What to expect when you visit London in May – weather, what to see and do, what to pack, and answers to frequently asked questions!
If you are considering a trip to London in May, you can look forward to a wonderful experience in this historic destination. May offers longer days and warmer temperatures, which means that visitors can spend plenty of time outdoors as they explore London and visit the sights and attractions.
From the beauty of the fabulous RHS Chelsea Flower Show to the excitement of music festivals, theatre performances, and walking tours, you will find plenty to keep you busy when you visit London in May. Read on the learn more about what to expect when you visit London in May.
- London in May – What to Expect
- Visiting London in May – FAQs
- Best Things to Do When You Visit London in May
- Enjoy a Wonderful Experience in London in May
London in May – What to Expect
If you are visiting London in May, it is a good idea to do your research so you can work out what to expect in terms of weather, entertainment, and events, among other things. This will enable you to better prepare for your trip.
London weather can very pleasant during the month and you can make the most of the warm weather and sunny days. There is still some rain in May, and you can expect around five to eight days of rain over the course of the month.
When it comes to the average temperature, highs in London in May are around 15 C – 16 C (near 60 F) toward the start of the month.
However, toward the end of the month, temperatures average around 18 C – 19 C (mid-60s F). There can also be a few unseasonably warmer days in May, where temperatures can get up to 24 C (75 F), so make sure you pack accordingly.
With the clocks going forward at the end of March to mark British summertime, you can look forward to longer days in May.
During the early part of the month, sunrise is at around 05.30 am and sunset at around 20.25 pm, which means close to 15 hours of daylight. Toward the end of the month, sunrise is at around 04.50 am, and sunset is at around 21.05 pm, which means more than 16 hours of daylight.
What to Wear in London in May
May is a great month to explore London because of the long daylight hours and milder temperatures. If you are going to be visiting attractions such as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, London museums, and other central London attractions, you need to dress accordingly. Items to pack when you head to London in May are:
- Sensible footwear for walking and exploring
- Cardigans or a light jacket for layering
- Rain jacket for the rainy days
- Dressier outfits and footwear for evenings out
- Comfortable jeans or trousers for casual wear
- Sunglasses for those sunnier days
- T-shirts for warmer days and layering
Of course, you should create an itinerary before you head to London in May, as this will enable you to better determine what sorts of outfits you need to take with you.
Visiting London in May – FAQs
Why should I visit London in May?
Many people are curious as to why they should head to London in May, and there are many reasons. First, the weather is mild, so exploring the many sights in central London is easier and more enjoyable.
From the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to the State Opening of Parliament, the Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival, and the MCM Comic Con, there will be plenty to see and do in London in May.
What sort of weather can I expect when heading to London in May?
The weather in London in May is ideal, as it is mild and even warm toward mid-May and the end of the month. At the same time, it is not uncomfortably hot, so you can walk around to take in the sights with ease.
It is also ideal weather for sitting outside and enjoying great food al fresco at various locations such as Covent Garden, Leicester Square, or near popular London attractions along the River Thames, like Tower Bridge.
There will likely be some rainy days, so ensure you have an umbrella or raincoat handy. However, the climate is mainly pleasant and ideal for exploring.
Are there lots of activities and events in London in May?
In May London is buzzing with various festivals and events. In addition to visiting famous landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, and the National Gallery, visiting London in May means you can enjoy a host of festivals and events.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a hugely popular event. There are also other major events, such as art exhibitions, music festivals, and outdoor events, where you can enjoy a great atmosphere and delicious street food.
Best Things to Do When You Visit London in May
Cherry Blossom in the Stunning Parks and Gardens
One of the major events in London in May is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. However, there are lots of wonderful parks and gardens you can visit if you want to immerse yourself in natural beauty.
For those who want to take in stunning green surroundings and cherry blossom while enjoying floral displays in full bloom, you can head to places such as:
- Greenwich Park
- Regent’s Park
- St. James’ Park
- Kew Gardens (included in the London Pass)
- Kensington Gardens
Dine Al Fresco Near Major Landmarks
The mild weather means that you can enjoy relaxing, people-watching, and dining al fresco in many London locations close to major landmarks.
Some popular places to consider are:
- Vicinity next to the Tower of London
- LSQ Rooftop in Leicester Square
- Covent Garden Piazza
- Madison near St Paul’s Cathedral
- Coppa Club near Tower Bridge
London Events and Festivals in May 2023
Of course, this year’s major event in May is the Coronation of King Charles III. This takes places on the 6th of May at Westminster Abbey and is sure to deliver pomp and ceremony! Read more about the Coronation in our dedicated article!
There are 3 public holidays in May (known as Bank Holidays in the UK). There is an extra one this year to celebrate the Coronation.
- 1 May – May Day
- 8 May – The additional holiday this year (2023)
- 29 May – Spring Bank Holiday (the schools are also off this week)
There are many exciting events and festivals you can add to your itinerary when you come to London in May. Some of the top ones to consider are:
- The RHS Chelsea Flower Show (May 23-May 27)
- State Opening of Parliament (early May)
- Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival (May 14)
- The Great British Tattoo Show (May 13-May 14)
- MCM Comic Con (May 26-May 28)
- Photo London 2023 (May 11-May 14)
- BrewLDN 2023 (May 5-May 7)
- West Norwood Feast (May 7)
Family Activities in May
You will find plenty of fun things to do and family-friendly activities to enjoy. This includes:
- Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
- Paddington Bear Walking Tour
- Legoland Windsor
- London theatre children’s shows including Matilda, Frozen, Back to the Future and more!
- Educational fun at London museums including the Science Museum and Natural History Museum
Enjoy a Wonderful Experience in London in May
Whatever you decide to do when you visit London in May, you are sure to have a wonderful and memorable experience.
Getting around via the London Tube will make your London trip easier and more convenient. You will always find London tube underground stations within walking distance no matter which part of central London you stay in.
So, start planning your itinerary, and enjoy the many thrills that London has to offer in May!
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