As the capital of both England and the United Kingdom, London is also the biggest city of the country. The historic city has seasonal temperature variations in a moderate oceanic environment.
Winters are often pleasant and cold, while summer temperatures range from warm to scorching. In London, snow seldom forms. The urban heat island effect causes the City of London, a significant urban centre, to experience a climate similar to that found in big cities.
Due to this, Central London areas may experience a 5°C or so greater temperature than the suburbs on the outside. The central area receives even less snowfall than the suburbs since it is warmer than the surrounding areas.
According to Met Office data, central London has less than 10 days of snow or sleet per year on average. Looking at statistics for the UK as a whole between 1981 and 2010, the UK as a whole experiences 25 days on average of sleet or snowfall annually.
When it snows in downtown London, which only happens seldom, it rarely sets because it evaporates so rapidly. More snow falls around the city’s periphery and in locations that are higher up.
This page offers advice on what to do and how to prepare for snow and cold, as well as information on when it snows in London and how much snow to anticipate for a particular month.
How much snow does London gets?
In general, London winters are chilly and frequently wet. But don’t worry, even when the weather is bad, there are lots of things to do in London.
Between December and February, the average daily high temperature is around 9°C (48°F), while the average daily low temperature is 5°C (41°F). Snowfall and below-freezing temperatures are also typical, though. We have experienced snow in the first week of December 2022.
Over the course of the winter season, which runs from November to April, Heathrow has some snow or sleet on average over 12 days.
Fortunately, snow rarely remains on the ground for very long before melting away rapidly. Only 3 to 5 days of accumulation of snow or sleet are typical, mostly from December to February.
Snowfalls in London Per Month
November has 60 mm of rainfall on average (2.4 in). For around 9 days in November, rainfall of at least 1 mm (0.04 inch) may be anticipated. Although snow is occasionally observed, it never accumulates on the ground.
There is 55 mm of rainfall on average in December (2.2 in). December is often colder. The average number of days with at least 1 mm (.04 inches) of precipitation is 9 to 10.
December sees some snowfall, although it lasts just for two days, with barely a day’s worth of accumulation.
Snowfall in January
55 mm of precipitation total is typical in January (2.2 inches). In January, there are typically 8 to 9 days with at least 1 mm (0.04 inches) of precipitation.
Snow accumulates over a period of one to two days and falls over an average of three days.
Average monthly precipitation in February is 41 mm (1.6 inches). Around 6-7 days in February get at least 1 mm (0.04 inch) of precipitation.
With 4 days on average reporting some snow and 1-2 days with snow accumulation, February is the snowiest month of the year.
Snowfall in March
The amount of precipitation in March is about 40 mm (1.6 inches). About 7 days in March get at least 1 mm (.04 inches) of precipitation.
Snow is still possible this month, although it usually only lasts for one day or so and seldom ever accumulates on the ground.
Snowfall in April
44 mm of rain falls overall on average in April (1.7 inches). Around 6-7 days in April get at least 1 mm (0.04 inch) of precipitation. On average, snow falls for one day, but it seldom accumulates.
Outfit suggestions for the colder months in London
I advise you to be prepared to layer up throughout the colder months. While a lighter inner layer will prevent you from overheating at the inside attractions, a warm outer layer will keep you comfortable outside.
To learn the typical temperature for the month you are visiting London, read the information above. The weight of the garment increases as the temperature drops.
The highlights for London are included below:
1. Waterproof outerwear
We adore Camel Crown, whose reasonably priced 3-in-1 winter hiking coats are available in both men’s and women’s sizes.
2. Extra layers
We adore down vests, and the 32 DEGREE Down Vest has a flattering fit and is really lightweight. Alternatively, the Wantdo Packable Vest for Men, which also comes in a vest style, has a pouch for convenient packing.
Base layers, such as merino wool tights (available in men’s and women’s designs), are a wonderful choice if you spend a lot of time outside stretching or truly don’t enjoy being chilly.
We believe it’s wise to carry a tiny, portable, compact umbrella that fits in small baggage since London snow can range from drizzle to heavy flakes!
4. Winter equipment
Warm wool socks are what you need. An Achillea Pashmina comes in 45 various hues, or you can choose a reversible one for extra outfit options! warm gloves and a hat.
5. More warmth
Our main pieces of advice are always to pack items with many uses, and a portable charger is the best option for winter travel.
Find an outlet that also serves as a hand warmer because you never know when you’ll need one of them.
Zippo manufactures a rechargeable hand warmer with a USB connector so you can power up your gadgets.
If you forget any of these things, there are plenty of stores in London. For additional recommendations, see our post on places to shop in London.
Additionally, if you’re spending the holidays in London, the Christmas markets are a terrific location to buy accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves.
What to do in London when it snows
Don’t let the snow prevent you from having a good time when visiting London. The residents are very definitely still outside despite this!
The top indoor activities in London are listed below. We also provide a list of winter-specific activities!
Visit a museum or other attraction
You could spend days exploring every museum in London since there are so many of them. Many museums in London provide free admission or free days or hours.
Consider purchasing a discounted tourist attractions pass if you want to spend a month in London during a time when it appears that severe weather will be present.
When purchasing a pass, several museums with entry prices are included for free. Here is a selection of the best historical sites and museums to assist you make a decision:
- Tate Modern
- Britain’s Museum
- Westminster Abbey
- Buckingham Palace
- Saint Paul’s Cathedral
- Tower of London
Remember that in inclement weather, these renowned museums will be packed. If you dislike crowds, visiting a lesser-known museum, such as a medical or military museum, may be an excellent choice.
Ride a Bus
There are various hop-on, hop-off bus trips in London. When you go between destinations on a bus tour, you can explore London while remaining dry.
In addition, there are other themed bus trips, like the Jack the Ripper, Harry Potter, and ghost tours. Check out our comparison of bus tours.
Walk the City for Free
Unbelievably, our trips at your own expense go ahead rain or shine—and yes, snow—as long as there isn’t a storm.
The National Gallery of Art and the British Museum both have interior tours available as well.
To learn more about the excursions we provide, read more about our London walking tours.
Enjoy afternoon tea
That’s about the most British there is! Keep yourself at ease while you have tea and scones with jam.
Visit Twinings Tea Shop in the City of London or read our article about afternoon tea in London.
What to do in the cold of the night
You may just watch TV in your hotel room. But why would you do that when there are so many other things to do in London in inclement weather?.
Here are a few possibilities:
- Observe a West End production
- Take a Thames dinner cruise.
- Go on a bar-and-club tour.
- Visit the Sky Garden viewing platform.
Embrace the chilly weather
Here is a small collection of winter-specific activities. Seize the moment while you can.
- Ice skate Visit one of the numerous Holiday Markets and shop
- Holiday and Christmas lights may be seen.
- Snow is nothing more than a pretty version of rain, after all.