What to Pack for London and other parts of England

What to Pack for London and other parts of England

Wondering what to pack for London and other parts of England? 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


 

What to pack for London has everything to do with the weather. British fashion is partly defined by the country’s infamous grey skies. It is unpredictable and changeable but for the most part this is the rule of thumb: when the weather forecast tells you that it will be sunny all week, be prepared for rain.

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

 

what-to-wear-in-london-packing-list

Opaque Tights / Travel Guide / Compact Umbrella / Faux Leather Jacket

PACKING TIPS

 

Dress for the weather, activity & environment – make sure you’re comfortable and always carry an umbrella with you.

Scarves are extremely versatile – in the winter a chunky knit will keep you snug whilE 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 and follow these tips on how to pack for cold weather. Layers are key!

If in doubt, bring an empty suitcase and head to the nearest Primark or H&M to stock up on cheap clothing that is both weather appropriate and locals approved!

 

 photo Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 4.04.36 PM_zpsv6oewagb.png

Shop the Look

 

CLOTHING STYLE

In Britain it’s easy for the traveler to stick out like a sore thumb in walking boots, convertible zip leg trousers, SLR camera, guidebook and a backpack. Wearing this in the middle of London can easily scream “tourist” and travel gear like that is more appropriate for countryside treks in the Lake District not a city.

British fashion isn’t quite as chic as the French, isn’t always as slouchy as American or as zany as Australian. It can be edgy or conservative but one thing’s for sure, just like the rest of Europe, a good fit is everything. And when in doubt, choose dressy over casual.

Like anywhere, pack for the environment – are you spending your time café crawling in the cities or getting lost in the 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. 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 Pack Light Stylishly eBook!

 

what-to-wear-in-london-packing-list

 Tan Suede Waterproof / Jeffrey Campbell Rain Booties / Winter Tall Boots

 

TRAVEL SHOES

 

Generally speaking, you’ll probably need some type of boot year round. Choose a calf-tall height for the winter and ankle boots the rest of the time. If there’s heavy rain in the forecast, a rubber bootie might be needed for extensive city exploration on foot. However, regular leather boots (or faux leather boots) will work just fine.

When in doubt, a tan chelsea is the go-to style of choice. These tips on how to wear ankle boots should work every season except winter when a tall boot is needed.

 

Plan what to pack for London and the rest of England with this packing list:

 

 What to Wear in London in Winter

 

London Capsule Wardrobe: Winter

1.Paneled Blouse 2.Jumper (similar) 3. Striped Sweater 4. Plaid Sweater 5. Color Block Sweater 6. Sweater Dress 7. Long Sleeve Dress 8. Bootcut Jeans 9. Jersey Leggings 10. Jeans 11. Coat (similar) 12. Poncho Cape 13. Ankle Boots 14. Buckle Boots 15. Crossbody 16. Hat 17. Mittens 18. Scarf 19. Belt 20. Tights

 

December, January & February

 

For city exploring, bring your jeans. 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.

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.

Winter is cold. Learn how to stay warm in cold weather using these tips – the key is to wear lots of layers, (especially if you don’t fancy bringing a heavy winter coat along), drink plenty of tea, and be prepared for the possibility of snow.

When planning what to pack for London choose tights, leggings, knee-high socks, and thermals like these for extra warmth. Don’t forget the essential winter woollies either: hat, scarf and gloves.

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.

 

Take a look at the best waterproof boots for travel!

 

What to Wear in London and the UK in Spring

 

London Capsule Wardrobe: Spring

1. Long Sleeved T (similar) 2.  Denim Blouse 3. Sleeveless Sweater 4. Floral Blouse 5. Printed Blouse 6. Flowy Dress 7. Floral Dress 8. Ripped Jeans 9. Jeans 10. Skirt 11. Raincoat (similar) 12. Jacket 13. Rain Boot 14. Flats 15. Crossbody 16. Fedora 17. Umbrella 18. Scarf 19. Belt 20. 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.

Find out what to wear on a rainy day when you’re traveling!

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.

While one of the waterproof boots shown above will work for most trips, here are a few more ideas.

 

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 4. Striped Polo 5. Short Sleeve T 6. Shirt Dress 7. Cutout Dress 8. Floral Pants (similar) 9. Culottes (similar) 10. Skirt 11. Jacket 12. Denim Jacket 13. Flats  14. Espadrille 15. Crossbody 16. Sunglasses 17. Umbrella 18. Scarf 19. Hat 20. Necklace

 

June, July & August

 

Summer can be warm but can also be very wet – as you plan what to pack for London, be prepared for both. Check bbc.co.uk/weatherbefore 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.

 

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

 

A cardigan and a scarf are essentials layers to any summer outfit in case the sun decides to go in. Use this easy packing tip to help you transform a summer dress into an autumn one if the weather’s cooler than you expected.

A comfy pair of sandals are great for walking about town if there’s sun in the forecast but ankle boots, sneakers, and ballet flats are ideal the rest of the time.

 

Take a look at these London-appropriate womens casual sneakers for travel!

 

A note on bags: Personally I am a big fan of satchels for cities and backpacks 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. Pullover 2. Long Sleeve 3. Lapel Loose Blouse 4. Striped Top 5. Sweatshirt 6. Faux Leather Dress 7. V Neck Dress 8. Trousers 9. Skirt 10. Jeans (similar) 11. Raincoat 12. Cardigan 13. Penny Loafer  14. Booties 15. Crossbody 16. Hat 17. Sunglasses (similar) 18. Scarf 19. Umbrella 20. 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 stylish travel raincoat like these.

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.

These rainy day outfits are perfect for this time of year!

 

When planning what to pack for London, remember that 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!

 


When you’re planning what to wear in London, 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:

If you enjoyed this post on what to pack for London. Please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!


 

LottieAuthor Bio: Lottie is a student and traveler from the UK. 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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42 Comments

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

    Or do I need to wear pants to avoid mosquitoes?

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  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!

    Reply
    • Great tips, thank you!

      Reply
  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..

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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

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

    Reply
    • Great, thank you!

      Reply
  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?

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  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!!

    Reply
    • 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/

      Reply
  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!

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

    Reply
    • 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?

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

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

      Reply
    • 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

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

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

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

      Reply
  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 ,
    Ricki

    Reply
    • 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 :-)

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

        Reply
        • Thanks!

          Reply
  16. where did you get the waterproof winter boots ?

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

      Reply
    • 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.

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

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

      Reply
  18. I would wear anyone of these pieces!

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

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

    Reply
    • 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 :-)

      Reply

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