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Heat waves in London

We’ll be visiting London from July 6-10. Most airbnbs available during that time do not have air conditioning. However I’m reading about the occasional summer heat waves in London and am concerned that a flat without a/c may be too hot for my 6 month old and 2 year old sons if we do get a heat wave while we are there.

Obviously the weather can be unpredictable, but do heat waves typically occur later in the summer in London, or is early July fair game for a heat wave as well? Thanks!

Posted by
15383 posts

I've been through numerous July heat waves. They seem to be common the last few years. As was suggested, find a place with working air conditioning. You may not need it but will be glad if you do.

And since you're from Florida, I'm going to guess you are used to A/C. I lived there a few years and wouldn't think of not having it.

Posted by
2535 posts

We were in the UK in June/July 2019. Out of fear of a heat wave, we stayed in hotel with a/c. It then was in the 50s! But by early July it was HOT. All over Europe (my daughter totally roasted in Spain). We were in York by then in a place without a/c and we stayed out late attending an outdoor Shake sphere performance outdoors in hopes that it would cool down. It did but it was well after mid night which might not be the best with young children.

I will be in London about the same time this July for a couple nights and decided a/c was critical, just in case. And I am not traveling with children.

Posted by
5346 posts

The hottest day of the year last year in London was 19 July, at 104F - also the hottest ever recorded. It had been 100F the day before. Between these two days the temperature did not fall below 77F overnight.

Of course by being a record that is by definition exceptional but 100F was also recorded in 2020, that time on 31 July, and in 2019 on 25 July.

Every day in July has an all time temperature record over 90F, although achieved over many different years and the average by contrast is 75F. The risk of this level of heat is somewhat greater from the middle of the month to mid August so slightly after your period.

Posted by
3178 posts

Do try and book accommodation with AC, especially with young babies.
Be absolute sure to get somewhere with a fridge to keep drinks cold for them.
Find out if the places you plan to stay at have windows that will open for a breeze.
(Keeping 2 year old supervised of course.)
Stay on the ground or first floor to be cooler…NO attics or top floors of houses, they will get very hot.
Bring a couple of small rechargeable fans with you.(Amazon has lots.)

A heatwave in the UK can be very much worse than home, as most older buildings are not built to withstand extremes of temperature.
I lived there for many years.

Posted by
4059 posts

Both London and Paris have suffered quite strenuous heatwaves around early August in recent years, with emergency services handing out bottled water in the subways. So it can happen earlier or later. Try the BBC weather website for records.
Air conditioning has the added advantage of keeping the windows closed to street noise, which for some reason seems to be louder in hot weather. Or maybe my temper is shorter when sweaty.

Posted by
1065 posts

There have been some very hot weeks in London most summers recently, but it’s impossible to know whether you’ll hit one of them or not. If it’s very important to you I’d book somewhere with AC to be on the safe side. Otherwise, avoid modern flats as they tend to become unbearably hot and go for an older building.

Posted by
457 posts

The hottest day of the year last year in London was 19 July, at 104F ... temperature did not fall below 77F overnight

Welcome to late June, July, August and early September in Texas

Posted by
388 posts

@Pam

My first visit to England was mid-July through mid-September 1977. Per my British friend's advice, I packed for a "California summer" since that is what she experienced in East Anglia in 1976. As I recall, it rained sometime nearly every day I was there in 1977. My mother was visiting for a month in the middle of my stay and I asked her to bring me another pair of trousers and a long-sleeved top, and she took home all my shorts, and a couple of short-sleeved t-shirts I had no use for. We all spent a day on the east coast in borrowed mittens and hats in mid-August.

On the other hand, my husband and I walked the last bit of the Cotswold Way out of Bath in October 2011. We were frying in the heat. Had a friend visiting India at the same time and he said it was actually hotter that day in England that it was in India.

Still we're gambling on a moderate summer this year and haven't booked any accommodations with air conditioning. Kids, however, do not think "this too shall pass", so if you haven't booked yet, it might be good to get a place with A/C.

Posted by
11507 posts

With an infant and toddler - get ac . Ok you “ may “ not need it but if you do and don’t have it you will be miserable - touring around all day in the heat then not even having a cook retreat is torture .

Posted by
14098 posts

Leslie, that is hilarious! Yes, one time in July in the mid-1980's I had to buy socks and a sweater in Wales. That was also the time we headed to Hadrian's Wall for a picnic and wound up eating in the car. The wind was so strong we could barely get the car doors open, haha and it was even colder than Wales.

Posted by
5322 posts

Welcome to late June, July, August and early September in Texas

The OP is not asking about Texas or Quebec or anywhere else other than London so the summer temperatures elsewhere are irrelevant.

Posted by
457 posts

Chill dude, just joining in the conversation ... if you can't handle a few comments that don't specifically answer a question, don't read them.

Posted by
33010 posts

Chill dude,

nice

so you give an answer unrelated to the question and the other guy's wrong?

who is it that is hot under the collar?

Posted by
114 posts

Amy, I don't know what you consider too hot. It would not take an unusual heat wave for me to feel too hot at night, as in 2 or 3 days at 90. Also, I don't want to think about things coming in the windows if left open at night.

Posted by
457 posts

Not me ... never said anyone was wrong, just making an observation ... seems like every question asked has a few replies that don't specifically answer the original question, some even go totally off topic ... I merely suggested if someone doesn't want to read them, move on ... like I'm doing now.

Posted by
918 posts

As someone who lives in a country that can get very hot.

  • Wear a hat - a real one not a baseball cap
  • Drink plenty of water NOT beer
  • Wear a long sleeved cotton or linen shirt
  • Stay indoors from midday until 3pm - museum, cinema, shopping centre
  • If the kids get overheated put them in a tepid bath and let them have some nudie time to avoid diaper rash
Posted by
363 posts

I recommend air conditioning. We were in Chester in June in 2018. It was very warm and we were in an attic hotel room (they seem to always put family rooms in the attic?). It was HOT with no air conditioning. We had a weak fan in the room. My two daughters and I all slept in the king sized bed so we could all be in front of the fan (there were other beds they could have slept in, but they wouldn't have had a fan). There was a tiny window that we opened, but it didn't help much.

Since you can have no guarantee what the weather will be like, I would err on the side of caution. Air conditioning is something I specifically look for when I'm booking.