Spring is officially here. England has a temperate climate year-round, but there are four distinct seasons with noticeable differences. April brings more daylight hours and warmth as temperatures climb a few degrees higher than March—just enough to open the buds on trees and flowers on a bright sunny day. Average temperatures in the nation's capital, London, typically reach daily highs of 59°F (15°C), while lows are in the 45°F (7°C) range.
There may be variations depending on where you travel. Cities in the north like York and Newcastle, closer to the Scottish border, tend to be a few degrees cooler. At the same time, the southwest peninsula in Cornwall, the UK's surf capital, will likely feel milder than the rest of the country due to its proximity to the Gulf Stream, bringing warm currents from the tropics.
All this to say, the weather in England is famously unpredictable, and you should expect a mix of sunshine, clouds, and precipitation during your visit. It's wise to pack a coat and a few smart layers, especially for cooler evenings, and an umbrella or brolly for sudden showers. If you're headed into nature, bring proper gear, including a waterproof jacket and durable hiking shoes that can handle muddy trail conditions.
Crowds & Costs
April in England falls within the shoulder season, between the low season of winter and peak season of summer. Though it's not the cheapest or quietest month to travel (those are the winter months), you'll likely find reasonable prices for flights, hotels, car rentals, and activities through June. Keep in mind that rates and tourists may increase if Easter week falls in April, when an influx of spring break crowds can be found around London, especially during the week leading up to the holiday.
Where to Go
Considering it is a relatively small island nation, England has lots to offer. Of course, London takes center-stage for most incoming visitors, thanks to bustling Heathrow, the biggest airport in the country. Whether it's your first or tenth time here, you will likely want to dedicate at least a few days to this exciting world-class city.
You can base yourself in the city and add a day trip or two to see more of England. Train service is excellent from several train stations in London—such as Paddington and King's Cross—offering easy access to the rest of the country. Possible outings include Windsor Palace, where you can tour the Queen's home, or Cambridge, one of England's best college towns with highlights including Wren Library and the King's College Chapel, where the famous boys choir performs. The romantic city of Bath is also accessible for a day trip and offers beautiful Georgian architecture surrounding an ancient Roman bath.
With more time, you can spend a few days in cities like Manchester and Birmingham, which are often considered the second cities to London with plenty of activities. Or rent a car and prioritize scenery in the Cotswolds, a beautiful area making up several counties that combines rolling hills littered with footpaths and picture-postcard towns like Chipping Campden.
Another option is to drive northwest to hike the mountains of Lake District National Park. Or head southwest to the county of Devon to check out the otherworldly craggy landscapes of Dartmoor National Park, which pairs nicely with scenic coastline along the English Channel with more hiking trails—all while basing yourself in the ancient small city of Exeter.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
What to Do
There's so much to do in London, depending on your age and interests, but you can experience many of the city's highlights in three or four days. For instance, take a long walk along the River Thames and visit several sites one afternoon, like the Tate Modern and St. Paul's Cathedral (both free), accessed via the Millennium Bridge. You can also join walking tours through various neighborhoods and sample the food and drink stalls at Borough, Camden, Portobello, and Notting Hill markets.
Sports fans can see games in several football stadiums, while theater fans can check out popular musicals in the West End. Royalists can visit Buckingham Palace and pair it with a day trip to Windsor Castle, where you can visit Henry VIII's tomb in St. George's Chapel. History fans can head to the War Room museum in London to see the underground chambers used during World War II and couple it with a day trip to Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
April marks the beginning of the garden season when green spaces burst with color. While in London, check out the tulips at Kensington Gardens, adjacent to Hyde Park, with monuments dedicated to Princess Diana. If in the Costwolds, you can head to Hidcote Gardens, part of a historic manor home with a 10-acre garden offering various themed sections. In Bath, you can spend time strolling through the 18th-century Sydney Gardens and then take a dip in the thermal waters at the nearby Thermae Bath Spa.
Hikers will want to consider hitting the trails along the UNESCO-listed Jurassic Coast in Dorset, with spectacular scenery. You can also head to the Cornish coast, full of rugged clifftops, Celtic ruins, and significant landmarks like the historic village of Tintagel, the birthplace of King Arthur. This route is part of the long-distance footpath stretching for 630 miles (1,014 km) called the South West Coast Path, so take your pick on how many days you want to hike.
Events in April
London Marathon, London. Look for this popular running race held each April on a Sunday, which equates to big crowds and road closures around the city.
Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race, London. Each April, gather with thousands of festive onlookers on the River Thames to watch the men and women crews from Oxford and Cambridge universities battle it out in an event that has taken place since 1845.
Literary Festival, Stratford-Upon Avon. Shakespeare's hometown is also home to one of the country's most significant literary festivals, held each April, with events and activities for all ages.
Easter weekend, nationwide. Easter may fall in late March or April, depending on the year. Festivities start with Good Friday and run through Monday (expect closures on both days). Look for church services, Easter egg hunts, Sunday roasts, and a plethora of chocolate treats and hot cross buns.
Traveling to England in February? Check out these great itineraries
Costwolds Road Trip - 8 Days. Explore the heart of England, from Oxford's famous "dreaming spires" to the Roman baths in Bath, passing by some of the most quintessentially English villages of the Cotswolds.
Family-Friendly Adventure in England and Scotland - 7 Days. This weeklong adventure around England and Scotland is terrific for families and begins with an interactive Harry Potter tour in London.