Weather Averages for London in February
Averages for London in February
February is a very cold time to visit London in the UK. The city has an average temperature of around 5-6°C at this time of year which slowly changes as the month progresses. Daily highs start off at around 7°C on January 1st and rise until they reach 10°C by January 31st. Daily highs very rarely go above 12°C or under 3°C, doing so only one day in every ten. The daily low temperatures change in a similar fashion, with low temperatures rising from around 3°C at the beginning of the month up to 5°C by the end. Only one day out of every ten will the lows exceed 8°C or fall under -1°C.
The highest temperature ever recorded in recent times in London in February is 19°C, with the lowest temperature ever recorded for the month being -3°C. When you look at these temperatures alongside the average for the whole month – 5/6°C – it’s easy to see that they’re the extremes and definitely aren’t what you should expect during your holiday.
London experiences 39mm of rainfall divided across 16 days throughout February, which means there’s quite a good chance you’ll experience at least some kind of precipitation during your visit. Light rain is the most common type of rainfall and generally occurs around February 2nd. Moderate rain is the second most likely type of precipitation and usually falls around February 4th. As the month goes on, the probably of rainfall decreases from 50% on February 1st, down to 42% on February 24th, before rising up to around 45% by the end of the month.
Intense cloud coverage comes with the rainfall, making the average cloud coverage for any given day 80%. In 2013, the longest spell of cloudy weather took place between February 20th and March 4th – that’s 13 consecutive days which were cloudier than they were clear.
Snow falls on an average of three days during February and is most likely to occur on February 1st. If you want to visit London at the driest time of the month, you’re best off playing it safe and visiting during the second or third week. In February 2012, the Met Office issued an amber warning – the second highest level there is – for extreme weather conditions, with snowfall up to 15cm expected, alongside daytime temperatures as low as -9°C. In February 2009, London experienced similar extreme conditions, with snow depths up to 16cm in the Greater London area.
In spite of all the rain, clouds and snow, on average, London experiences less than one foggy day each February.
The average sea temperature for London’s closest coastal location in February is 8°C – that’s 1°C colder than in January. As you can imagine, this makes the sea far too cold for swimming, even for the hardiest of swimmers.
February’s relative humidity ranges from 61% to 91% over the course of the month. The air is usually at its driest on February 29th and at its most humid on February 14th.
London enjoys an average of four hours of sunshine each day in February, a number which can vary greatly according how to dense the cloud is each day. As the month develops, the number of daylight hours is increasing, which means that the hours of sunshine also go up. Between the beginning and the end of the month, the day increases by one hour and 44 minutes, with the shortest day being February 1st with 9 hours and eight minutes of daylight and the longest day being February 28th or 29th which usually has ten hours and 52 minutes of daylight. The sunrise and sunset times also change significantly throughout the month, with the sun rise and set taking place at 7.39am and 4.48pm on February 1st and 6.45am and 5.39pm on February 28th/29th, respectively.
During February, typical wind speeds fluctuate between 1m/s and 6 m/s, very rarely exceeding 9 m/s. The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s is most likely to occur on February 28th/29th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s. On the other hand, the lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s tends to occur on February 15th, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 5 m/s. The wind direction is most commonly out of the south west, followed by west then east.
Dates for the Diary
Chinese New Year takes place on February 2nd in 2014 and is a must-see event if you’re in London at this time. The festivities take place all across central London, including Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and Shaftesbury Avenue. Events kick off and around 10am when you’ll have the chance to watch the incredible parade which takes place between Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue, whilst the main Trafalgar Square stage will play hosts to all sorts of artists visiting from China. Throughout Chinatown there will be lion teams, local performing artists, loads of traditional food and plenty of craft stalls.
On the first Sunday of each February – February 2nd in 2014 – a special Clowns Church Service is held at the Holy Trinity Church in Dalston, East London. Each year on this day hundreds of clowns attend a church service in memory of Joseph Grimaldi – the most celebrated English clown. After the service, the clowns usually perform in the street for the public to see.
If you’re travelling with children, don’t miss the chance to take part in the Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre. In 2014, this family-friendly event will take place February 10th-23rd and everyone who attends is encouraged to dress up. Amongst the 100+ activities and events, some of the highlights are the children’s sleepover at the Royal Festival Hall, talks from popular children’s illustrators and authors – such as Jacqueline Wilson and Sir Quentin Blake and an introduction to classical music with the help of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Like many other cities, London celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14th. If you’re looking for something special to do on this day, take a romantic city stroll, catch a West End show or even indulge in a candle-lit dinner for two in one of the city’s many restaurants. On this special day, most eateries will have a special set-menu with a lovers theme, but to avoid disappointment, it’s best to book as far in advance as you can.
Fashionistas won’t want to miss out on the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend at Somerset House. This colourful event takes place February 20th-23rd and attracts all the big names in the beauty and style industries who head to the capital to show off their latest and greatest gear. There is loads to see and do here, including catwalk shoes, hair and beauty product trials, pop-up shops and even educational panels led by fashion experts. With more than 100 popular designer brands, you’re sure to find the perfect items to complement your winter wardrobe.
Things to do
The weather is very cool in London at this time of year and the chance of rain is high, so it’s wise to plan indoor events to enjoy during your visit. If you want to catch a show during your holiday, spend an evening at the Brick Lane Music Hall. Located close to the City Airport and the Excel Centre, this venue is really easy to get to by road and public transport. Throughout February, the show of the month is Big Dick Whittington, which is always a hit with adults and children alike. You can choose to catch an evening show with dinner, a lunchtime show with a three-course meal or a matinee performance which includes afternoon tea.
Art fans won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the National Gallery. One of the most famous art galleries in Europe, the National Gallery is completely free to visit and boasts around 2,300 paintings, providing something for everyone to enjoy. If you want to know all there is to know about the paintings, sign up for one of the audio tours or themed trails during your visit or if you’re looking for something more child-friendly, join in with one of the family workshops. After you’ve explored the exhibitions, relax in the restaurant, café or bar or indulge in a bit of retail therapy at the art shop.
The RAF Museum is one of the best museums in the UK, making it a must-visit during your holiday. Located in the historic centre of Hendon’s London Aerodrome in Colindale, this museum tells the fascinating story of the Royal Air Force through its people and collections. Like many of the museums and galleries in London, the RAF Museum is completely free to enter and features loads of free interactive activities. Here you’ll find very early aircraft designs all the way through to the state-of-the-art modern jets and military aircraft which are used today. Some of the highlights of the museum include the 3D cinema and the sound and light show, both of which are sure to leave you with great memories.
A trip to London isn’t complete without stopping to see Big Ben. Only permanent UK residents are able to take a tour to see Big Ben, but if you’re travelling from overseas, you can still admire it from outside. Take your camera with you to snap some pictures of one of the world’s most iconic buildings or pack some paper and pencils with you and make a sketch for a unique souvenir of your holiday. Whilst the view is very pleasing during the daytime, the best time to see Big Ben is after sunset when the four faces are illuminated.
If you’re looking for a show with a difference, check out the Faulty Towers Dining Experience. Held in a large room at The Strand, this comedy show includes a three-course meal alongside an interactive two-hour show in which Basil, Sybil and Manuel from the popular TV show Fawlty Towers put on a hilarious performance and include the audience at every given opportunity. A must for any fan of the popular programme, the Faulty Towers Dining Experience will leave you with amazing memories and plenty of stories to tell for years to come.
Where to stay
When it comes to budget accommodation in the UK’s capital, Premier Inn London City (Old Street) is a fantastic choice. This hotel features plenty of rooms with fantastic views which stretch across the city, from the Olympic Park to the Shard, making it a great option for avid photographers. Here you’ll find comfortable rooms equipped with everything you’ll need to enjoy your stay, including double or single beds, desk, tea and coffee making facilities, TV, telephone and private bathroom. There is a handful of services and facilities available onsite, such as family and wheelchair-accessible rooms, air conditioning, lifts, free WiFi access and breakfast buffet.
Holiday Inn London – Commercial Road is another top pick for families and couples looking for low-cost hotels in London. Set in the East End of the city, this hotel features 133 spacious bedrooms and is only a walk away from the Underground and a train station, making it perfect for anyone to wants to indulge in a bit of sightseeing. Each of the guest rooms comes with free newspapers, satellite TV, desk, telephone, free internet access, private bathroom, hairdryer, mini bar and air conditioning. If you’d like something a bit more luxurious, you can opt to stay in one of the suites or a club level room. At the Holiday Inn London – Commercial Road you’ll find plenty of services and facilities to take advantage of, too, such as mini gym, housekeeping, dry cleaning, business services and complimentary meals for children.
If you want to avoid the corporate hotels and stay somewhere with a bit more character, check out Church Street Hotel. This funky hotel is inspired by the Americas and is just a short walk away from loads of popular London attractions, making it a top pick for anyone eager to see the sights. There are loads of rooms to choose from – including single standard, double standard, deluxe double, deluxe king and family rooms – guaranteeing something for all groups. There is also a selection of rooms which come with a shared bathroom if you’re looking to save some cash. During your stay, don’t forget to take advantage of the facilities and services, including complimentary tea and coffee, bar/lounge, restaurant, free DVD library and free WiFi access.
Rafayel on the Left Bank is perfect for couples in search of a romantic and relaxing break in London. Located just a stone’s throw away from the River Thames, this hotel offers a choice of five themed rooms: Mississippi, Yangtze, Amazon, Thames and Nile, all of which are spacious and feature mini bar, free WiFi access, safe, TV, desk, air conditioning and tea/coffee making facilities. Rafayel on the Left Bank offers loads of amenities and services for guests to enjoy, such as bars, restaurants, spa, gym, boardroom, event space, shuttle services, smoking area, parking and 24-hour room service.
Whether you want to go sightseeing or enjoy a relaxing break, the Premier Inn London Greenwich is one of the best places to stay in the city. Located in a quiet part of London, just a short walk away from various types of public transportation, from this hotel you can enjoy a jam-packed day of sightseeing before retiring to your spacious room for a good night’s sleep. Each of the rooms at the Premier Inn London Greenwich comes well-equipped with one double or two single beds, TV, telephone, desk and private bathroom. There are plenty of services and facilities to take advantage of onsite, including parking, WiFi access, meeting rooms, wheelchair-accessible rooms, family rooms, lift and air conditioning.