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A trip to England in May offers a combination of blooming landscapes, mild weather, and vibrant cultural scenes. It is a great time for sightseeing tours in historic parts of the country as well as outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling. Being the penultimate month before summer, May is also your last chance to explore England with fewer tourist crowds at popular sites and comparatively lower prices. From strolling through enchanting bluebell woods in Norfolk to hiking in the Lake District to exploring the art and culture in cities such as London and Bristol, England in May holds great promise for visitors.
- Catherine Schofield
- From USA
England in May sees mild spring weather coupled with occasional rain showers. The southern region tends to be slightly warmer, with the capital city, London, averaging 17°C (62°F) during the day and 8°C (46°F) at night. Expect similar temperatures in southeast and southwest England. In the northern areas, such as Yorkshire, temperatures are a bit cooler, with the average daytime temperature at 13°C (56°F) and the average nighttime temperature at 5°C (41°F).
England also sees extended daylight hours during May, with over 16 hours of sunlight gracing London by the month's end. While snowfall is rare around this time, overcast skies and rainfall are common. So pack your rain gear and waterproof boots if you are planning for outdoor activities on your England trip.
For a more detailed seasonal overview, go through our best time to visit England article.
Weather in England in May - Rainfall and Temperatures
|Avg Daily (°C)||8||9||11||14||17||20||23||23||19||15||11||9|
|Avg Nightly (°C)||4||4||5||6||9||12||15||18||13||10||6||5|
|Avg Daily (°F)||47||49||52||58||63||68||74||74||67||59||52||49|
|Avg Nightly (°F)||40||40||41||43||49||54||59||65||56||50||43||41|
|Avg Rainfall (mm)||23||30||22||22||26||45||36||38||26||29||34||37|
|Avg Daily (°C)||14||17||20|
|Avg Nightly (°C)||6||9||12|
|Avg Daily (°F)||58||63||68|
|Avg Nightly (°F)||43||49||54|
|Avg Rainfall (mm)||22||26||45|
May is a haven for tourists seeking a tranquil yet activity-packed English holiday. Below are some reasons to plan your England trip in May.
- Low crowd: May falls in the midst of spring season in England. The weather is looking up, and the countryside and city parks are in full bloom. And with the peak summer season still a couple of months away, you can explore popular sites and attractions at your own pace. You can also land off-season pricing on tours and accommodations.
- Blooming countryside: May is when England's natural beauty is at its peak. The countryside, from the Cotswolds to Cornwall, is awash with vibrant flowers like delphiniums, robust geraniums, crab apple flowers, and exquisite aquilegia. May is also the final month when bluebell flowers grace the land.
- Festivals and events: May is synonymous with festivities and events in England. Attend the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a renowned garden exhibition hosted in Chelsea, London. Organized by palace authorities, this event spans five days, taking place towards the final weeks of May. During this month, you can also rejoice in the spirited Upton Folk Festival and join in the Furry Dance that takes place on May 8th when you're in Cornwall.
- Hiking season: With longer and balmy days, May in England is the perfect season for hiking. Take to the Lake District and explore its winding trails that lead to stunning vistas and serene lakesides. Venturing to York also becomes a delight, as the pleasant weather makes it an ideal time to stroll along the city's historic medieval walls and delve into its rich history.
There are a plethora of enticing destinations and activities to explore across England in May. Cornwall's wild coastline beckons visitors with its warm weather and sparse tourist crowds. It is a favorite spot for beginner-level surfers, as the month provides smooth and consistent waves on this coastline.
May is also the perfect time to immerse yourself in the world of Shakespeare. Watch one of the Bard’s plays at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon while avoiding the crowds that swarm the town during the peak summer months.
History buffs can plan their London trip in May, right when the Tower of London opens, offering guided tours and special events amidst mild temperatures and extended daylight hours. If you are seeking panoramic city views, look no further than the London Eye. The clear skies and mild temperatures create an ideal backdrop for riding this iconic Ferris wheel. With longer days, you can take in the cityscape in the glorious light of day and as it transforms into a twinkling tapestry at night.
Head to Bristol in May for an artistic adventure to uncover the vibrant street art scene. The mild climate and low crowds create a comfortable and laid-back atmosphere for wandering the streets and immersing yourself in the city's unique art and culture. While in East Sussex, attend the Opera Festival in Glyndebourne, an arts festival which starts in late May and continues for several months.
England in May is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. With pleasant weather, fewer crowds compared to the peak summer months, and a plethora of events and festivals, May is the perfect time to savor the essence of England at your own pace. For more information and inspiration, check out our England travel guide. You can also go through our extensive list of England tours in May.