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Weather Averages for London in May
Averages for London in May
May is a very pleasant time to visit London, UK, when the weather is mild and the flowers are blooming. At this time of year, the average temperature for the month is 13°C, considerably warmer than any of the previous months. Daily highs start off at around 16°C on May 1st and gradually rise until they reach 19°C by May 31st, rarely falling under 12°C or going over 23°C. Daily lows follow a similar pattern and begin at 9°C on May 1st before rising up to 12°C by May 31st, dropping below 7°C or exceeding 14°C only one day out of every ten.
In recent times, the highest ever recorded temperature for London in May is 32°C, with the lowest ever recorded temperature being 3°C. Take a look at these temperatures alongside the average temperature for the month – 13°C – and it’s clear to see that they’re the extremes and certainly aren’t what you should be prepared for during your holiday.
With 50mm of rainfall spread across 15 days throughout the month, it’s highly likely you’ll experience at least some type of precipitation during your visit. Moderate rain is the most likely type of precipitation which tends to fall on May 2nd. This is followed by light rain which most commonly occurs around May 23rd. As the month goes on, the likelihood of rainfall varies very little, with the average probability on any given day a constant 48%. Fortunately, snowfall is almost unheard of at this time of year. If you don’t want to risk any rainfall ruining your holiday, you’re best off planning your visit for the second week in May.
London generally experiences a lot of cloud coverage throughout the year and May is no exception. The median cloud coverage for this month is 70% which does not vary substantially across the month. Despite the rain and cloudy spells, May is almost never affected by any foggy days.
At 11°C, the average sea temperature for the closest coastal location to London is significantly warmer than the previous months. In spite of the increase in temperature, the sea in May is still far too cold to enjoy a dip or swim.
Across May, the relative humidity for London fluctuates between 48% and 87%, falling below 35% or rising above 94% very rarely. The air tends to be at its driest on May 2nd when the humidity drops below 54% three days out of every four. On the other hand, the air is usually at its most humid around May 31st, when the humidity rises above 84% three days out of every four.
Just like April, London enjoys an average of eight hours of sunshine each day throughout May. As the month progresses, the number of sunshine hours and daylight hours both rise. Between May 1st and 31st, the day increases by one hour and 26 minutes. The shortest day of the month is May 1st with 14 hours and 53 minutes of daylight and the longest day of the month is May 31st with 16 hours and 19 minutes of daylight. The earliest sunrise and latest sunset take place at 4:48am and 9:07pm, respectively, on May 31st, whilst the latest sunrise and earliest sunset take place at 5:31am and 8:24pm, respectively, on May 1st.
During May, typical wind speeds vary from 1 m/s to 6 m/s, very rarely going over 9 m/s. The highest average wind speed of 4 m/s tends to occur around May 16th, during when the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s. The lowest average wind speed of 4 m/s usually falls on May 31st, when the average daily maximum wind speed is 6 m/s. The wind direction is most commonly out of the south west, followed by the west and then the east, rarely coming out of the south east.
Dates for the Diary
May 1st and May 26th 2014 are both bank holidays in London, when almost all shops, banks, supermarkets and schools will be closed. On May 1st, thousands of social activists, blue collar workers and union members come together for an hour-long procession which begins at Clerkenwell Green and ends at Trafalgar Square. This event is entirely free to enjoy and comes with an amazing solidarity atmosphere.
Theatre enthusiasts won’t want to pass up the opportunity to attend the Open Air Theatre. Held at Regent’s Park from May 15th until June 7th, this event is the only fully-professional, permanent outdoor theatre in Britain, established in 1932. Famous for its Shakespeare performances, the Open Air Theatre takes place in a steeply-raked auditorium which, with 1,240 seats, is one of the largest in the UK. A Midsummer Night’s Dream remains a signature piece in the varied repertoire, but each year a family-favourite musical or play is introduced – such as Babe, the Sheep Pig – to make the event something the whole family can really get into.
The Kensington Dollhouse Festival is set to take place on May 17th and 18th 2014 in Kensington Town Hall. Established in 1985, this festival is one of the leading events for miniature enthusiasts and craftsmen to get together and enjoy their hobby. More than 170 of the best dolls’ house and miniature makers from around the world attend this event, providing fans with everything you could ever imagine to complete your dolls’ house, model or project. As well as having the chance to purchase items, you’ll also be able to admire miniatures and talk to the talented artisans who create them.
Avid gardeners won’t want to miss the chance to attend the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Held on May 20th-24th 2014, this colourful event is a great place to admire stunning plants and flowers grown by gardeners from all over the country. In addition to flower and plant displays, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show also features garden exhibitions, including cutting-edge and artisan styles. The Great Pavilion is always one of the highlights of the event and is overflowing with plants and flowers from some of the best gardeners in the world.
The Mind Body Spirit London Festival takes place on May 23rd-26th and is a must-see if you’re visiting the city at this time. This alternative festival focuses on healing, yoga, meditation and all forms of holistic living and is the longest running event of its kind in the world. The aim behind the enlightening festival is to challenge the way people approach their happiness and health, bringing together open-minded and curious people with cutting-edge alternative practitioners. The various workshops are always the highlight of the festival and are hosted by some of the world’s most inspirational and best-selling authors, well-being experts and teachers.
Things to do
The weather is quite dry and mild in London in May, so make the most of a bright and sunny day by spending it at Regent’s Park. Designed by John Nash, this park covers a staggering 395 acres and incorporates the Queen Mary’s Gardens which is home to over 30,000 roses of around 400 varieties, in addition to the restored William Andrews Nestfield’s Avenue Gardens. A must-visit for lovers of the great outdoors, Regent’s Park features excellent sports facilities which cover almost 100 acres, making it the largest outdoor sports area in Central London. Combine all that with the Open Air Theatre, Primrose Hill, London Zoo and a 100+ waterfowl collection and you have a world-class destination the whole family will love.
Musical lovers won’t want to miss the chance to see Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre. This popular show is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons which takes the audience back to the 60s, incorporating loads of toe-tapping songs along the way, such as Can’t Take My Eye Off You and Bye Bye Baby. A great night out for anyone who loves upbeat tunes, Jersey Boys is a phenomenal combination of music, passion, rivalry and jealousy which is sure to leave you singing along.
For a museum with a difference, it’s got to be the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Great fun for the whole family to enjoy, this museum is packed full of brands, packs, posters, adverts, fads, fashions, toys and games which combine to reveal the history of consumer culture from the Victorian era until today. With more than 12,000 original items to admire, you’ll need a fair few hours to really get the most out of your visit. After you’ve had your fill of exhibits, fill your stomach at the tea room or pop into the gift shop to snap up some retro-inspired presents for friends and family back home.
If you want to visit an art gallery, consider taking a trip to the National Portrait Gallery. Founded in 1856 to collect portraits of British people, this art gallery is now home to more than 195,000 portraits from the 16th century all the way up to the present day. In addition to the staggering number of permanent art collections, the National Portrait Gallery is also home to several temporary exhibits which change every few months.
The British Library is another attraction definitely worth a visit during your holiday. Located just a short walk away from St Pancras Station, the British Library is home to more than 150 million manuscripts, newspapers, maps, prints, magazines, drawings, patents and music scores in a variety of languages, 8 million stamps and the world’s earliest dated printed book – the Diamond Sutra. Whether you’re looking for a book in particular for research purposes or just want an enjoyable day out, the British Library is a fantastic place to visit during your trip to London.
Where to stay
When it comes to affordable accommodation in London, Premier Inn London Angel Islington is a great choice. Within walking distance of a plethora of bars, restaurants and attractions, this hotel is perfect for families and couples looking for an action-packed stay in the capital. Here you can choose from a number of comfortable rooms, each of which comes well-equipped with one double or two twin beds, private bathroom, desk, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, air conditioning and WiFi access. There are several other facilities and services available onsite, too, such as restaurant, parking, wheelchair-accessible rooms and family rooms.
Premier by Eurotraveller Hotel Harrow is another top pick when it comes to low-cost accommodation in London. This newly-built high-end hotel is found in a quiet part of the city and offers spacious rooms which come complete with satellite TV, free WiFi access, complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, mini fridge, room service, iron and board, hairdryer, shaving sockets and air conditioning. There are plenty of other services and amenities to enjoy within the hotel, too, including 24-hour reception, free parking, lounge and business centre.
Tune Hotel Kings Cross is another top pick for holidaymakers looking for somewhere to stay during their holiday in London. Just a short distance from Kings Cross and St Pancras Station, this hotel is ideally located for visitors who want to see all the attractions that the city has to offer. Here you’ll find a wide variety of rooms – including doubles, twins and accessible rooms with and without windows – guaranteeing something for everyone to enjoy. Each of the rooms comes well-equipped with an en-suite bathroom, heating, air conditioning and loads of optional add-ons, such as WiFi access, safe, TV, towels and toiletries. There is a handful of amenities and services available within the hotel, such as 24-hour reception, 24-hour security, shops, restaurants and luggage storage.
Families and couples who plan on doing loads of sightseeing during their holiday in London should check out the Premier Inn London Kensington (Olympia). This hotel is just minutes away from the Earls Court, Olympia Exhibition Centres, museums and all sorts of tourist attractions, so you’ll never be stuck for something to do. At this hotel you’ll find a choice of spacious rooms, each of which comes with one comfortable double or two twin beds, desk, private bathroom, TV, telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, WiFi access and air conditioning. Premier Inn London Kensington (Olympia) offers several other amenities and services for guests to enjoy, too, such as restaurant, wheelchair-accessible rooms, family rooms and parking.
Holiday Inn is known for having top quality affordable hotels and the Holiday Inn Express London Chingford North Circular is a perfect example. Just minutes away from several popular landmarks and numerous public transport networks, this hotel offers loads of great facilities, including air conditioning, bar, free hot breakfast, free parking, free WiFi, meeting rooms, lounge, 24-hour vending machines and small pets are allowed. Each of the rooms offers superb value for money and features en-suite bathroom, flat screen TV with Freeview, hairdryer, work desk with lamp, tea/coffee making facilities and iron with board.