As summer comes to an end and school semesters resume across the United Kingdom, cooler temperatures arrive in London. A host of fall events also take place, perfect for tourists to enjoy the sights and culture of England's capital city without all the usual crowds. Stroll past Big Ben and the Tower of London, catch views from the London Eye ride, or stop by races, festivals, and conventions happening in September. While the temperatures have dropped some this month, the weather is usually comfortable.
London Weather in September
Temperatures constantly fall throughout September, but on average London is a pleasant 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) for the month. Daytime highs start to slip into the lower 60s F (below 20 C) by late September, and nighttime lows often fall to the mid-40s F (below 10 C) by the end of the month. Still, you may encounter a day or two of temperatures reaching above 70 F (21 C).
- Average high: 66 degrees F (19 degrees C)
- Average low: 51 degrees F (11 degrees C)
You can expect that about half the month there may be a light rain shower and a fair amount of cloudy days, with only about five average hours of daylight per day. These rainstorms pass quickly, so they shouldn't affect your travel plans too much.
What to Pack
September kicks off the fall season, so pack a sweater or extra layer to wear in the early mornings and late evenings. The rule of thumb for when you are on the cusp of warm and cool temperatures is to bring clothes that can layer well. Pack a light jacket and toss your umbrella in your suitcase. You might get a day or two to wear summery clothes; bring a couple of items for warmer weather such as T-shirts and shorts. If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, comfortable shoes for walking around the city are a must.
September Events in London
From Open House London—which gives visitors full access to hundreds of the city's most decadent buildings—to the International London Tattoo Convention, there are many ways to celebrate the culture of London in September.
Note: Many of these events have been altered or canceled in 2020. Check the details below and the websites of the organizers for more information.
- Open House London: On September 19 and 20, 2020, more than 800 of London's finest buildings will open their doors to visitors as part of this annual celebration of architecture and design. Admission is free, but the event-holders are seeking donations.
- Totally Thames: This month-long festival from September 1-30, 2020, brings the River Thames to life through a series of cultural events, including regattas, river races, environmental initiatives, art exhibitions, and music performances.
- Angel Canal Festival: Held along Regents Canal in Islington on September 6, 2020, this family-friendly event offers craft activities, live music, kayaking, and boat trips, along with local food stalls each year.
- BBC Proms in the Park: This event has been canceled for 2020. Britain's largest open-air classical music event, BBC Promenade Concerts in the Park is an event series that takes place from mid-July to mid-September each year.
- London Fashion Week: This biannual event returns from September 17-22, 2020, for the presentation of the next season's biggest fashion designers, editors, buyers, and bloggers. Snag some tickets for the London-wide twice-yearly trade show early because they usually sell out fast.
- London Design Festival: Featuring a full calendar of talks, exhibitions, and creative projects from September 12-20, 2020, this annual event is a celebration of all things design in London.
- Great River Race: This event has been canceled for 2020. A 21.6-mile boat race along the River Thames, this gathering typically attracts more than 330 crews from around the world to compete each year in early September.
- Horseman's Sunday: As of early August, information was not available on whether this event will occur in 2020. The third Sunday in September is also known as Horseman's Sunday in London and features a parade of more than 100 horses through Hyde Park led by the vicar of St John's Church.
- Great Gorilla Run: As of early August, information was not available on whether this 2020 event will be taking place. This charity run takes place to raise money and awareness for the Gorilla Organization. Watch runners in gorilla suits follow an approximately 5-mile (8-kilometer) route through London.
- Heritage Open Days: In a yearly celebration of history, architecture, and culture across England, visitors enjoy many free events at heritage attractions in London like the London Eye, and Westminster Abbey. The event takes place both in-person and online from September 11-20, 2020.
- International London Tattoo Convention: This event has been canceled for 2020. The convention attracts more than 400 of the world's most prestigious tattoo artists to the city each year in early September.
- BP Portrait Awards: Usually held in London from mid-June through mid-September, the 2020 edition will feature the recipients of this year's awards online. The BP Portrait Award is the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world.
September Travel Tips
- In September the Queen of England welcomes visitors to view the staterooms of her royal home at Buckingham Palace. However, don't expect to see the Queen during your trip; she goes to one of her country residences when the palace is open to the public.
- Get a London Pass, and you’ll be able to get into more than 80 local attractions, with transportation included, for a heavily discounted price.
- In London, tipping is not mandatory, but it will be appreciated. However, if you don't leave any gratuity, the service personnel will not be bothered by it. You might get a 10 to 15 percent service charge on your bill, and most good servers will make you aware of the service charge.
- If you are planning to go to London in September, buy your tickets at least three months before you go since international ticket prices are best during this time frame.
- Early September is still considered the high season of tourism in London, so airfare and accommodations might be a little pricier than if you wait to book for the later part of the month. Mid-September begins the shoulder season.