worthwhile to travel during the early winter months for these activities to get a better deal.

The Best Time to Visit London for Avoiding Crowds

View of people wandering at St Christopher’s Place
Tourists and locals enjoying St Christopher’s Place

January through March and November tend to be the least popular months for visitors in London, which in turn makes them more budget-friendly. 

These times of year are great for hitting up popular tourist attractions that get busy during peak months like Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and much more.

Although the weather is not as warm during these months, there are plenty of great indoor attractions to check out. Catch a concert at the world-famous Royal Albert Hall, visit one of many free museums, or indulge in London’s best restaurants.

Or, if you’re feeling spontaneous and are willing to bundle up, catch the fireworks at the start of November for bonfire night in Battersea Park.

When to Visit London for Sporting Events

The author smiling for a photo in Wimbledon
Here I am enjoying a day out at Wimbledon

One of the most exciting things about London is its thrilling sports culture. People from around the world support English teams in Football, Rugby, Cricket, and others. Whether it’s European sports or even the odd North American sports game that takes place in London, fans’ passion shines through in this city.

In addition to seasonal sports, London is home to world-famous sporting events that take place once a year. A couple of the top ones include Wimbledon and Royal Ascot. Different sports are on year-round, so you should be able to catch something regardless of which month you plan to travel in.

If you’re a big fan of a particular sport, I would highly recommend aligning the timing of your trip with that event in mind. It is definitely worth checking out a game while you’re in town to experience the incredible atmosphere associated with sports in London. Or even just hitting up one of the best London bars to catch the game with a group.

London Travel Seasons

Spring (March-May)

Clear blue sky over a cherry blossoms in London
The cherry blossoms in London are an indication that spring has sprung
  • Chelsea Flower Show – A world-renowned festival of florals, this event takes place only once a year at the end of May, at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. This is a great opportunity to get dressed up, sip some champagne, and view stunning floral displays and works of art.
  • The London Coffee Festival – If you’re a coffee lover, you’re going to want to consider visiting London at the end of April when the coffee festival takes place. Located at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, sample an array of coffee while listening to djs and watching latte artists at work.
  • Chery Blossoms – With some blooming as early as March, April tends to be the key month to catch the beautiful cherry blossoms in London. Some of the best parks for spotting these special flowers include Greenwich Park, Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens, and the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park.

Summer (June – August)

The author playing golf in Greenwich Peninsula during summer
Hitting some balls at Greenwich Peninsula driving range in the summertime
  • Wimbledon – Whether you’re a big tennis fan or generally just enjoy an excuse to get dressed up, Wimbledon is the summer event of the year. Make sure you go early though, as tickets for this event sell like rapid fire!
  • BST Hyde Park – Music lovers out there are not going to want to miss this massive festival in London’s very own Hyde Park. With previous artists including the likes of Adele, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Taylor Swift, and many more, the lineup never disappoints.
  • Royal Ascot – Horse Racing is an iconic sport in the UK, and Royal Ascot is one of the biggest events of the year in this space. Come for the races and stay for the Pimms, fascinators, and possible celeb spottings. 

Fall (September – November)

View of a tree in London’s Duke of York Square during fall season
Leaves beginning to change color in London’s Duke of York Square
  • Catch a Premier League Football Match – Football is easily the most popular sport in the UK, with fans going crazy over their chosen teams. You can only imagine how great the energy in the stadiums is, and if you manage to snag tickets, it is definitely an item to add to your London bucket list. 
  • Watch the Fireworks at Bonfire Night – Bonfire night takes place every year on the 5th of November in London, with bonfires and fireworks displays at different venues across the city. Battersea Park puts on a great show every year and has an array of food stalls where you can enjoy some snacks and drinks during the light show.
  • Check out London Fashion Week – London is one of the best-known cities in the world for fashion and for good reason. You’ll often stroll down the street and see people rocking edgy outfits, especially in East London. Fashion Week falls in September and showcases some of the latest and greatest threads from global designers.   

Winter (December – February)

Christmas lights displayed on Picadilly Circus
Sparkling Christmas lights display at Picadilly Circus
  • View the Christmas lights in Picadilly Circus – People come from all over the globe to see the dazzling lights displayed in London around the holidays. You can find these sprinkled across many parts of the city, but some of the most famous ones are located in central London in Picadilly Circus.
  • Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – Think summer carnival meets cozy log cabin, this winter festival in London’s famous Hyde Park is a staple winter event for locals and tourists alike. Plan an epic London date night and enjoy the selection of games while sipping a mulled cider.
  • Ice Skating at Battersea Power Station – The newly opened and refurbished Battersea Power Station is worth a visit in general for the food, drinks, shops, and all-around good vibes. They also have an ice rink with a view of the Thames and music. They also have skates for rent.

London Weather and Climate

London tends to have quite a moderate climate spanning most of the year. Living up to its reputation of grey skies and rainy weather, the most rain falls between October and January. However, a lot of rain showers are brief and don’t take up an entire day.

The temperatures range quite a bit, with the warmest months getting up to the 30s°C/ high 80s°F – low 90s°F, and the coldest typically being low positives in celsius, and high 30s°F – low 40s°F. 

London is definitely a city that’s worth packing layers for, despite what season you visit in. You may be surprised with warmer than expected winter temperatures or cooler summer nights, so it’s always good to have a couple of clothing options at hand.

FAQs About When to Visit London

What is the best month to visit London?

The best time to travel to London is September, as you normally get mild weather with fewer tourists.

What is the cheapest time to visit London?

The cheapest time to go to London is from January through April. This is considered London’s off-season and is likely the time of year when you’ll find the best deals on flights and accommodation. 

What time of year has the best weather in London?

The best weather in London normally falls between the months of June and September. These months tend to be drier and have warmer temperatures. October usually starts off quite mild, but cools off over the course of the month. 

What is the best month to travel to England?

In line with the best month for visiting London, the best month to travel to England is September. In lush countryside areas, you’ll be able to enjoy the last of the lush greenery in milder weather before the leaves change color. The country also has a cozy autumn feel during this time.

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Thanks for reading my guide on the best time to visit London! While you’re here, check out my guide to London travel safety.

Have fun visiting London!

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