When planning a trip anywhere with kids, the time of year you go can make all the difference, and that is no exception with London.
You’re bound to have an enjoyable visit all year round, but as everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to weather, attractions, and prices, it’s hard to put a definitive answer on the best time to visit London with kids. There are plenty of free or cheap attractions in London too!
This article is going to break down each and every month, highlighting the weather, the attractions that are open, and how busy you can expect England’s capital to be. So, if you’re planning a London trip with kids, keep on reading! Another tip, is whatever the weather, consider booking a London hotel with an indoor pool – there are some brilliant hotels which provide this facility which is useful whatever the weather when visiting London with children.
When Is The Best Time To Visit London With Kids?
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As I mentioned previously, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint the best time to visit London as it all comes down to the weather, the things you enjoy and price of flights if you are visiting from afar.
Some people will argue that summer is the best because of the warm temperatures and the fact that you can actually go inside Buckingham Palace. But, on the other hand, others will claim that winter is the superior time to visit London because of Winter Wonderland and all the beautiful Christmas markets.
Before you plan your trip to London, you really need to think about the things your family will enjoy and the temperatures that they can endure. For example, some kids love wrapping up warm in winter, whereas others hate the cold and will more than likely spend the whole day complaining.
Are you mostly planning indoor attractions in London, or travelling around London to see the main bucket list sites, quirky attractions or a specialist trip seeing all the Harry Potter attractions? Will you mostly be walking or catching the tube and taxis?
If you’re still unsure after considering your family in particular, then your safest bet is to visit London during spring or autumn when the temperatures are mild, and the crowds are at their lowest.
For slightly warmer temperatures, aim for April, May, or September, and if you don’t mind it being a little bit colder, then February, March, and October are also great months.
January and February
The first few days of January are extremely busy in London, given the start of the new year, the New Year’s Day parade, and the incredible firework display that the city puts on. You’ll find that temperatures are at their coldest in January, but if your children aren’t complainers and will soldier on through, then it’s a fantastic time to visit. Make sure you stop off for a warming afternoon tea!
The majority of the crowds will soon thin out as the month progresses, and you can spend your time hitting the January sales, ice skating in Winter Wonderland, and just enjoying the sparkling lights dotted throughout the city.
In the middle of February, you have the half-term holidays, which may make it a good time to head to London if you were planning to stay for more than a day or two.
The weather in February is still fairly cold, but there are far fewer tourists, meaning the popular attractions will be quieter and more enjoyable to visit.
Things to Do in London in January and February:
- New Year’s Day Parade
- Winter Wonderland (Only open for the first few days of January)
- Christmas Markets
- Ice Skating (Most ice rinks open until mid-January)
- Valentine’s Day
- Chinese New Year Parade in China Town
March, April, and May
March welcomes the start of spring, and with that, warmer temperatures that make walking through the city that little bit more pleasant. Flowers begin to bloom, London’s parks come to life, and overall, the spirits of everyone around you will be cheerier than they were just a month prior.
Many people love to visit London in March, April, and May as the crowds aren’t at their peak and the weather slowly picks up. One of the only times in spring that London gets fairly busy is during the Easter two-week break, so if you do want a quiet visit, be sure to plan your trip outside the holiday, as the long weekend especially brings more people into London.
I personally think the spring months are great months to head to London with kids as the weather is ideal, you can visit all the well-known attractions, and you have the two-week break, so you won’t need to take your little ones out of school.
Things to Do in London in March, April, and May:
- Mother’s Day
- London Marathon
- The Boat Race down the Thames
- Chelsea Flower Show
- Trooping the Colour
- Visit the parks throughout London to see the blooming flowers
June, July, and August
The start of summer sees the crowds in London pick up drastically, and for good reason. Temperatures in the UK throughout these months start to soar, especially in July and August, and it’s no secret that when the sun is shining, everyone is happier.
With all schools in the UK breaking up for summer school holidays, many families flock to London, and as the days gradually get longer, you will have more time to experience the beauty that the city has to offer.
Attractions like Buckingham Palace are best explored in the summer months, as from July through to October, you can actually go inside the palace and see it from a different perspective.
You’ll also find that the warmer weather makes seeing things like the changing of the guards more enjoyable, as even though it takes place all year round, it is far nicer to watch it in the sunshine than bundled up shivering in a thick winter coat.
Things to Do in London in June, July, and August:
- Pride in London
- Walk through Buckingham Palace (July – October)
- Nottinghill Carnival
September, October, and November
Similar to spring, the autumnal months are also a great time to take your kids to London. The beginning of the season will give you slightly warmer temperatures, but towards the end, you get the start of the Christmas lights and attractions like Winter Wonderland.
Things to Do in London in September, October, and November:
- Trafalgar Day Parade
- Bonfire Night Fireworks
- Winter Wonderland
December is one of London’s busiest months, with thousands of people visiting the city to visit Winter Wonderland, complete their Christmas shopping, and to just join in on the Christmas festivities that take place all throughout the capital.
In my opinion, December is a truly magical time to visit London, and if your kids can handle the cold and they don’t mind bigger crowds, then I highly recommend going, just be sure to pack lots of layers as you’re going to need them!
Things to Do in London in December:
- Christmas shopping
- Christmas markets
- Winter Wonderland
- New Year’s Eve Fireworks
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