Visiting London in February: What to Pack, Weather, Events & Things to Do (2023)
For most of us, by the time February starts, we’re in desperate need of a beach getaway. A combination of the cold weather and dark days means we’re craving some “vitamin sea,” as they say. But maybe you’re not like everyone else, and you want to take a trip to London in February instead.
While it might sound crazy to some – doesn’t it rain all winter long in London?! – this is a great option since there are fewer crowds, days grow longer, and the weather improves as February wears on. (Also, it’s not a particularly rainy month, which surprises people.)
As others escape to warmer climes, you can escape to my favorite city, and take advantage of all the city has to offer without the hoards of summer tourists and equally high prices on airfare, hotels, and more. Sold? Here’s a guide to visiting London in February – including a bit about the weather, what to pack, and what to do.
February Sunrise & Sunset Times in London
Getting a sense of how long days are in February will help you to better organize your itinerary and see how many activities you can fit in a day.
February is still winter in London, meaning days will be on the shorter side during your trip. The good news is that days are dramatically longer toward the end of the month – there’s almost two more hours of daylight at the end of February than at the beginning.
Below you’ll find a chart of sunrise and sunset times in London in February:
|Daylight Hours||~9 hours||~10 hours||~11 hours|
If seeing a sunrise or sunset during your London visit sounds like an activity you’d like to include in your itinerary, be sure to check my guides on the best places to see the sunrise and the best places to view the sunset.
London February Weather & Temperature
While it’s not the coldest, February is a chilly month in London. On average, the London temperature in February tends to be between 37°F (3°C) and 46°F (8°). The average low temperature is in the upper 30s to near 40°F (3-5°C) although you can expect overnight temperatures to dip down to the lower 30s F (0° to -1° C) or less.
The average high temperature hovers in the mid-40s F (7-8°C) early in February, warming to the upper 40s to near 50°F (9-10°C) by the end of the month.
Luckily, February isn’t a rainy month with only 8 days of rain throughout the month; it’s even possible to get a bit of late season snow if the temps drop enough. As you might expect though, February is quite overcast; about 66% of the month remains cloudy.
What to Pack for London in February
Bringing the right clothes can make or break a trip, which is why I’ve included a detailed guide on what clothes to wear in London in February; you can also refer to my complete London winter packing list for additional advice.
When planning what to pack for London in February, I suggest you pack layers, so you can adjust your outfit according to the outside temperature.
- Pack two sets of long-sleeve, natural fiber shirts as base layers; I love Unbound Merino’s tops which are super warm and also odor-reducing so you won’t need to worry about washing them during your trip.
- Bring a sweater and a hoodie, as well as a raincoat – I love this Pendleton slicker which is totally waterproof.
- Don’t forget to bring a beanie and a scarf to beat the wind and keep your head warm.
- Pack a pair of trousers and two pairs of jeans.
- While I said February isn’t super rainy, London weather is quite crazy. Bringing an umbrella and your rain boots to keep your feet dry isn’t a bad idea.
- Bring a pair of comfortable shoes. London is a walkable city, and you’ll spend lots of time walking around.
- If you plan to go to a restaurant or an afternoon tea, put a fancy outfit together and bring it to London.
8 Great Events in London in February 2023
London’s weather may change, month to month, season to season. But one thing never changes, and that is all the amazing things this city offers to locals and travelers alike. Below you’ll find eight great events you can do while visiting London in February.
Kew Orchid Festival (February 4 – March 5)
Kew Gardens is a delight to visit any time of the year, but, during February, it becomes extra special as it hosts the Kew Orchid Festival. Come to the festival to admire what’s arguably one of the most beautiful flowers in the botanic world.
For 2023, the festival is dedicated to the wildlife and culture of Cameroon. There will be large sculptures made with real plants, flower arrangements, exhibits on Cameroon’s wildlife and landscape, and, of course, an amazing array of colorful orchids.
London Anime and Gaming Con (February 10-12)
It’s not a lie when people say London has something for everyone. Anime lovers, gamers, and cosplayers, all get together at the London Anime and Gaming Con, hosted in February. The event organizes Q&A panels with industry figures, fun games and dances for the attendees, galleries where artists exhibit their wonderful illustrations, and rows of stands selling manga, comics, and gaming merchandise that you can not find elsewhere.
February Half-Term with the Fam (February 11-26)
February in London is a great month if you’re traveling with your family. This month has the mid-term break, so the city is packed with fun activities to keep the little ones entertained.
You can get tickets to The Lion King at the West End or enjoy a good dose of magic at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. If hands-on activities are more your thing, head to the Science Museum and let your kids play while they learn. Animal lovers can pay a visit to the ZSL London Zoo and marvel at the wildlife diversity our world is home to.
London Motorcycle Show (February 17-19)
Cycling lovers can’t miss the London Motorcycle Show. This event hosts exhibitions with classic bikes, and new 2023 bikes from all the major manufacturers, and invites International speakers from the community to give advice and inspire fellow riders. There will also be stands selling from lids and leathers to gadgets and tech.
But best of all, it’s the only event with an indoor drag race. Called the Supersprint, you’ll get to see up close and personal your favorite bikes fire down the hall.
Pancake Day (February 21)
It’s always a good time to eat pancakes, and London even has a specific day to do just that! Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Since Lent is a period of abstinence, people would remove all sugars, fats, and eggs from their cupboards on Shrove Tuesday. Coincidence or not, all those ingredients are what you use to make pancakes.
While the religious motivation has faded, the tradition has stuck in the U.K., and you can find hundreds of restaurants offering some flipping good pancakes all over the city.
Permission to Play at the London Transport Museum (February 24)
Who said playing is for children only? The London Transport Museum hosts Permission to Play, an interactive exhibit where adults are invited to tap into their inner child and have fun. There will be a museum-wide scavenger hunt, transport bingo, and much more. You can also attend talks where experts recover the notion of play and how it is important to keep developing our ludic intelligence as we grow and into our adult lives.
Imagine Children’s Festival at Southbank Centre (TBA)
For another child-friendly alternative, you can attend the Imagine Children’s Festival. Hosted at Southbank Centre, the 12-day festival gathers in one place the best of children’s theater, music, comedy, and literature. Here, your child will be able to unleash their creative side and explore art in different mediums. There are drawing rooms, reading and storytelling sessions, puppet shows, and even yoga classes.
London Fashion Week (TBA)
This one is a bit tricky, like most fashion weeks, London Fashion Week doesn’t have tickets up for sale. Most attendees are either important names in the industry, influencers, or celebrities. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go to the hotels and venues where world-class designers are hosting their fashion shows and take a peek at the fashionistas who walk down the street while downing their best outfits. Some designers also stream their shows, so you can google to see if you can catch the show from the comfort of your hotel.
7 Other Things to Do in London in February
Still have a free nook in your itinerary? Here are other cool things to do in London in February:
- Enjoy the city from a different perspective with a Thames river cruise. There are lots of different types to show you the best bits of London along the River Thames.
- Explore the heritage of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-Londoners at Mark LGBT+ History Month. Numerous museums and venues throughout the city host talks, exhibits, and seminars for everyone to understand the history of LGBT+ rights and the challenges they’re facing in the community.
- Cozy up in a pub and watch people go by while sipping a pint.
- Pop into the cinema and watch an old-time classic.
- Grab flowers for your Valentine at Columbia Road Flower Market, one of London’s top markets.
- Treat yourself to champagne afternoon tea. Here’s my London afternoon tea guide, with options for every taste and budget.
- Stretch your legs in one of the city’s parks if the weather is good. You can check out my guide to the best London parks.
Have any other questions about visiting London in February? Let me know in the comments!