When is the best time to visit England? This is one of those annoying articles where I say ‘it depends’. But it really does!
The truth is, England has its positives year round, that is why I love the changing seasons so much, it always brings something different. However, if you are looking for something to do in particular, keep reading, or skip to the season you love the most!
Spring in England
Officially, spring in England stretches from March through to May. Is this a good time to visit? Definitely!
Spring isn’t my personal favourite time of the year, but that is the opposite to what many think.
March in England
What can you expect when visiting England in March? The trees are still bare but the ground is alive with daffodils. The weather is unpredictable, it could snow or it could be 20 degrees. It is better to be safe than sorry and pack a mixture of clothes, definitely an umbrella.
Early March still sees fairly short days but at the end of the month our clocks jump forward an hour to give that well needed bit of daylight.
Visiting London in March is always a treat thanks to the blooms of cherry blossom that lines the streets and parks.
March is low-season so you can get some great bargains on hotels and cottages. Flights are less busy, trains are less busy, and you can often walk into a restaurant and get a seat without pre-booking.
April in England
Heading into April is always a joy. The leaves start to reappear on the trees, the fields are filled with lambs, tulips make their grand appearance, and we really leave winter behind.
Depending on when Easter falls, there are a few public holidays in April and locals use this an excuse to holiday so places get a little busier.
April is a brilliant time to admire the English countryside. Depending on the weather you can cosy up in a country cottage or you can head out and explore some of the thousands of miles of footpaths.
The weather in April is a real mix back. Traditionally, it is a rainy month, but more recently we have enjoyed some really lovely warm weather the last few years. I would pack a light rain coat, umbrella, some jumpers, but don’t be afraid to throw in a summer dress too. The evenings will still be chilly so remember your jacket.
May in England
May is a beautiful time to visit England. The landscape is alive with foliage, people are starting to leave their jackets at home, and the cities are becoming abuzz with visitors.
May is one of the best times to visit London as the city prepares for the Chelsea Flower Show. Shopfronts and restaurants across Chelsea and Belgravia are adorned with incredible fresh flower displays, with many offering special floral inspired menus, whilst bunting hangs over streets and the locals walk with a smile.
The English weather in May is generally good, with lots of clear skies and warm days mixed in with a few cloudy ones. There is a marked difference between the beginning and the end of the month, early May can still be a little chilly, especially in the northern half of the country.
In May you can expect to see wisteria clad houses, carpets of bluebells in woodland, and the vegetation is starting to grow at a rapid rate.
Summer in England
By far the busiest time of year, summer in England just keeps getting better. Days are long, warm and often sunny. You can guarantee you will be wearing shorts and tshirts atleast some of the time. The rainfall is falling and the country is a floral burst. It is a great time to hit the beach or enjoy the rooftop bars in cities such as London and Manchester.
June in England
If you like flowers and gardening, this is the best time to come. England is world famous for its beautiful gardens, and they don’t get much better than when in full bloom in June. Kent in south east England is particularly popular for garden lovers, with beautiful open gardens such as Sissinghurst, Great Dixter, and Penshurst Palace.
If you are more interested in a city break, try London, Manchester or Liverpool. Rooftop gardens, bars and al fresco dining is on the cards at this time of year.
Wimbledon is on which usually guarantees sunshine so now is the time to pop a bottle of champagne in one of the London parks without any judgement.
If you aren’t held hostage by school holidays, I would recommend visiting Cornwall or Devon in June before it gets too busy. June is still school term time in England so an all round great time to travel if you are kid-free.
July in England
July is one of the busiest times to visit England. The sun is shining, the beaches are filled, and the daylight stretches long into the evening.
If you like swimming in the sea, July is the best time to do it. Conditions are usually calm and the sea, whilst still chilly, will be at its warmest.
Popular cities such as York, Bath , Oxford and Cambridge will be filled with tourists enjoying their days outside. Highly rated restaurants should be pre-booked, and if you are planning on visiting other countries whilst over, make sure you have it all planned in advance.
I often feel as though northern Europe is the best place to spend summer. You can avoid the intense heat and crowds of the Mediterranean and instead explore beautiful countryside, rugged coastlines, and beautiful historic cities.
I love days out in July, everyone just seems happier. Places such as Warwick Castle, Alnwick Castle, Beamish Museum, all gorgeous and perfect to explore on those sunny days.
August in England
There is something so nostalgic about those last long days of summer. A reminder that the moments are fleeting and suddenly you start appreciating the good weather so much more!
August is a funny time, it’s beautiful because of the good weather, but many of the flowers have gone over. The fields are a flash of gold before the harvest, and it seems everyone is trying to soak up the sun whilst they can.
Expect large crowds in cities, instead I would recommend retreating to the countryside. August is the perfect time to go walking in the Peak District or visiting less crowded beaches, such as those in the north east. Cornwall and Devon are at their peak so it is impossible to get a parking space… or a restaurant reservation!
September in England
Things start to go back to normal in September. Touristic cities are still busy but even they calm down in the second half of the month.
The weather in September is often dry and warm, sometimes better than August (that has definitely been the case this year). It is this time of the year we start to notice the sun setting a little earlier, but the clocks still haven’t gone back. By the end of September we see a change in the weather, temperatures cool and rainfall increases a little, the ivy starts to turn red.
Lots of events are going on. If you love vintage cars and dressing up like it’s the 20s then the Goodwood Revival is perfect for you, being held annually each September.
Alternatively, if you are a literary fan, each September the city of Bath holds the annual Jane Austen Festival. the festival is a 10 day event, transporting visitors back to Austen’s era in the late Georgian period.
Autumn in England
Autumn in England is always a delight and one of the prettiest times to visit. Autumn typically spans from mid-September to November. It is a beautiful season marked by a transformation of the landscape as summer gives way to cooler temperatures and colourful foliage.
October in England
October is one of the best months to visit England. It isn’t too cold yet but it is cool enough to snuggle up in a cosy jumper and put your boots on.
Throughout October we see a huge change in our landscape, the ivy is completely red and the trees are slowly turning into palettes of reds, oranges and yellows. Now is a great time to explore our National Trust properties, you can read about my favourite ones to visit in autumn here.
I would highly recommend choosing this time to stay in a cabin, so many have huge windows or are tucked away in woodland, it is such a great time to sit and appreciate the landscape. There are plenty of beautiful hotels in England to visit in autumn too!
I love exploring London in Autumn. There are so many green spaces and parks with incredible autumnal displays. When you get a bit chilly, you can pop into a coffee shop and enjoy a nice English cup of tea. There are many free museums in London such as the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and the Museum of London, a great opportunity to escape the drizzle!
November in England
Wake up to frosty mornings and stormy skies. Early November, in my opinion, is when we see the best display of colour in the landscape.
Traditional English pubs are filled with punters seeking a cosy space from the air’s chill, open fires are roaring and it is definitely coat weather.
The tourist crowds have dropped to their lowest level since March so now is the time to explore. I highly recommend punting in Cambridge or taking a road trip through the Cotswolds. I know this is an article about England, but November in Edinburgh is a magical time, so definitely factor in time for a visit.
We celebrate Bonfire Night on 5th November, expect the weekend closest to this date to be filled with local firework displays.
November offers a different perspective of travelling in England thanks to fewer crowds, unique cultural events, and the chance to experience the beauty of autumn foliage. If you’re prepared for the weather and embrace the season’s charms, a November visit to England can be quite rewarding.
Winter in England
Aside from the Christmas period, winter is one of the quietest times to visit England. January-early March in particular can be bitterly cold so you must bring appropriate clothing – warm coats, boots, hats and scarves. The days are at their shortest with the sun setting as early as 3:45pm in December.
The winter months offer a chance to experience the festive spirit of Christmas, enjoy cosy indoor activities, and explore the England’s rich cultural heritage without the summer crowds. It’s a season appreciated by those who can embrace the charms of a British winter.
December in England
If you love all things Christmas, December is the best time to visit England. London is adorned with festive lights and elaborate Christmas displays. No where in the world does Christmas quite like London! Even restaurants go all out with bauble covered ceilings, life-size nutcrackers, and Christmas themed afternoon teas.
Away from London, even the smallest villages boast beautiful Christmas light displays whilst wreaths carefully hang on the doors of cottages.
Many UK cities offer Christmas markets, such as Birmingham, York, London, Bath and Manchester. In the markets you can find stalls selling traditional Christmas decorations, sweets, gloves, hats, and you can’t miss out on the mulled wine. Larger markets such as Winter Wonderland in London also offer funfair rides, making it a great day out for families,
January in England
Often considered the bleakest month, January in England is pretty cold and bare. This is the one month of the year where the landscape seems to lack colour.
Whilst the weather can be a challenge, January offers a chance to enjoy winter landscapes, with frost-covered fields and, in some areas, snowy hills and countryside.
Visitors may encounter sleet or snow, particularly in northern England and higher elevations. While England is viewed as a cold country, snowfall is a rarity, you will need to visit the hill regions such as the Peak District or Lake District if you want a higher chance of seeing it.
January is an ideal time to explore indoor attractions such as museums, art galleries, historic houses, and theatres. January is a great time to tuck into hearty British dishes such as stews, soups, and hot pies. Experiencing a traditional roast dinner is a must, these are served on Sundays and can be enjoyed in most English pubs.
February in England
Okay I have to admit, February is my least favourite month in England. But don’t let that put you off, I know plenty of people who love visiting at this time of year due to low hotel rates and quiet attractions.
As for the countryside, the trees are still bare, things are muddy, but we do get the odd sprinkling of snow and the snow drops start to poke through, giving us all hope for the spring ahead. Temperatures drop below freezing both day and night but it can reach up to 10 degrees in the warmer days.
The sunsets at this time of year are stunning thanks to low humidity enabling the suns’s rays to scatter across the sky. The winter landscape, with its barren trees, frozen lakes, and snow-covered fields, can provide a stunning and contrasting backdrop to a sunset, making those bleak months a little bit more beautiful.
February can be a great month for a romantic getaway. Many restaurants and hotels offer Valentine’s Day packages and the cold weather outside means all you will want to do is relax in a hot bath or cosy up with a loved one!