Sunrise over the seaside village of Staithes, North Yorkshire © Lukasz Pajor / Shutterstock
Sunrise over the seaside village of Staithes, North Yorkshire © Lukasz Pajor / Shutterstock

The best time to go to England

TripFalcon March 04, 2021

Last Update: 2024-01-04 00:08:07

It might be small, but England packs a lot into its pint-sized shores. Whether you're climbing Lake District fells, wandering above Dover's fabled White Cliffs, or exploring its many urban centers, England is a never-ending feast for the eyes. Here's a month-by-month breakdown of what's going on, from festivals and events to the all-important weather, helping you decide the best time to visit.

High season: June to August

Best time for good weather, festivals and events

Weather in England is at its best through June to August. Accommodation rates are high, particularly in August. This is the school holiday period, so many UK families will be making the most of the break from school. Parking lots will be busy, especially in seaside areas, national parks and popular cities, such as Oxford, Bath and York. Public transport in London can be sweltering on a hot day. This is festival season, and there are many outdoor events across the country.

Shoulder season: Easter to May, mid-September to October

Best time for exploring the outdoors

There are fewer crowds and the weather is often fairly good. Expect sun mixed with sudden rain from March to May, and some balmy autumn days in September to October. Any seasonal sights start to open up in spring.

Low season: December to February

Best time for country pub lunches by a fire

It's pretty usual for the weather to be wet and cold through the low season. It can be snowy too, especially up north. Opening hours will be reduced October to Easter with some places shut for the entire winter. Major sights (especially in London) remain open all year.

Month-by-month breakdown

Here's a monthly guide to what you can expect through the year in England. All events are subject to change.


After the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the first few weeks of the year can feel a bit of an anticlimax – never helped by the often bad weather.

Key events: The London Parade, Chinese New Year.


The country may be scenic under snow and sunshine, but is more likely to be grey and gloomy. Festivals and events to brighten the mood are still thin on the ground.

Key events: Jorvik Viking Festival, Six Nations Rugby Championship, Dark Skies Festival (held in October and November in 2021).


Spring starts to show itself, with daffodil blooms brightening up the month. Hotels and inns offer special weekend rates to tempt people out from under their duvets.

Key events: Bath Festival, University Boat Race.


The weather is looking up, with warmer and drier days bringing out the spring blossoms. Sights and attractions that closed for the low season open up around the middle of the month or at Easter.

Key events: Grand National, London Marathon (held in October in 2021).


With sunny spring days, the calendar fills with more events. Two public holidays (the first and last Mondays of May) mean road traffic is very busy over the adjoining long weekends.

Key events: Stratford Literary Festival, FA Cup Final, Brighton Festival, Chelsea Flower Show, Glyndebourne, Keswick Mountain Festival.


You can tell it’s almost summer because June sees the music-festival season kick off properly, while sporting events fill the calendar.

Key events: Derby Week, Cotswold Olimpicks, Isle of Wight Festival (held in September in 2021), Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships, Glastonbury (next festival in 2022), Meltdown Festival, Royal Regatta, Broadstairs Dickens Festival, Pride (held in September in 2021), Aldeburgh Festival (held in August in 2021).


This is it: summer, with weekly festivals and county shows. Schools break up at the end of the month, so there’s a holiday tingle in the air, dulled only by busy Friday-evening roads.

Key events: Great Yorkshire Show, Latitude Festival, Cowes Week, Wireless, Womad, Truck Festival, Camp Bestival.


Schools and colleges are closed, parliament is in recess, the sun is shining and England is in a holiday mood.

Key events: Notting Hill Carnival, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Manchester Pride, International Beatleweek.


The first week of September feels more like August, but then schools open up again and motorway traffic returns to normal. The daylight hours are noticeably shorter, but it's still possible that the weather will be decent or even good.

Key events: World Gurning Championship, Great North Run.


Leaves turn golden-brown, the weather begins to get colder, and days shorter. Sights and attractions start to shut down for the low season, and accommodation rates drop.

Key events: Falmouth Oyster Festival, Horse of the Year Show, Cheltenham Literature Festival. 


The weather’s often cold and damp, suitably sombre for Remembrance Day, while Guy Fawkes Night sparks up some fun.

Key events: Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night), Remembrance Day, World's Biggest Liar Contest.


Schools break up around mid-December. Many towns and cities hold Christmas markets, ideal places for browsing Christmas presents with a cup of mulled wine.

Key events: New Year Celebrations.

Source: lonelyplanet