Weather in England: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Rolling countryside in the Yorkshire Dales, just outside the small village of Austwick.

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There is a general conception that England is a rainy country. And while it does rain in England throughout the year, it's typical much drier than people might assume. The climate can vary depending on whether you're in the north or south of England (and whether you're near the coast), but in general England has a moderate climate and most areas don't get too hot or too cold. Come prepared with layers and rain gear, although you may be pleasantly surprised by warm, sunny days, or even some picturesque snow in the winter.

Weather and Climate by Region

London

London is England's most popular destination and the sprawling capital city tends to have very manageable weather for most of the year. While it can sometimes be unpredictable (carry an umbrella, just in case), London tends to be pleasant enough not to detract from all the great things to do in the city. The hottest month of the year is typically July when the peak temperature can be as high as 90 degrees F (32 degrees C), but the average temperature in July is about 70 degrees F (21 degrees C), which is consistent for most of the summer months. The coldest month is January when temperatures can sink to around 33 degrees F (1 degree C), and January through March are often cold, dark, and wet. Spring and fall are both great times to visit, thanks both to the moderate temperatures and the beautiful foliage around town.

Southwest and Cornwall

Cornwall, located on the southwest coast of England, is one of the country's most remote areas. Because it's on the coast, the southwest doesn't tend to get very warm. Expect an average temperature of 61 degrees F (16 degrees C) during July, and 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) during the winter months. June through September are the most popular months to head to Cornwall or the Dorset Coast thanks to the warmer, drier weather, although Cornwall is notorious for getting more rain than other areas of England.

Southeast

The southwest, which includes coastal destinations like Margate, Dover, and Whistable, is especially cold and windy during the winter thanks to its location. It's typically warmest from mid-June through September, with highs of 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) expected in August. The coldest month is February, with average lows of 36 degrees F (2 degrees C). While the southeast isn't particularly rainy—although the winter and spring can bring showers—be prepared for overcast skies or muggy days. As you go more inland, to cities like Canterbury and Maidstone, the weather will be similar to that in London.

West Midlands and East Midlands

The Midlands encompasses a vast region of England, including the center of the country north of London. It includes cities like Leicester, Nottingham, and Birmingham, and tends to be divided into the East Midlands and the West Midlands. The winters get colder are you move north, so expect longer, chillier winters, with February as the coldest month in the 30s and 40s Fahrenheit. Summers, on the other hand, are very pleasant, with sunny days and an average temperature of 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) in July. Most travelers prefer to visit between June and August to take advantage of summer, but if you don't mind cooler, overcast days then spring and fall can be nice as well.

Yorkshire

Farther north you'll find Yorkshire, which includes York, Leeds, and Sheffield, as well as coastal cities along the North Sea. The summers are often cooler in Yorkshire, although you can get some amazing sunny days in the beach cities in July and August, and it rarely gets above 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Expect temperatures in the 30s and 40s Fahrenheit during the winter, with the days notoriously short and dark between November and March. It can snow in Yorkshire, although it tends to be infrequent (and more likely to be rain). The best time to visit is in the heart of summer, especially when traveling to the coast.

Northwest

The Northwest of England includes Manchester, Cheshire, and Cumbria and is known for its moderate weather, although the winters are long and cold. The level of rain in the Northwest depends on where you are visiting. Cities like Manchester don't tend to be very wet, but coastal areas like Liverpool or more northern regions like Cumbria can see lots of rain. The temperature also varies by area, with Manchester in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit during the summer and 30s and 40s in the winter. Cumbria is cooler, rarely getting above 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) even in the heat of summer. The Lake District, in Cumbria, is England's wettest area, so plan accordingly.

Northeast

Those who opt to travel all the way to the top of England will find some of the rainiest weather in the country, although it's fairly similar to the climate of Yorkshire. The region, which includes Newcastle upon Tyne and Hartlepool, sits along the coast of the North Sea, which can have chilly winters and wind, as well as rain and snow. In August, Newcastle stays a comfortable 66 degrees F (19 degrees C), while in February it averages around 35 degrees F (2 degrees C). Because of its location, the seasons are more mild than in the south, and there are sunny days throughout the year. The best time to visit in the summer, especially if you are headed to a seaside destination or going hiking.

Traffic On a Road In England Amidst Buildings Seen Through Wet Glass Window On Rainy Day

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Spring in England

While it may be rainy during the springtime in England, it's also one of the country's most beautiful times of year. Thanks to all that moisture, the trees and flowers bloom in vibrant colors, with the peak usually in April. It can be chilly, but you can still get some sunny days in March, April, and May. There are two bank holiday weekends in May, as well as a long weekend for Easter in April, which makes spring a great time to visit if you want to explore the national parks, the beaches, and the cities. It's best to wear layers, including a raincoat, but if you get lucky with the weather, spring is unforgettable all over England.

What to pack: Pack in layers, including sweaters and a raincoat. If you come in March or early April, a warmer winter coat is also a good idea. Depending on where you are headed, sturdy, waterproof shoes can be a bonus, as can a waterproof hat. And, obviously, throw an umbrella into your suitcase just in case.

Summer in England

Summer in England is delightful, mostly because as soon as the sun comes out everyone flocks to the parks, beaches, and walking trails. There's a real love for sunny days because the country can be cloudy and overcast quite frequently, and the English are ready to embrace the good weather whenever it comes. London can get surprisingly hot in the summer and the coastal areas are very popular for holidays, especially destinations like Whitby, Margate, Bournemouth, and Blackpool. National parks like the Lake District and the Peak District are favorites with both locals and visitors when looking for camping or hiking.

What to pack: Again, layers are your friend when in England. It does get warm enough for shorts and sundresses, but you always want a sweater or a light jacket on hand, especially in the evening. Swimsuits are key for beach holidays, and rain gear is always helpful. Remember that umbrella? Bring it.

UK, England, North Yorkshire, Skipton, River Wharfe in autumn
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Fall in England

Fall in England is really beautiful, especially if you venture out of the cities. September still feels like summer, while things start to get chillier in October and November, notably on the coast and in the north. Still, fall means smaller crowds and shorter lines at popular destinations, and it can be a great time to visit the national parks. Expect some rain, as well as cloudy, overcast days, but it's not so much precipitation that you can't access activities and outdoor historical sites.

What to pack: You know the drill, layers, and rain gear (and that beloved umbrella). Later in the fall, you may want a warmer winter jacket, as well as a hat and gloves. Warm shoes are also essential, with bonus points if they are waterproof.

Winter in England

The hardest part about winter in England is how short the days become. It tends to get dark before 4:30 p.m. in most of the country by December, meaning that you don't have a lot of opportunities to be outside in the sun. While the winter months are cold, sometimes dropping into the 30s Fahrenheit, most of the time it's in the 40s, which means you can still walk around cities or take hikes. Some regions will get snow, but it's a rarity in London.

What to pack: The key to surviving winter in England is a nice, warm jacket. Think a puffer with a hood, or a comfortable wool coat. It helps if your winter coat is waterproof, but you still have that umbrella, right? Warm shoes or boots that are waterproof will also make your visit much more pleasant.

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