Packing for the United Kingdom can be tricky even in the summer time. I’ve learned after years of visiting and living there that the weather can change at any given time and the art of layering is important. The U.K. gets a bad rap for being rainy nearly all of the time, but in fact it is more often the case that it is simply overcast and cooler rather than wet.
Temperatures are generally cooler in the spring and early summer, between 55-70 is the usual range that I’ve experienced. You can expect some days of 80 here or there but for the most part if you plan your wardrobe for mostly moderate temperatures you won’t find yourself unexpectedly having to purchase warmer clothing.
Today I’m sharing what I packed on my trip in May to England and Wales. I did a nice mix of city and countryside activities and much of what I packed could be worn in both areas.
If you are spending any part of your trip in London then you will want pieces that transition well from day to night. I learned early on that suitcase space was vital when packing for a variable climate and choosing pieces that can be mixed and matched or dressed up or down is the best way to save space. Darker, solid colors and basics are great for London as most Londoners opt for more subtle pieces. This doesn’t mean you can’t wear prints (please do!) but blacks, blues and grays are staples in the city and also match nearly everything.
Dresses are my favorite things to wear when traveling and summer dresses are perfect for train rides or wandering around London. My personal favorites in summer are shirt dresses and sundresses. Both can easily be dressed up with a nice pair of wedges for a night on the town after a day of sightseeing. Shoes are another very important piece of packing. I recommend packing one pair of comfortable flats and/or lace ups and a pair of dressier boots or heels. London is the home of the Chelsea boot so why not bring those along for a chic way to dress up a look!
As I mentioned, layers are important for the British Isles and whether in the city or countryside, making sure to pack multiple options is key. Essentials I always pack are a raincoat, trench, waterproof footwear, and an umbrella. An umbrella and Wellies can save a trip from disaster and I love Hunter brand for their high quality rain gear. I love the versatility of having both a rain jacket and a trench for when it is cooler in the evenings or attending a nicer event. A bag that can fit your travel essentials all in one place is perfect for days where you won’t be near your hotel.