Weather in London in October
October is the start of the academic year at London colleges and universities, and everyone brings out their overcoats as autumn sets in. The days are markedly shorter than the previous month; leaves drop from the trees, rustling on the pavements; and the sun – when it shines – seems to take on a golden cast. At the end of October the clocks are set back an hour to provide for winter daylight saving time. Many believe this is the best month to visit London, when most attractions have not yet shut down for winter, autumn colours pervade the parks, the peak tourist season is over and the weather is cool.
Climate in London in October
There is a decided “nip” in the air as London enters the autumn season in October, with the temperature range fluctuating little between a maximum of 11°C and 8°C. October can be rather wet and grey, with an average of 14 rainy days during the month, and average daily sunshine hours dropping to a mere three. It grows dark noticeably earlier each afternoon.
What’s on in London in October
Being harvest time, with its accompanying traditions, and culminating in Halloween, October is a time of local festivities and many of the London boroughs celebrate with their own community events. A popular autumn harvest festival (October Plenty) takes place on the South Bank near the Globe Theatre towards the end of the month, involving a procession, food fair and performance of a play. October is also a gourmet month, with the London Restaurant Festival filling two weeks, celebrating food across the city, and Chocolate Week and the London Wine show are on the October calendar, too. There is fun to be had at the Covent Garden Punch & Judy Festival and the Hampstead Heath Conker Championships, while the stars shine at the London Film Festival.
What to pack
You’ll need a warm, waterproof coat in London in October, and some sturdy footwear for tramping the wet streets. Underneath the coat, pile on the layers down to a t-shirt – it can be rather warm indoors with the central heating firing up for winter, and besides – you may just be lucky enough to still find a spot of sunshine to bask in while you are out and about.