London Weather May Averages, United Kingdom
What's the weather like in London in May
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.
Average Sea Temperature
At 11°C, the average sea temperature for the closest coastal location to London (Southend-on-Sea) 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.
Average Sunshine Hours
Just like in 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.
London Hotels in May
The Z Hotel
The Z Hotel is a clean and basic hotel offering extremely good value if you are looking for some where near the buzz of the West End with Selfridges and Oxford Street a 10 minute walk away as well as Regents Park and it's famous zoo. Baker street, Marylebone, Edgware Road and Marylebone are all a short walk away offering shops, bars, theatres and London landmarks.
For a low budget but comfortable stay try the Motel One in Tower Hill; you can't beat the location of this hotel with Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral just moments away. Aldgate Underground station is a mere 3-minute walk away and the hotel's location allows visitors to explore the local neighbourhood and its contrasting architectural styles.
For a unique stay in the heart of Notting Hill, stay at the Laslett - a 4 star hotel that derives its name from the famous founder of the Notting Hill Carnival. The hotel has a contemporary feel and has an eclectic collection of art work, 51 stylish guest rooms along with the Henderson Bar and Coffee shop. The hotel is inspired by the Notting Hill cultural vibe and describes itself as "a truly British hotel".
Premier Inn London Kensington
Families and couples who plan sightseeing during their holiday in London should check out the Premier Inn London Kensington (Olympia). Located just 15 minutes away from the Earls Court and Olympia Exhibition Centres, ten minutes from Kensington High Street where you'll find loads of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, and five minutes from the nearest tube station, this hotel is set inside a handsome Victorian building. Onsite services and facilities include free WiFi access throughout and Thyme Restaurant which serves breakfast, snacks and evening meals. Note that no parking is available onsite.
Piccadilly London West End
With the famous west end on your doorstep, the Piccadilly London West End on the Shaftesbury Avenue is the ideal place to explore the best of London. The hotel offers high spec rooms with every conceivable comfort incuding tea and coffee making facilities. Located in the theatre district you can catch any of the famed west end shows, stroll down to the shopping district of Oxford Street and take in all of London's famed monuments and architecture.
Bars and Restaurants
Sappho Meze Bar
A great budget dining choice is to head to one of London's many Mediterranean or Greek meze restaurants. Sappho Meze Bar on Clapham High Street is extremely affordable, very highly rated and boasts honest, hearty Greek dishes. Try their homemade breads dipped in authentic, loving prepared tzatziki and hummus.
For amazing food in a funky setting head to 108 Garage in the trendy Notting Hill district. This restaurant was originally a garage, but has had a new lease of life as a quirky restaurant. The quality of the food, which is of an Asian-British fusion style is highly acclaimed by London's top restaurant critics. Booking is a must!
For special occasions, Daphne Restaurant in Camden is an excellent Greek restaurant worth exploring. The beef stifado is said to melt in your mouth, and the moussaka is second-to-none. Authentic and friendly Greek hospitality is another reason why diners keep coming back!
Estiatorio Milos at St James's is an exceptional Greek restaurant serving freshly-caught Mediterranean fish which is also sold at their on site fish market. Personally select the fish of your choice and be able to decide exactly how you'd like it cooked.
Things to do in London in May
Visit Chiswick House and its gardens if you're keen to explore some British stately home heritage. Designed by Lord Burlington in the 18th century, its architecture was inspired by his trips to Italy and is one the earliest examples of the English "neo-palladian" style. A short journey from the centre of town by public transport, this surely ranks as one of London's best-kept secrets.
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 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. Regent's Park also features excellent sports facilities which cover almost 100 acres, making it the largest outdoor sports area in Central London.
Musical lovers won't want to miss the chance to see the Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre. This popular show tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons by taking 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.
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising
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.
National Portrait Gallery
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
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 written in a variety of languages, 8 million stamps and the world's earliest dated printed book the Diamond Sutra.