If you’re looking forward to your trip to the UK, you’re probably wondering what to pack and what to wear. With four changing seasons, unpredictable weather ranging from freezing to hot temperatures and almost guaranteed rain, it pays to be prepared before you head off on your UK adventure. Whether you’re travelling in summer or winter, or somewhere in between, here are the essential items to pack for your tour to the UK.
What to pack for a trip to the UK in winter
Warm, layered clothes
The most important thing to pack for your tour to the UK in winter is warm clothes. The average winter temperature ranges from 0 to 7°C, so you need to get strategic about how you’ll rug up on your trip. We recommend layering up with jeans, long-sleeved shirts, woollen sweaters or down jackets, and a water and windproof winter coat over the top.
You can even pull on some thermals as your first layer if you’re prone to the cold. Remember that it can get quite hot if you’re catching the tube in London or visiting shopping centres, so wear layers you can easily strip off if you need to.
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Don’t forget your gloves, scarves, thermal socks and woolly beanies! You might like to go for gloves with touch pads so you can still use your smartphone, and a winter hat that covers your ears.
Go for a comfortable pair of walking shoes or boots – bonus points if they’re waterproof. You don’t want to trudge around all day with wet feet.
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What to pack for a trip to the UK in summer
In summer, the temperatures in the UK average around 17°C to 25°C – but don’t be surprised if they soar even higher at times and the newspapers start declaring a heatwave. London in particular can be very hot in summer, so you can pack summer clothes like shorts, t-shirts, skirts and dresses. Don’t forget to pack warmer layers like a waterproof coat, cardigans and trousers, as you never know when the weather can change.
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Whether you’re going to the pool or the beach, take advantage of the warmer temperatures and bring your swimsuit on your summer trip to the UK.
You’ll still need a comfortable (preferably waterproof) pair of walking shoes, and a pair of sandals is also great for a summer trip to the UK.
The insects come out to play in summer in the UK, so bring some insect repellent to ward off any creepy-crawlies.
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What to pack for a trip to the UK in spring and autumn
With temperatures averaging between 12-20°C across spring and autumn, you really need to prepare for anything, from warm sunny weather to cold rainy days. The best way to do this is by layering up. Bring t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, cardigans, sweaters, leggings, skirts, dresses, jeans, trousers and a scarf. Then mix and match your outfits so it’s easy to peel off layers if it warms up, and it’s just as easy to get them back on if the temperature drops.
Bring your comfortable pair of walking shoes or runners, and you can even bring a pair of sandals if the weather forecast looks bright.
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Essentials to pack in every season in the UK
Whatever the season, it’s all about layering in the UK. And remember, you will need a waterproof coat in every season. They’ll just differ in the warmth and weight depending on the time of year.
Trafalgar tip: If you plan to visit Harrods, the famous luxury department store in London, don’t wear ripped jeans or flip flops as you won’t be allowed in.
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Windproof travel umbrella
The UK gets a lot of rain. In 2019, there were 164 days in which rain fell. It can range from light showers to torrential rain and snow, and it can rain in any season at any time. We recommend coming prepared with a windproof, travel-sized umbrella so you don’t find yourself running for cover whenever the skies open. That way you can do as the locals do and “keep calm and carry on” – even when it rains.
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You’ll need sun protection in every season, even winter. Although there may not be much sun, there’s a lot of glare (especially when it snows) and the harmful UV rays can still be quite strong. Protect your skin all year round with sunglasses and sunscreen.
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Reusable water bottle
Help reduce plastic waste and bring your own water bottle. Tap water is safe to drink across the UK so you can easily refill it everywhere you go. You’ll save money on bottled water and the planet will thank you for it, too.
Keep your hands free and bring a backpack, cross-body bag or fanny pack to hold all your daily essentials like a water bottle, sunscreen, umbrella and all your souvenirs.
The official currency of the UK is the pound sterling. While there are ATMs and credit card facilities across the region, it’s still a good idea to bring some local cash with you.
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Camera and extra memory cards
It goes without saying that the UK is picture-perfect in every season, and you’ll want to take hundreds of photos to capture your incredible trip. Remember to bring extra memory cards, an extra charger and a waterproof case for your camera or smartphone.
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UK travel adaptor
The UK operates on plug type G. It has three rectangular pins in a triangle pattern, and it’s good to note that the UK uses a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Which iconic spots are at the top of your UK bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!