What to Pack for London and other parts of England

What to Pack for London and other parts of England

Planning what to pack for London and the UK just got a bit easier with this seasonal packing guide! Read on to find out how local travelista, Lottie with The Ambling Explorer, recommends that you plan your own travel wardrobe when you travel in her home country.


What to Wear in London and other parts of England


British fashion is partly defined by the country’s infamous weather. It is unpredictable and changeable and when the weather man on the television tells you that it will be sunny all week, be prepared for rain. What to wear in London has everything to do with the weather.

No matter the time of year, always keep a travel-size umbrella in your purse.

In Britain it’s easy for the traveler to stick out like a sore thumb – walking boots, convertible zip leg trousers, SLR camera, guidebook and a backpack in the middle of London can easily scream “tourist.” Sadly in some parts this can make you a bit of a target but it’s also easy to blend in with the locals. British fashion isn’t quite as chic as the French, isn’t always as slouchy as American or as zany as Australian. But then again, I’ve seen people dressed as pirates on the tube and no-one bats an eyelid.

Like anywhere, pack for the environment – are you spending your time café crawling in the cities or getting lost in Scottish wilderness?

Also remember that Britain is one of those places where if you forget anything, you’ll be able to pick it up when you get there (and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.) So don’t be afraid of packing light. Try to stick to a small selection of colors to make it easier to mix and match your items.

Need help downsizing your travel clothing? Read TFG’s Capsule Wardrobe Essentials eBook!


 What to Wear in London and the UK in Winter


London Capsule Wardrobe: Winter

1.Paneled Blouse 2.High Neck Jumper (similar) 3. Striped Roll Neck Sweater 4. Plaid Sweater 5. Color Block Sweater 6. Sweater Dress 7. Long Sleeve Dress 8. Bootcut Jeans 9. Jersey Leggings 10. Ripped Skinny Jeans 11. Mid-Long Coat (similar) 12. Poncho Cape Coat 13. Suede Ankle Boots 14. Buckle Boots 15. Metallic Crossbody 16. Beanie Hat 17. Cable Knit Mittens 18. Striped Scarf 19. Black Belt 20. Sweater Tights


December, January & February

For city exploring don’t be afraid to break the “don’t take your jeans traveling rule“. They aren’t appropriate for hiking but I can’t think of anything more ideal to wear walking round London on a frosty winter morning.

Find out how to choose the best jeans for travel.

Winter is cold and 2013 has been predicted to be the coldest winter for 100 years (global warming etc.) The key is to wrap up warm – wear lots of layers, (especially if you don’t fancy bringing a heavy winter coat along) and drink plenty of tea.

When planning what to wear in London pack tights, leggings and knee-high socks for extra warmth. Don’t forget the essential winter woollies either –hat, scarf and gloves.

Wear leggings or tights under your jeans for extra warmth. These leggings are a popular choice with the TFG readers and are lined with fleece.

Footwear – I find a comfy pair of waterproof ankle boots perfect. Soggy feet aren’t fun, neither are blisters. Be prepared for the wet as well as the cold.

Ankle booties are the perfect choice any time of year.


What to Wear in London and the UK in Spring


London Capsule Wardrobe: Spring

1. Long Sleeved T shirt (similar) 2.  Denim Blouse 3. Sleeveless Sweater 4. Floral Blouse 5. Printed Blouse 6. Flowy Dress 7. Floral Dress 8. Ripped Jeans 9. Skinny Jeans 10. A-Line Skirt 11. Water Repellant Raincoat (similar) 12. Faux Leather Jacket 13. Rain Bootie 14. Gold Flats 15. Quilted Crossbody 16. Lace Fedora 17. Polka Dot Umbrella 18. Zigzag Print Scarf 19. Gold Belt 20. Black Tights


March, April & May

In spring it rains a lot. I usually carry a compact umbrella with me at all times in the UK, so that I’m always prepared for spontaneous showers – not just in spring.

Spring is that transition period between winter and summer, so layers are still important when planning what to wear in London, but in the later months think about swapping that chunky coat for a regular jacket.

Transform a temperate outfit on a chilly day with a scarf, hat and tights. Skirts are fun but remember that it can get quite breezy so you’ll have to wear double layers underneath.

If you’re in the countryside you’re bound to see waves of differing spring flowers and baby lambs, but remember to be prepared for the mud.

It’s not uncommon to see people wearing these Hunter rain boots on very rainy days.


What to Pack for a Trip to London and the UK in Summer


London Capsule Wardrobe: Summer

1. Plaid Shirt 2. Printed Sleeveless 3. Long Sleeve Tee 4. Striped Polo Shirt 5. Short Sleeve T Shirt 6. Shirt Dress 7. Cutout Dress 8. Floral Pants (similar) 9. Button Culottes (similar) 10. Split Khaki Skirt 11. Swing Jacket 12. Denim Jacket 13. Mocassin Flats  14. Canvas Espadrille 15. Metallic Crossbody 16. Frame Sunglasses 17. Travel Umbrella 18. Flannel Scarf 19. Fedora Hat 20. Emoji Necklace


June, July & August

Summer can be warm but can also be very wet – be prepared for both. Check bbc.co.uk/weather/before your trip to get the most accurate forecast. Don’t be surprised if it’s grey and gloomy in the summer!

If the forecast calls for sun, be bright and bold as you plan what to pack for London! Crack out the summer dresses, sunglasses and hats. Once again, be aware of the breezes so you might want to consider layering – sometimes jersey skirts and dresses hold their shape better than wispy skater styles.

A cardigan and a scarf are essentials layers to any summer outfit in case the sun decides to go in.

You can never go wrong with a light leather jacket for cooler summer days and nights.

A comfy pair of sandals are great for walking about town on warm days but ankle boots and ballet flats are ideal the rest of the time.


A note on bags: Personally I am a big fan of satchels for cities and rucksacks for countryside. I often feel that a satchel with a zip can be safer than many daypacks, which can also be unnecessary for city exploring.

Find out why cross-body purses are the best travel shoulder bags for women.

What to Wear in London and the UK in Autumn


London Capsule Wardrobe: Fall

1. Cowl Neck Pullover 2. Long Sleeve Tee 3. Lapel Loose Blouse 4. Striped Top 5. Long Sleeve Sweatshirt 6. Faux Leather Dress 7. V Neck Zipper Dress 8. Chalk Striped Trousers 9. Suede Skirt 10. Skinny Jeans (similar) 11. Water Repellant Raincoat 12. Loose Cardigan 13. Penny Loafer 14. Suede Ankle Booties 15. Crossbody Bag 16. Panama Hat 17. Cat Eye Sunglasses (similar) 18. Striped Scarf 19. Striped Umbrella 20. Black Tights


September, October & November

Autumn is my favorite season in general and also to dress for. I love the crunchy leaves, the mild weather and the earthy colors.

As the transitional period between summer and winter, things start to get colder and milder in the autumn. When planning what to pack for London this time of year it’s time to think about a woolly hat and light waterproof jacket such as this one.

If you’re a skirt and dress person rather than a trouser person, then leggings and opaque tights are essential to make outfits a little warmer.

Scarves are extremely useful and a warm knit option will help keep you warm during this transitional season. When it’s not quite cold enough for a coat, then a jumper or cardigan combined with a hat and a scarf will do. Remember, layering is key!


5 Important Packing Tips


  • Dress for the weather, activity & environment – make sure you’re comfortable.
  • Always carry an umbrella with you.
  • Scarves are extremely versatile – in the winter a chunky knit will keep you snug whilst in the summer a lighter scarf can help protect you from the sun.
  • If you’re not used to colder climates, still plan for “winter” weather YEAR ROUND. Layers are key!
  • If in doubt, bring an empty suitcase and head to the nearest Primark to stock up on cheap clothing that is both weather appropriate and locals approved!


When you’re planning what to pack for a trip to London and the UK, follow these travel tips to keep you in line with the fussy weather. Thanks for this helpful post Lottie! Don’t forget to check out The Ambling Explorer.

What are your tips on what to pack for London and the rest of England?

 Please note: Most of Europe’s Budget Airlines have this Carryon Bag Allowance: 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Always check your airlines individual baggage rules and regulations in advance.

For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:

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Author Bio: Lottie is a student and traveller form the UK, currently spending a year studying in Queensland, Australia. She likes hiking, knitting and cooking roast dinners. Lottie can be found writing about her experiences and travel musings onThe Ambling Explorer; she’s also on twitter@AmblingExplorer

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  1. Is shorts and T-shirt appropriate for London around July and August?

    Or do I need to wear pants to avoid mosquitoes?

  2. I normally love all your packing lists, but that London Autumn one makes me cringe! Of course, that’s the one I’m needing too – going in September.
    Any chance you can throw together? I would not be caught dead in #s 3 – 9 (with the exception of a long sleeve sweater…just not THAT long sleeve sweater).
    I usually get so inspired by your lists. Please help!

  3. I found the umbrella wasn’t helpful. I observed many being blown inside out. If you have a hood and or a scarf you will be fine.

    • Thanks for the feedback!

  4. I live in London. Always remember to bring some kind of a jacket no matter how warm it might be where you are coming from. Even in the depths of summer there usually is a bit of a cool breeze, especially in the shade and after dark. Also, don’t forget that the UK is an island and the weather is usually very changeable in one day so layers are essential: on, off, on off all day! Tubes can be boiling and walking by the river chilly!

    • Great tips, thank you!

  5. I always put my tablet or laptop into a bag that I can put it next to me on the plane. I use a carry on luggage for 3-4days but 2 weeks defo a big suitcase.
    I would recommend also if you have young kids 1-5 pack their clothes in a suitcase at a time (2 sets a clothes in a suit case for the kids sharing). For girls defo have their own suitcase because they have more stuff than boys..

  6. Hi, we are travelling to London on the 4th of august and staying for 4 nights and then heading off to Germany for 4 days . We are then heading off to U S to for couple of weeks I am a bit of a fashionista and need to know what sort of shoes, clothes etc. i will need. We will be away for amonth before returning home . Please help

  7. Hi, we are travelling to London on the 25th of June and staying with family for 4 nights and then heading off to Paris for a week. We are then returning to London for a week and hiring a car to explore some ancestry out in the country for another week. Warwickshire, Cornwall, Bath, . A few more places before we get back to Sidcup. I am a bit of a fashionista and need to know what sort of shoes, clothes etc. i will need. We will be away for amonth before returning home to Adelaide Australia. Please help

  8. i’m going to London in a couple of months and this post was very helpfull!

    • Great, thank you!

  9. Hi! I will be in London this weekend :D Can anyone tell me what the weather is like right now?… Coats still in? or out?

    • Hi Ayesha. I always recommend checking the extended forecasts on weather.com. you probably want to always pack a coat or jacket for London year round. Have fun!

  10. Hello!! I’m visiting London England with my best friend in April of 2014!!! I have a medium size northface Jacket I plan on wearing while touring and sightseeing!! Would a jacket of that size would be appropriate for that time of year in England,will the weather be to warm?? Please help!!

    • Hi Patrice, I don’t think you’ll ever have to worry about the weather being to warm in England :-) It does have it’s warm weather once in a while (even heat waves) but I’d always pack a warm coat – even in the Summer it’s usually more grey and rainy than hot and sunny. Your coat doesn’t have to be ultra-thick – your best bet is to plan on layering. Learn about layering in this post: http://8e5.f98.myftpupload.com/packing-tips-and-travel-clothing-for-multi-season-trips/

  11. Great tips for travel, thanks so much! I will be in Ireland late April-early May and was wondering about tall boots. Is it too late to still wear these at that time, or would it be best to stick with an ankle boot? Thanks for the advice!

  12. Boots with heels- no no? Going to be there in a few weeks!

    • Heels are always a travel no-no ;-) but it depends on the type of travel and where you’ll be going. Perhaps boots with no heel for walking and with a heel to dress up?

  13. Thanks for the tips. Where are some great but affordable places to shop for clothes in England?

    • Great question, I’ll post it on facebook :-)

    • Primark! Born and bred in Liverpool and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t shop there – v.cheap! (like £4 UK pounds for a top, £6 jeans, £8 dress) pick up lots of dressy flats and shoes there too so you dont have to pack heels

      • thanks for the tip! get all my clothes at Primark when I travel to the Uk :-)

  14. Would it be appropriate to bring tall riding boots to wear in London in the autumn?

    • Yes, that’s a great idea! Have fun :-)

  15. Hi, question about shoes for London in August. I was planing on bringing my pair of Sperry slip on boat shoes and a pair of sandals, however i’m wondering if I will get cold at night or if it rains. Would you recommend bringing shoes a little warm for walking around at night and or weather?
    thank you ,

    • Hi Ricki, I think boat shoes sound perfect however it does get cold and it does rain – year round. Add a pair of ankle boots or regular boots – they are always the way to go :-)

      • Thank you, this is a very helpful blog :)

        • Thanks!

  16. where did you get the waterproof winter boots ?

    • Hi Amber, I’ll let Lottie answer this one :-)

    • I have a feeling that those particular ones came from New Look, a clothes shop in England. But they’re pretty easy to find and a pair of suede boots can always be waterproofed with waterproofing spray.

  17. Great post! I love how there is an umbrella for every season… it really is an essential! ;)

    • haha yes, that one caught me by surprise two summers ago in England. You can never be to ready!

  18. I would wear anyone of these pieces!

    • Lottie sure knows how to dress! Love her picks too :-)

  19. What a great post! I always find packing for colder climates a challenge!

    • Thanks! It’s a challenge for me too as I’m never in cold climates. I am now though and I’m happy with my travel wardrobe choices – i’m staying warm :-)


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