Weather in England

England is part of the United Kingdom and borders Scotland and Wales, with Ireland a short ferry ride away. Separated from Mainland Europe by the English Channel and the North Sea, it occupies most of the southern and central parts of the island of Great Britain, made up mostly by low hills and plains, with elevated areas in the north and southwest of England.
The weather in England varies and summers can be as hot, lively and dry, as winters can be cold, dull and wet. While England has an oceanic climate, characterised by mild temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall year round, there are some regional differences; northern cities like York are colder than most, while the popular holiday destination of Cornwall is one of the warmest and wettest areas in the country, situated right at the southern tip of England. Spring and autumn months are unpredictable and, occasionally, summer heatwaves make cities unbearably hot, and a heavy snowfall during winter brings the country to a halt.
Spring weather in England is unpredictable and there can be dreary and surprisingly pleasant days during this season, temperatures range from lows of 3°C (37°F) in March to highs of 16°C (61°F) in May. There may be periods of unusual cold or heat, so prepare for fluctuating weather patterns in spring.
The summers are royal times of year as the sun is shining and the weather is balmy, often hot. Regional temperatures vary, the southern half of England averaging between 12°C and 22°C (54°F and 72°F), with the northern half a few degrees cooler. Prepare for the occasional heatwave and take lots of sunscreen, because temperatures in England sometimes exceed 30°C (86°C) during summer.
Autumn in England can be surprisingly warm in September and chilly in October. The temperatures will drop as the days get darker and winter creeps in, so always be prepared for an early winter. Average temperatures range from a minimum of 8°C (46°F) to a maximum of 15°C (59°F), with northern areas being a few degrees cooler. 
Winter temperatures in England range from 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F), and the north is typically colder than other regions, and the southwest  warmer. It is a good time of year to stay indoors, warm and dry, or to visit museums, galleries and favourite local spots. It is a good time to go to England for a quiet holiday because there are few tourists around at this time of year.
England has rainfall throughout the year, with spring and summer averaging 60mm (2.4in), while winter and autumn range from 80mm to 100mm (3.1in to 3.9in). Snowfall is common in England, except in the southwest, and occasional heavy snowfall or flooding will bring the country to a standstill. Remember that the weather in England, especially in autumn and spring, is often unpredictable and there can be four seasons in one day. Don’t assume a sunny morning will last the whole day.

The regions of England

The climates in England vary considerably from region to region. However, it is typically colder and wetter in the northern parts. The majority of the snowfall occurs from November to April, with occasional snowfall in May and October in elevated areas.

Southern England

Southern England is warmer than the north and its major destinations include the capital, London, and the summer holiday favourite, Cornwall. It is one of the warmest areas in England, with elevated and coastal areas colder than the rest of the South. Summers are warm with maximums of 23°C (73°F) and winters are quite cold with minimums of 3°C (37°F). Coastal areas are cooler than inland areas and the southwest is milder, averaging 20°C (68°F) in summer and 5°C (41°F) in the winter.


Spring and summer rainfall in England’s southern regions average between 40mm and 60 mm (1.6in and 2.4in), while autumn and winter rains range between 80mm and 100mm (3.1in and 3.9in). There is little or no snow in the southwest and usually 15 days of snow in the rest of the south.

Eastern England

Eastern England is very similar to Midland and northern areas. Summer highs can reach 20°C to 23°C (68°F to 73°F) and winter lows hover at around 1°C (34°F). Eastern England has some of the driest areas in the country and summer can be as wet as autumn and winter. Average rainfall in autumn, winter and summer is slightly over 50mm (2in), while spring averages below 50mm (2in) and there are occasional winter thunder- and hailstorms, as well as 15 days of snow in the year. 

The Midlands

Unlike the rest of England, the seasons in the Midlands are well defined, particularly frosty in winter and exceptionally hot in summer. Its distance from the coastline is a major factor in its seasonal differences, as the seas have a regulatory effect on the rest of England. The annual average temperature is 9°C (48°F), winter lows average 0°C (32°F) and summer highs are around 22°C (72°F). Average rainfall remains at 60mm (2.4in) throughout the year, and beware of flooding during winter and early spring. Finally, snowfall in the Midlands varies from year to year, anywhere between 6 and 20 days.

Northern England

Northern England is hilly country and the common misconception is that it is ‘grim up North’. However, there are many beautiful features of northern England, among them, the famed Lakes District and Hadrian’s Wall. The region is elevated, which results in a wetter and cooler climate than the rest of England.
Average winter temperatures range from -0.5°C  to 2°C (31°F to 36°F) and average summer temperatures range from  17°C to 21°C (63°F to 70°F), depending on how far north it is. Rainfall in summer averages 60mm (2.4in) while autumn and winter showers typically average over 80mm (3.1in) or sometimes 100mm (3.9in) per month.  Snowfall averages 20 days each year, with the higher Pennines being the exception, having up to 50 days of snowfall.

When is the best time to go to England?

Sumer is the best time to go to England, daylight hours are long, temperatures are warm and there is generally less rain than at other times of year. There are many festivals during the summer and crowds are large as this is peak tourists season, which also means that accommodation and airfare prices will be more expensive than other months.  Alternatively, travel in late spring and early autumn for warm weather, as well as more affordable airfare and accommodation prices than are available in summer.

What to pack for a holiday in England

Summer in England is generally warm, but there are often light summer showers. Pack a few T-shirts and long sleeved shirts, shorts and beachwear, summer dresses and skirts, a pair of jeans and a light coat that, preferably, doubles as a raincoat. Take comfortable walking shoes or trainers for the city, and hikers will need walking shoes and boots.

Winter in England is cold, so pack more long sleeved shirts, a thermal or two, jeans, durable trousers, skirts and light tops, as well as warm jerseys, coats and raincoats for cooler, wetter days. Make sure to have dark coloured clothing because light coloured clothing will easily show dirt in the wet and sometimes muddy weather. Take gloves, scarves and hats for cold winter days, and closed toe shoes and trainers, as well as a pair of boots for footwear. Hikers should pack a few extra layers to ensure comfortability, along with sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots.

Pack layers for autumn and spring because the weather in England will fluctuate from the worst of winter to the best of summer. Some establishments will require formal attire so pack something smart for a special night out. Finally, pack lightly because it is easily affordable to pick up an item or two at many retail outlets.