When is the best time of year to visit England?
If you are thinking about a trip to England and are trying to work our the best time to travel, here is a short list of things to consider.
We have a mild & temperate climate in England the effects of our northerly latitude being moderated by the Atlantic Gulf Stream which brings warm tropical water to the seas that surround the British Isles. This means that although the British Isles is located at similar latitudes as Moscow and Newfoundland we do not, thankfully, share the climate characteristics of either location!
The best months for travel in England with regard to the weather are May, June, July, August, September and October. Of course the weather is not totally predictable in any month but as a general rule if we have rain in the summer months it will only last for a few hours rather than all day.
The 2 charts give the average temperature and rainfall at our local weather station in the South of England. The patten is genearally the same for much of England but with higher rainfall the further West and lower rain further East.
Highest summer temperatures will only get to around 30C (86F) but this is unusual. Expect comfortable temperatures for travel from May through to September. April and October will generally be a little cooler but still very comfortable for touring.
We always advise visitors to England, no matter what time of year, to bring a light rain coat and if you have space a folding umbrella for those days when we do get some rain. It can mean the difference between being able to get out and about rather than having to look for indoor attractions.
England School Holiday Dates
Schools in England take a 2 week holiday at Easter and a 6 week holiday in the summer from the middle of July to the start of September. Tourist attractions such as Stonehenge, Bath, stately homes and gardens are certainly busier during at these times particularly in the Summer break. Expect to wait longer than at other times of year for entrance to attractions and for meals at pubs and restuarants.
If you are hiring a car and doing self drive you can expect more traffic on the roads than at other times of the year and some delays at both Easter and in the summer holidays are likely. Parking spaces also fill up early at many tourist locations and in many cities and towns such as York, Oxford, Cambridge, Salisbury it can be quicker to use the local Park and Ride service to get you into the centre.