Are you planning a trip to England but wondering when you should visit? In this guide we go through, the best and worst time to visit England in detail, to help you decide when to visit. We will also go through a month by month account, as well as looking at factors like weather, crowds, and costs.
We are going to go through a month by month comparison on the best and worst time to visit England shortly. But before we do here are some thoughts on the worst time to visit England based on different factors.
If you are looking for a more London specific guide here is some info on the best and worst time to visit London.
- Worst time to visit England – Crowds
- Worst time to visit England – Costs
- Worst time to visit England – Weather
- Worst time to visit England – School Holidays
- Is January the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is February the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is March the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is April the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is May the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is June the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is July the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is August the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is September the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is October the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is November the best or worst time to visit England?
- Is December the best or worst time to visit England?
- The best and worst time to visit England: Other considerations
- Conclusion: The best and worst time to visit England
Worst time to visit England – Crowds
If you want to avoid the swarms of tourists, the worst time to visit England is the months of June, July and August. August is particularly busy as this coincides with school holidays.
London is one of the worst places to visit at this time of year if you do not like crowds. People flock to the capital to make the most of the great weather, which in turn leads to long lines at tourist attractions, and difficulty getting in to some of the restaurants.
In places like Manchester, or Liverpool, you should be ok in June, and July, at least. Yes it will be busy, but nothing like London. August does get a lot more crowded though because kids are off school.
Worst time to visit England – Costs
The worst time to visit England when it comes to costs, are the peak summer months of June, July, and August. Due to the increase in tourists accommodation costs skyrocket, so you should expect to pay more at this time of the year.
As mentioned above August is by far the worst due to school holidays, but June and July can also be expensive.
If you are travelling to places like the Lake District, or The Peak District, where tourism is weather dependant you will see a very big difference in accommodation costs in summer than other times of the year.
If you are visiting England in the summer months just try to book your accommodation well in advance to get the best prices, and to avoid missing out completely.
Worst time to visit England – Weather
England is notorious for having slightly unpredictable and well, to put it strongly slightly miserable weather. Rain is pretty consistent throughout the year, although October November, December, and January tend to be slightly worse.
It’s also worth noting that during these months daylight hours are at their shortest, and it is a lot colder in England. You will need to make sure you dress appropriately, and plan your activities based on daylight hours.
Something else to note is that in December and January particularly you may get snow and ice which can cause issues if you are driving in England. You may find that some backroads close due to adverse weather conditions.
Worst time to visit England – School Holidays
School holidays can be a frustrating time to visit England as it does get incredibly busy, with kids and parents trying to make the most of their time together.
August is when the summer holidays usually take place and this is by far the busiest time to visit. Places like London, York, and Chester, are incredibly busy over the summer holidays, and there are lots of family activities that happen in the cities.
There are often half term breaks in February, May, and October, although exact dates vary year by year.
Is January the best or worst time to visit England?
January is probably one of the quietest months to visit England as a tourist. In general it can be cold, rainy, and downright miserable.
Temperatures vary across the country, with London averaging between 4 and 9 degrees Celsius. The further north you go in England the colder the temperatures get so you will need to subtract a couple of degrees on average if you are going to places like Manchester or Liverpool.
January is one of the darker months as well. The sun rises at around 8am (again depending on which part of the country you are in you may have to subtract a few minutes), and the sun will set at around 4pm. You will find that a lot of attractions will close early compared to the summer months, due to this.
On the plus side, tourist numbers are down, which also means prices for accommodation are better now than any other time of the year. You also tend to get some good ‘January deals’ for food and drink, and even hotels around the country.
Overall January is the best time to visit England if you are wanting a quiet visit. It’s best for visiting cities, as the adverse weather conditions can make visiting national parks, or small towns quite difficult.
However January is the worst time to visit England if you want to explore the outdoors, visit the parks, and just generally stay warm and dry.
Is February the best or worst time to visit England?
February is another quiet month in England when it comes to tourism. The weather still isn’t great, and rain is common, as is snow. Temperatures are similar to January so expect between 3 and 9 degrees Celsius.
Valentines Day also falls in the month of February, so expect restaurants to be busy around the 14th, and make sure you book in advance.
On the plus side, the days are starting to get brighter for longer, but only just, compared to January. Accommodation is also cheap at this time of year (minus Valentines Day weekend).
In our opinion February is the best time to visit England if you are hoping for a romantic break, and want to get cosy in a pub or restaurant.
But February is the worst time to visit England if you are hoping to get outdoors, spend long days hiking, or visit some of the national parks.
Is March the best or worst time to visit England?
March in England is when you will start to see the first signs of spring. The weather is still a little chilly, but days are getting longer, and temperatures increasing. You can expect temperatures such as 5 and 14 degrees Celsius on average across the country.
A huge positive is that at the end of March the clocks actually go forward in the UK. This means longer days are coming.
March is also when you start seeing the gorgeous daffodils and other flowers come to life. It’s an overall beautiful time to be in England.
Do keep in mind that if Easter is early there is a chance that it can fall in March, which means school holidays and peak travel.
March is the best time to visit England if you want better weather, but still want to visit in the off season. It’s also the perfect season for crisp hikes on those occasional sunny days.
March is the worst time to visit England, if you are expecting excellent weather, and want to spend a lot of time outdoors.
March is the worst time to visit London again if you are planning on spending long days travelling around the city or sitting in parks.
Is April the best or worst time to visit England?
April is when England really starts to break from the shackles of winter. The days are brighter longer, with sunrising at around 6.30am and setting at around 7.30pm.
Temperatures are also on the up, averaging between 6 and 15 degrees Celsius across the country.
This is when you will start to see tourist numbers rise, particularly in big cities like London. But that being said, they are still a few months away from the summer peak. You have a good chance of getting some decent deals on accommodation, and crowds aren’t as bad as they are in summer.
One thing to factor in, like we mentioned in March, is that Easter might fall in the month of April depending on the year. So you do need to factor this in.
Overall though you will start to see some real signs of spring. If you go out for hikes you will see lambs frolicking in the fields, and flowers blooming. Leaves start returning to the trees, and there is a much more positive attitude you can almost feel as you walk around.
April is the best time to visit England, if you want to see the flowers in bloom, and experience spring.
However April is the worst time to visit England if you want clear blue skies and warm weather. April showers are a thing, and the weather is still quite unpredictable.
Is May the best or worst time to visit England?
May is certainly one of the more pleasant times to visit England when it comes to weather. Temperatures average at around 9 and 18 degrees Celsius, and days are bright for much longer. For example in Manchester, with is in the North of England the sun rises are about 5.30am and sets at 8.40pm on average.
May is fantastic for hiking, and visiting places like the Lake District or Whitby where you ideally want decent weather to enjoy the outdoors. You still need to dress appropriately for the weather, but it’s milder than the winter months.
Whilst England isn’t renowned for its cherry blossoms you will see these coming into bloom across the country in May.
Tourist numbers start to rise across the country, so book accommodation in advance. It’s also worth noting that there are two Bank Holidays/ Public Holidays in England in May. Usually these are the first and last Monday of the month. Tourist hotspots are usually busy around these times.
In our opinion May is the best time to visit England if you want to see the country come alive, and you are looking to spend a bit more time outdoors.
However it is the worst time to visit England if you are looking for cheap deals, and minimal tourists.
Is June the best or worst time to visit England?
June is when you start to notice the whole of England start to warm up. Temperatures on average sit between 12 and 22 degrees Celsius, although it can be much warmer.
June is when peak tourist season starts so you need to keep this in mind when planning your trip at this time of year. Hotel prices go up, crowds increase, which in turn means longer queues.
A lot of festivals start kicking off across the country, including Pride in London. It almost feels like. the country has come out of a slumber and ready to party. The days are longer and people are much more relaxed. Alfresco dining and picnics in the park are popular at this time of year too.
It’s a good time of year for spending time outdoors. Places like the Peak District and the Lake District become pretty popular, especially on weekends.
Overall this is the best time to visit England if you are hoping for decent weather, right before tourist season hits its peak in August.
However June is the worst time to visit England if you want cheap accommodation, and no crowds.
Is July the best or worst time to visit England?
July is one of the warmest months in England. It’s pretty much perfect if you are trying to avoid the rain and unpredictable weather seen in the winter months. That isn’t to say it won’t rain, it just means that there is less chance than other months.
England looks much greener on the whole. If you go out and explore nature you will experience it at its best.
Peak summer temperatures average at around 26 degrees Celsius, although there are days that can exceed this. There are also often cooler days too. Basically you should be prepared for anything.
There are a number of festivals that take place across the country in July. There are many Pride events that take place across England, as well as Wimbledon in London. The whole country goes tennis crazy for a brief period of time.
Accommodation costs increase, and you will start to see crowds at popular tourist destinations.
July is a really good time to visit England if you want to take advantage of the great weather and sunshine. Yes it may still rain but at least it isn’t freezing!
July is the worst time to visit England if you are wanting to avoid the crowds. If you do visit in July you have to be on top of things and book tours and restaurants well in advance to avoid missing out.
Is August the best or worst time to visit England?
Again August is one of the warmest months in England. Temperatures are mild, there is less rain, and the daylight hours are long. Temperatures in England range between 12 – 26 degrees Celsius, and it is not unusual to have a few days where temperatures reach over 30 degrees Celsius.
It’s a great time to get out and explore nature. Everything is green and such a contrast from the bleak winter months.
August is also when kids in England are off school, so a lot of the popular travel destinations in the country get absolutely packed. That in turn leads to more expensive accommodation.
There are a number of festivals all across the country that fall in August too. For example the Notting Hill Carnival in London and Pride in Manchester. If you are visiting for either of those events great, but if not, you may want to avoid the cities during this time. Accommodation will be really expensive, and you will see more people in the city than normal.
The last weekend in August is also a Bank Holiday in England, which means that locals are more keen to book a Staycation, so plan for this in advance.
August can also have a few humid days where temperatures reach over 30 degrees Celsius. England isn’t really equipped for high temperatures. Public transport isn’t always air conditioned, and neither are bars and restaurants, which can make it slightly unbearable on those super hot days. That being said though these days are rare. You will experience a lot of alfresco dining, with people trying to make the most of the good weather.
August is the best time to visit England if you are visiting with kids. There are tons of kid friendly activities due to school holidays.
However it is the worst time to visit England if you aren’t travelling with kids, as the crowds can be overwhelming. Expect to wait in line for tourist attractions and restaurants.
Is September the best or worst time to visit England?
September is still a popular tourist month in England, but come the middle of the month things will start to calm down. Kids return to school in September, and the warm summer days slowly start the fade away. You may get lucky and have a few sunny humid days in September, but overall it is much milder weather wise.
September is when you will see people trying to make the most of the last few weeks of decent weather. Temperatures average at about 20 degrees Celsius during the day, although it does get much cooler towards the end of the month.
September is the best time to visit England if you still want to experience some of the excitement and buzz of the summer months, but want slightly less tourists. It’s also a good time of year to visit the national parks and gardens, and have some final moments of alfresco dining.
It is however the worst time to visit England if you want super hot days, and cheap deals on accommodation.
Is October the best or worst time to visit England?
October is actually a really nice time in England. You will start to notice the weather cooling down. The leaves start turning orange and it’s perfect for autumnal walks. As long as you dress appropriately it can be a great time of year to visit England.
Temperatures drop across the country to an average of 9 and 16 degrees Celsius. And depending on which part of the country you are in you might start seeing activities like pumpkin picking, and Halloween style fun.
Rain is more likely in October than the summer months, so again this is something to keep in mind when packing for your trip. On the plus side tourist numbers start to drop in comparison to the summer months.
Overall October is a good time to visit England if you want to experience the beauty of autumn, and you are ok with unpredictable weather and slightly darker nights.
However it is the worst time to visit England if you are expecting sunshine all the time.
Is November the best or worst time to visit England?
England in November starts to feel a whole lot more wintry. The nights get darker a lot early. Sunrise is around 7.15am and sunset is about 4.15pm. This does mean shorter days for exploring.
It’s still very pretty with orange and red leaves falling from the trees, and it’s great for hiking as long as you dress properly.
Temperatures start to drop and average between 6 and 12 degrees Celsius. It can also be an incredibly rainy month.
Tourist numbers drop at this time of year too, which means less queues and better deals on hotel rooms.
The highlight in November is Bonfire Night. This falls on the 5th of November, and it is traditional for locals towns and cities to put on big bonfire displays and fireworks.
Towards the end of the month you will see Christmas displays crop up, and Christmas Markets will start opening.
November is the best time to visit England if you want to celebrate bonfire night, or get in on the Christmas action early.
However it is the worst time to visit England if you are wanting long bright days and sunshine.
Is December the best or worst time to visit England?
December is a pretty grim month when it comes to weather in England. Temperatures throughout the country range between 4 and 9 degrees Celsius on average. Locals are far more interested in doing indoor activities and keeping warm and dry.
Some parts of England are prone to snow at this time of year, which can cause travel disruption, so do keep that in mind if you are visiting England in December.
That being said December in England is also pretty magical. The Christmas Markets pop up in most big cities like Manchester, and London which creates this cozy, festive atmosphere. You get pop up ice rinks and stalls selling mulled wine, and other festive treats.
If you are looking to go shopping or enjoy a night out, December can be slightly hectic for both particularly in the run up to Christmas.
In our opinion December is the best time to visit England if you want to enjoy the Christmas Markets, and get excited for the festive season.
However it is the worst time to visit England if you are wanting to enjoy the outdoors, and soak up the sunshine.
The best and worst time to visit England: Other considerations
When looking at the best and worst time to visit England you need to factor a lot in. We recommend planning where you want to go ahead of time, and do some research as the following kinds of events can impact your time in a city.
- Train strikes – in 2023 these have become common with the government and unions failing to come to deals over pay etc. These strikes will have an impact if you are relying on public transport.
- Festivals – Big festivals like Notting Hill Carnival in London, or Pride in various cities, will obviously impact accommodation around that time.
- Marathons – this is also something to consider, as when the Manchester or London marathon are on this will impact accommodation and travel plans.
- Bank holidays/ Public holidays – again this will have an impact on accommodation and crowds.
Conclusion: The best and worst time to visit England
Hopefully this article has been useful for you when determining the best and worst time to visit England. Here is a final recap of some of the best and worst times to visit England in our opinion.
Overall the best time to visit England is May or mid September. You still get some decent weather, but there are way less tourists than you would encounter in the summer months. You also have a better chance of getting good accommodation deals.
The worst time to visit England, is August, as this is the busiest month in most locations. This coincides with school holidays and means accommodation is expensive. It also means that you will find yourself queuing for tourist attractions and restaurants.
January is also the worst time to visit England in our opinion as the adverse weather can mean that attractions may close early or that you will struggle to get around. The days are also short and you should expect rain.
Whilst we have gone through the best and worst times to visit England, there are positives and negatives whenever you visit. And whenever you do decide to visit England no matter what time of year, you will always find something to do.
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