Imagine a crisp fall day: leaves crunch under your feet, your hands are wrapped around a cuppa, and a scarf keeps the chill away. Meanwhile, a red bus trundles by and you pass one of London’s many iconic sights as you stroll toward the Tube station to start your day of sightseeing. Is there any place better than London in September?
I certainly don’t think so – it’s my favorite month in London! It’s the perfect time to stroll under the changing leaves and provides a great excuse to pull out your wellies (rain boots) and jumpers (sweaters). While I’m not British, and I don’t call Britain home, I think Britain does autumn better than basically anywhere.
If you’re planning a trip to London in September too, this guide will help. Below you’ll find tips to help you make the most of each day (as the days get shorter), what to pack (as the weather gets cooler), and all the fascinating events and activities you can enjoy during September in London.
(Oh, and if you think you spot me on the street during your trip, be sure to say hi – I’ll be the one grinning silly from my joy at being back in my favorite city, and would love to give you extra in-person tips!)
September Sunrise & Sunset Times in London
The length of each day you have to spend in London directly affects how many activities you can fit into your itinerary. That’s why I’ve included a chart of sunrise and sunset times in London in September:
As you can see, September is a pretty good time to visit London. You can still take advantage of the last sunny days and warm, dry weather to discover London’s amazing city.
On a side note, if you’d like to experience a sunset or sunrise in London, I’ve got two guides with vantage points, plus the sunrise and sunset times by month and season.
- The 13 Best Places to See Sunrise in London (& Sunrise Times)
- The 16 Best Places to See Sunset in London (& Sunset Times)
London September Weather & Temperature
September is a month of transition. Consequently, you can expect the London temperature in September to vary considerably from the first two weeks to the last two weeks of the month.
In early September, London still experiences comfortable weather with temperatures hovering around 70°F to 64°F in the daytime. Mornings and evenings are a bit colder; temperatures tend to average in the mid-upper 50° F.
In late September, things get colder, with temperatures falling to the low-mid 50s during the day and into the mid-upper 40s in the early mornings and evenings.
The good news is that September is a dry month, so no rain showers will prevent you from exploring London on foot or force you to find indoor activities.
What to Pack for London in September
Now let’s move on to planning what to pack for London in September.
Considering you’ll be visiting in a transition month, it may be tricky to know what clothes to wear in London in September. My advice is that you bring layers, so split your suitcase into light clothes for indoors and mid-weight layers for if it’s cooler.
- Pack a jacket or windbreaker. It will be your loyal companion against those chilly mornings and evenings.
- Bring layers! A couple of sweaters or cardigans you can wear and shed to your comfort.
- Throw in two pairs of jeans.
- Pack a fancy outfit. Londoners are a bit more fashionable, and you might want to dress up to attend a restaurant or rooftop bar.
- Bring two t-shirts. If you’re very sensitive to the cold, I would pack a couple of long-sleeved shirts as well.
- Don’t forget your umbrella! The rain returns in earnest as autumn sets in across England.
- Similarly, a good pair of rain boots is always a good idea during this time of year.
9 Great Events in London in September 2023
You have purchased your ticket and packed your suitcase; now it’s time to see all the fun events you can attend in London in September.
BBC Proms (July 14 – September 9)
The BBC Proms is the world’s biggest and longest-running classical music festival. It’s been part of London’s cultural agenda since 1895 and has grown to become one of the top things to do in London in September.
For eight weeks, the BBC Proms hosts a series of concerts. The most famous concert happens on the festival’s last day. Called The Last Night of the Proms, an orchestra performs popular classics and British patriotic pieces that Londoners love.
While it may be hard to snag tickets for the last night, visitors can always find tickets for any other concerts. Most concerts take place in Royal Albert Hall, but the BBC also broadcasts them across the UK on big screens as part of Proms in the Park events.
Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (August 25 – September 10)
Every year, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival brings the performing arts closer to people with an extensive program of art installations, street theater, circus, dance acts, and music events. An eighteen-day festival, GDIF takes place across Royal Greenwich, Docklands, and Tower Hamlets. Visitors can see a repertoire of UK and international artists presenting the most diverse street art performances.
They’re revealing the 2023 lineup in June. To indulge your curiosity, here’s what happened in 2021. A theater company presented the i-Puppets parade – giant eye robot puppets that stomp down the street. Artists also created an immersive installation called Borealis, inspired by the Northern Lights. Then Black Victorians, a dance company, delighted the audience with choreographies inspired by often-overlooked Black figures in pre-Windrush Britain.
Pub in the Park Chiswick (September 1-3)
Pub in the Park Chiswick is nothing but the UK’s biggest celebration of food and music. Hosted by English chefs Tom Kerridge and Matt Tebbutt, the festival brings top-notch chefs who concoct delicious recipes in cooking demonstrations. You’ll go home with plenty of tips to create delicious dishes.
Not everything is about theory, though. These chefs also bring their award-winning pubs and restaurants to the event so you can satisfy the foodie in you. Plus, famous singers will be musicalizing the festival – McFly and Ronan Keating are on the list for 2023.
Open House London Festival (September 6-17)
If you have a soft spot for beautiful architecture, you must attend the Open House London Festival. This two-week celebration allows visitors to discover London’s architectural hidden gems for free – and the word hidden isn’t used lightly here.
Forget about the iconic buildings; this festival opens the doors (for free) of buildings that are not usually open to the public. They’re private homes, schools, hospitals, museums, and pretty much any building or structure that have a story to tell and beauty to share.
Visitors can also attend a wide range of special events and guided tours throughout the two weeks.
London Fashion Week (September 16-20)
London is part of the “Big Four” in the fashion scene alongside Milan, Paris, and New York City.
Simple mortals with no links to the fashion industry may not be able to experience London’s Fashion Week firsthand – either you need an invitation to attend, or you can apply for tickets and hope they select you. However, no one can stop you from standing outside fashion shows and peeping at fashionistas worldwide wearing their best outfits.
Bring a notepad! You’ll find tons of trend inspiration for the coming season.
London Design Festival (September 16-24)
Since 2003, London has celebrated contemporary and historic design together at the London Design Festival. This annual festival has gained a huge reputation over the years and has become a truly international festival celebrating London’s international status as a design capital.
In 2023, they are bringing more than 200 exhibitors from all over the world. The exhibitions, installations, workshops, and panels will take place across the city in venues like the Victoria & Albert Museum (one of the major hubs), South Bank, and King’s Cross.
Premier League Matches (All month)
Bring out your competitive side and attend a Premier League match. The atmosphere of a London football game is something worth experiencing: rowdy fans chanting to encourage players as they wave their team’s scarves and the deafening enthusiasm of a cry of goooaaal when a player scores. There’s nothing like it.
A little word of advice; if you’re a newbie, try to avoid attending derby games like Arsenal vs. Tottenham, where fans can get a bit spiky. You can check here for Premier League fixtures to see which game you can include in your itinerary.
Totally Thames (TBD)
London wouldn’t have become the city it is today without the River Thames. So it makes sense to have Totally Thames, a festival devoted to celebrating the river’s existence. The month-long festival hosts numerous physical and digital events along and beneath the Thames, from mudlarking to river-inspired art installations.
Visitors can also attend talks to learn more about London’s most famous river. There are also concerts and art exhibits. Check their webpage to learn more about the activities they’ve organized for the 2022 edition.
Chelsea History Festival (TBD)
One of the youngest London festivals, the Chelsea History Festival brings interactive opportunities to explore the UK’s fascinating history. Every year, their staff brings world-class speakers, like Philippe Sands, one of the UK’s most prominent human rights barristers, to discuss specific periods of the country’s history in a didactic way.
It takes place in Chelsea Physic Garden and hosts more than 70 physical and virtual events. There are book talks, immersive outdoor installations recreating historic scenarios, and child-friendly activities like pond dipping.
11 Other Things to Do in London in September
If you still have time for more activities, here are 11 things you can also do in London in September.
- Explore London’s theater scene by taking in a West End show.
- Get in touch with your Royal side and witness the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
- Put on your fancy clothes and sip a cocktail at one of London’s rooftop bars.
- Enjoy classic plays alfresco style in London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The company will be playing La Cage Aux Folles from 29 July – 16 September.
- Attend a gallery or museum exhibition. The Tate Britain presents a fantastic exhibition of Walter Sickert’s works, one of the most important figures in British art in the early 20th century, until September 18.
- Enjoy riverside views of London on a River Thames cruise. From dinner cruises to high-speed boats, there are tons of alternatives.
- Dance the night away at one of London’s music festivals. Here are four music festivals taking place in September: Defected (TBD), Naked City Festival (TBD), Waterworks (September 16)
- Make the most of the last days of summer by having a picnic in one of London’s parks.
- Admire London’s skyline from one of the city’s vantage points.
- Experience the British pub-gathering tradition by grabbing a pint in one of London’s historic pubs.
- Enjoy a morning walk along London’s historic Southbank with a warm cup of coffee in hand.
This all sounds great, right? Have any other questions about visiting London in September? Let me know in the comments, or join my London Travel Tips Facebook community.