When planning a trip to England, the first thing most people think about is the weather. England has a reputation for being one of the most fascinating countries in the world to visit, but it's also known for having grey, drizzly weather. To make the most of your time, you may want to figure out the best time to travel to England before you make your vacation plans and reserve your England rental car.
Some travelers are put off by the rainy English weather and are worried it might ruin their vacation plans. However, it's important to remember that the Brits live in England all year round, and they never let a little rain stop them from doing what they want to do, whether it's creating some of the best art and music the world has ever seen to heading down to the local pub with friends to have a great time! In truth, marine influences temper the climate, and England generally has quite mild weather, rarely getting too hot or too cold. Rather than seeing the rain as a drawback, all you need to do is pack a raincoat and an umbrella in your suitcase to be prepared for the rain and then enjoy yourself, rain or sun, just like the locals.
Peak season in England is from June to September; depending on your tastes, this may or may not be the best time to visit England. These months bring long days and warm weather, but unlike other warmer European destinations, visitors to England tend to stick to summer months, so restaurants, hotels, and the London underground will be quite crowded at this time, although you can avoid the public transportation crowds by renting a car in London. However, summer is prime music and theater festival time in England, so you're guaranteed to always find fun outdoor activities at this time of year.
Many travelers to England seem to like May and early June or late September and October. The weather is cooler at this time but not cold, and there are fewer tourists to contend with. The charming town of Margate, for example, is one of the best places to visit in Europe in September. For those interested in living like the Brits, winter just might be the best time to travel to England. Traveling to England in the winter offers big savings, and it has the best theater, opera, ballet, and classical music offerings of the whole year. Additionally, arriving in the winter is a great way to see and experience how the Brits live their lives without being surrounded by tourists. One oft-forgotten travel tip: If you travel in winter, bring layers or be prepared to ask for extra blankets. Brits tend to keep their thermostats lower than Americans do, so be ready to warm yourself up indoors!
Sports fans should aim to visit England in May or late June to partake in England's greatest sporting events: the Football Association Cup and Wimbledon. Finally, if you're very averse to crowds, try to avoid traveling to England during public (in England: "bank") or school holidays. The British go on vacation en masse during these holidays, and the roads and vacation towns are bound to be very busy.
Despite its reputation for being grey and rainy, when it comes to determining the best time to travel to England, you might be surprised to learn that there isn't a narrow window of time at all, but rather that there is so much to do and see all year round. Some countries make great destinations because they have perfect weather, but England is filled with tangible history, fun activities, and that dry British humor! Learn more if our UK Travel Guide, and if you feel nervous about driving on the "other" side of the road, check out our comprehensive tips about driving in the UK before you leave to calm your worries.