Best Time To Visit England

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Now living abroad, I find myself deeply missing those quintessentially British landscapes, cutesy stone-walled houses, cobbled streets and edgy art scenes that any Brit is used to. England is an all year round destination and if you come prepared for showers in summer and sunshine in winter, you cannot fail to enjoy what this country has to offer. Choosing the best time to visit England is easy as there is something for everyone in England from the Lake District in the north, Cornwall on the southwest coast, Shakespeare in London and Banksy in Bristol.

Though temperatures vary throughout the country, with the south being slightly warmer than the north, moderate yearly temperatures give you plenty of opportunity for visiting England’s attractions. Just be prepared, pack an umbrella and sun cream, and you’ll be good to go.

Best Time To Visit England

England in Summer

best time to go to england Colourful Beach Huts on Southwold Beach Suffolk
Colourful beach huts on Southwold Beach in Suffolk.

Summer in England has a different vibe than any other time of the year, perhaps because us Brits are happily enjoying the rarity that is sunshine.

On the sunniest days, beaches can be packed, and outdoor eateries leave you with a rather long wait for a table.

If you are looking at visiting England in summer, do prepare yourself for long waits and bigger crowds, but there is so much to do both in cities and in the countryside that you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by people if you plan accordingly.

Though average temperatures for London only hit 23°C, don’t underestimate the cloudless English skies, many a tourist to England has come away with tan lines to be ashamed of.

Average Weather In England In Summer

*Daylight hours and temperatures are based on London

  • June: Daylight hours:16h41m, Temp: 13°C (55.4 °F) – 21°C (69.8 °F)
  • July Daylight hours: 16h15m, Temp: 15°C (59 °F) – 23°C (73.4 °F)
  • August Daylight hours: 14h41m, Temp: 15°C (59 °F) – 23°C (73.4 °F)

Five Things To Do In England In Summer

1- Stroll Along Northumberland’s Beaches
best time of year to visit england Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle in the town of Alnwick in Northumberland in North East England dates back to 1096AD when Yves de Vescy became Baron of Alnwick. Since 1309 the castle has been owned by the Percy Family who are the Dukes and Earls of Northumberland.

The spectacular Northumberland coastline has got to be one of England’s hidden gems.

Perhaps being in the northernmost part of England, right on the border with Scotland, has meant that few visitors frequent this picturesque spot.

The effortlessly long Embleton and Beadnell Bay’s are perfect for long strolls in the summer sun.

After countless walks along Northumberland’s many beaches, you can head to the 11th-century Alnwick Castle, which you might recognise as the location of Harry Potter’s first flying lesson in the film franchise.

2- Wander Around Oxford University
best time to visit england oxford city
Summer is a lovely time to visit Oxford.

Currently ranked as the second-best university in the world, Oxford University is not just known for its prestigious academics but also its spectacular buildings and grounds.

Head to Balliol College, one of Oxfords oldest, then pop to the remarkable Bodleian Library and ogle at the ceiling and old books.

After a tour of the university, you can pop to the river and hop aboard a punt (a flat-bottomed boat) and enjoy a glass of wine in the English summer sun.

3- Watch a Spot of Tennis at Wimbledon

By far, one of my favourite pastimes when in London is heading off to Wimbledon for a day of tennis.

Whether you have a ground pass or tickets for court one or centre, you will indeed have a fantastic time.

Keep your eyes peeled while walking around, as you might be able to get an autograph or two.

4- Visit the Isles of Scilly
best time to visit england st marys isles of scilly
One of the best times to visit England’s Iesles of Scilly is in summer for brilliant blue skies and charming scenes of fishing and sailing boats at St Mary’s.

The Isles of Scilly are England’s charming archipelago and a fantastic spot to spend some time in summer.

You can reach this collection of islands via boat, helicopter, or plane. Once there, you can explore the white sandy beaches of The Bar in St. Agnes and Pentle Bay in Tresco.

While on the islands, you can partake in several fun water activities such as kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, even swimming with seals.

Scilly will have you convinced you’re in the south of France or even a breezier Philippines.

5- Discover the Home of the Beatles
best time visit england bronze statue of the four Liverpool Beatles
A bronze statue of the four Beatles at the Liverpool Waterfront. It weighs 1.2 tonnes and was sculpted by sculpture Andrew Edwards.

Liverpool, home to the iconic band The Beatles, should certainly be on your English bucket list.

Fan girl at Penny Lane, re-enact the famous Abbey Road album cover or hang out at The Cavern Club, Liverpool is the ultimate tribute to the English rock band.

When you’ve finished your Beetle mania, can head to the Royal Albert Dock overlooking the River Mersey, where there are an array of activities and eateries.

Summer Tips

  • Although temperatures in summer are much more enjoyable than in winter, you must remember to bring your umbrella because random showers are extremely possible if not probable.
  • In recent years, summer temperatures have been on the rise, so believe it or not, you may also want to pack some SPF 30 alongside your umbrella.

Wondering when to travel to other places? These posts might help:

England in Autumn

best time of year to visit london england
There’s no best time of year to visit London if you walk around prepared with an umbrella.

Autumn is my favourite time of year in England. Not only are temperatures pleasant, but you can watch the landscapes change from green to fiery orange and rouge reds.

The number of visitors may be fewer in autumn than in summer, but it is also worth remembering that places such as the Lake District may charge similar prices for accommodation and attractions in autumn as they do in summer.

In autumn, you’ll still need to prepare for spontaneous showers and lingering summer heat, but temperatures are much more amicable in general.

Average Weather In England In Autumn

  • September: Daylight hours: 12h44m, Temp: 13°C (55.4°F) – 20°C (68 °F)
  • October: Daylight hours: 10h47m, Temp: 10°C (50°F) – 16°C (60.8 °F)
  • November: Daylight hours: 8h57m, Temp: 7°C (44.6°F) – 12°C (53.6 °F)

Five Things To Do In England In Autumn

1- Keswick, Lake District
best time of the year to visit england Castlerigg Stones Circle in Keswick
Castlerigg Stones Circle is a famous mystic place in Keswick.

I spent many of my childhood holidays hiking around the Lake District National Park, and in my opinion, there can be no better natural landscape in England.

Keswick is a small market town located on Derwentwater and is the perfect base for boat rides on the lake, mountain climbing and leisurely waterfront walks.

While you are there, you can conquer England’s highest mountain, Scarfell Pike (978m) or the impressive Helvellyn (950m) that comes with the added thrill of a rather precarious section called Striding Edge.

Autumn is a fabulous time in England to visit the lakes because of the changing hues of orange and most routes you will have almost entirely to yourself.

2- Eat at The Hand and Flowers

The owner of this British pub is Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge.

The Hand and Flowers is the UK’s only pub to have two Michelin stars.

So, book a table to enjoy that quintessentially British pub feel but don’t want to be let down on the grub.

This pub is an hour’s drive outside London and the perfect city escape for foodies.

3- Photograph the Cutesy Cotswolds
what is the best time to visit england Snowshill village, Cotswolds
The pretty Cotswold church at Snowshill in Gloucestershire is a delight.

If you are planning to stay in and around London on your visit to England, then a trip to the Cotswolds is perfect for escaping city life and enjoying everything the English countryside has to offer.

The Cotswolds is home to several pretty villages that will transport you back in time, with cobbled lanes and stone houses with charismatically crooked roofs.

Castle Combe, Stow-On-The-Wold and Stanton are some of my personal favourites.

4- Marvel at Stonehenge
best time to visit england stonehenge
One of the best times to visit Stonehenge in England is at sunset. The prehistoric monument in Wiltshire dates back to around 2500 BC.

A visit to Stonehenge is often on many travellers English bucket lists, and it’s certainly an intriguing historic site.

Located in Wiltshire, Stonehenge is a series of stones forming a mismatched circle.

Stonehenge is believed to be around 4,500 years old, but its purpose is frequently debated and remains unclarified. However, many feel it was erected for religious ceremonies or to commemorate the dead.

5- Wander Around the Walled City of York
best time to travel to england York Minster and City Wall
View of York Minster and the city wall in the city of York in northeast England.

Head up north to York and wander around this old walled city.

There are plenty of things to do in York, including sauntering along the Shambles (a quaint and narrow street), visiting the York Minister, learning about 3,000-year-old chocolate history and hopping up onto the city wall trail for perfect views of York.

Autumn Tips

  • It is worth noting that 5 November is Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night. It’s a rather strange but very British celebration of the night that Guy Fawkes, and co-conspirators, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament but was caught. Now the night is celebrated all over England with firework displays, bonfires and the toasting of marshmallows. If you’re visiting during this time, it’s worth finding an event nearby to enjoy the celebration.
  • Unlike in American restaurant culture, tipping in England is generally considered voluntary but if you’re happy with the food and service, tipping 10% would be a good idea.

England in Winter

the best time to visit england Cotswold village of Broadway
One of the best seasons to visit England for picture-postcard scenery in winter. Pictured here is the village of Broadway in Worcestershire.

Don’t let England’s bad winter reputation deter you from travelling.

I’ll have you know that winter is my second-favourite time of year in England (following autumn of course).

Yes, it may be cold.

Yes, there might be a lot of rain.

But you simply cannot beat those crispy winter walks, cheaper accommodation and cosy pub meals.

Not to mention that you can get some fantastic deals on flights to England during this season, particularly between the start of November and mid-December, before the Christmas rush.

Average Weather In England In Summer

  • December: Daylight hours: 7h56m, Temp: 5°C (41 °F) – 9°C (48.2°F)
  • January: Daylight hours: 8h25m, Temp: 4°C (39.2 °F) – 9°C (48.2°F)
  • February: Daylight hours: 10h05m, Temp: 5°C (41°F) – 9°C (48.2°F)

Five Things To Do In England In Winter

1- Enjoy a Play at Shakespeare’s Globe
best time to visit london england Shakespeare Globe Theatre
There’s no best time to visit London as there’s heaps to do for all seasons. When the weather is colder, see a show at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre.

William Shakespeare is England’s most well-renowned playwright and poet, and the globe theatre is one of the most iconic theatres around.

Built in 1599, this ‘in the round’ theatre is the perfect spot to enjoy performances of ‘The Merchant of Venice’, ‘Hamlet’ or ‘Measure for Measure’.

You can choose from seated or standing tickets, but if you want that authentic Shakespeare theatre vibe standing in the ‘pit’, be sure to book well in advance.

2- Visit the Roman Baths of Bath
best time to visit england Roman Baths and Bath Abbey
A good time to visit England’s World Heritage Roman Baths and the Bath Abbey is in winter.

These Roman baths were constructed between 60 to 70AD and were the top destination for residents to relax.

If you’re travelling to bath thinking you can relax in these thermal waters, then think again, unfortunately, back in 1978, a girl contracted meningitis from the waters and died.

Since then, the waters have been closed to the public, but you can still explore the baths.

If you’re left wanting a spa experience, you can then head to Thermae Bath Spa for all the relaxation you need and some spectacular rooftop views of the city.

3- Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
best season to visit england Scale model of Hogwarts
Hogwarts at Warner Bros. Studio is a must-see for Harry Potter fans.

For me, Harry Potter is as quintessentially British as a good old cuppa or our famous fish and chips.

I am an unashamed self-proclaimed Harry Potter nerd, and there could be no better way to spend a cold English wintery day than inside a 150,000 sq ft glorified container of Harry Potter wonderment.

Located in Watford and a 20-minute train ride from London Euston, the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio houses all the original props and sets.

I’m talking Snape’s potion bottles, skele-gro, the Hogwarts Express, the Monster Book of Monsters.

Ok, I’m stopping myself there, but for any of you Harry Potter fans out there, or even those with only a mild interest, I can assure you this is a day out not to be missed.

4- Lose Yourself in London
best time to visit england weather Thames in London on a cloudy day at dusk
An aerial view of the river Thames in London.

Failure to mention London on this list of places to visit in England would be a massive shortcoming on my behalf.

As the list of things to do in the capital is longer than my arm, I suggest that you simply get lost!

Pick a few famous landmarks in London and walk between them instead of taking the tube.

My favourite time to visit London is during December when the impressive Oxford Street Christmas decorations are draped along the street, offering commuters endless festive cheer and sparkle.

5- Feel Festive at the Snow Dome

Who said you can’t ski in England?

Well, travel to Tamworth in Staffordshire, and you can certainly hit the slopes, well it is inside, but still…

Skiing, snowboarding, skating and a Christmas winter wonderland will be sure to get you in the festive mood.

Winter Tips

Wrap up warm, arm yourself for wind and sporadic showers and watch out for icy mornings.

England in Spring

when is the best time to visit london england Kensington Palace gardens
The best time to visit England’s Kensington Palace gardens is on a spring morning.

Though spring in England is afforded some warmer temperatures, it can still be rather nippy, especially in the mornings.

With prominent sunshine and blue skies, don’t forget about a little thing we like to call ‘April Showers’.

So always be armed with your umbrella.

Spring is an amazing time of year in England for wildlife and nature lovers.

Woodland areas fill with bluebells, lambing season is in full force, and if you’re lucky enough, you may just spot an evening badger.

Average Weather In England In Spring

  • March: Daylight hours: 11h54m, Temp: 6°C (42.8 °F) – 12°C (53.6 °F)
  • April: Daylight hours: 13h56m, Temp: 7°C (44.6 °F) – 15°C (59°F)
  • May: Daylight hours: 15h41m, Temp: 10°C (50 °F) – 18°C (64.4 °F)

Five Things To Do In England In Spring

1- Find Banksy in Bristol
when is the best time to visit england Banksy graffiti artwork
Banksy artwork on London wall – one of the best times to visit England to walk around is in spring.

Banksy is one of my absolute favourite street artists, and he was born in Bristol on the south coast of England.

Bristol is now full of hidden street art wonders thanks to this mysterious man (well, I think he’s a man), as he keeps his identity hidden to add to the mystic.

Last year, one of Banksy’s pieces named ‘Aachoo!!’ mysteriously appeared in the middle of the night on the side of a house across the road from my brother’s house.

Within an hour, news channels gathered and interviewed the locals for any intel on the new piece.

There are 11 Banksy pieces around Bristol, so you can either search for them yourself or take a tour.

2- Explore the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall
best time to visit cornwall england Cadgwith Cove Lizard Peninsula Cornwall
Cadgwith Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is one of the few remaining small Cornish villages that still relies heavily on fishing. There was a lifeboat stationed here until 1963, now on display at the Lands End complex.

A visit to Cornwall will have you almost convinced you’re in the south of France.

The Lizard Peninsula is a stretch of coastline known as being the southernmost point of the UK.

With jagged cliff edges, turquoise waters and beautiful beaches, there is so much to do in Cornwall for those nature lovers.

You can visit the picturesque Kynance Cove or the fishing village of Cadgwith but be warned you’ll need to stay for a while as there is so much nature to absorb.

Although visiting Cornwall’s beaches in the summer months may sound more appealing, the Lizard Peninsula is a well-visited spot that is popular with tourists and locals.

Spring is a much more pleasant time to visit when you can have beaches and coves all to yourself.

3- Durdle Door Limestone Arch
best time to visit england durdle door
One of the best times to visit England’s Durdle Door is at sunset when golden rays shine through the rock formations.

Almost every person educated in England will have studied Durdle Door as part of their geography classes at school.

This limestone arch is located on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth in Dorset.

This natural limestone arch was formed around 10,000 years ago and makes for the most attractive photography spot and a great place to enjoy a coastal clifftop walk.

4- Brixton Street Art Tour

I was once invited to attend a street art tour in Brixton, in south London, and it did not disappoint.

Our guide told us to wait for him underneath a statue of a white goat; this already had me excited.

He arrived hidden beneath his hood and looking mysterious.

We later discovered that he was one of the street artists whose work we would be seeing sprayed all over the walls of London…it explained a lot!

We saw an eclectic range of impressive street art pieces from miniature to murals and enjoyed the Afro-Caribbean culture of Brixton.

For me, no trip to London is complete without exploring this vibrant spot.

5- Lathkill Dale in the Peak District
best time to visit lake district england green countryside view of the Peak District
One of the best times to visit England’s Peak District is in spring for rolling hills and greenery. This view is from the top of a hill in Derbyshire.

The Peak District is in central England, predominantly in the county of Derbyshire.

Undulating hills, rivers, newly born spring lambs and waterfalls characterise this landscape.

Lathkill Dale is one such area you simply cannot miss and is a great place to escape from the stresses of city life.

Take the four-mile loop walk starting from Monyash, and you’ll be in Peak District tranquillity in no time.

Spring Tips

The clocks wind back in October and forward by one hour in March in the UK. This year 27 March will see you gain an extra hour in bed. So, if you’re travelling and keeping an eye on the time difference, it may just change as you’re exploring. 

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Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!