England has a temperate maritime climate - temperatures are mild and weather is changeable. In winter, temperatures rarely fall below zero, while summer temperatures rarely climb past 32 degrees. Rainfall is plentiful, mostly during autumn and winter although the Great British Summer has a reputation for being a washout (play stopped at Wimbledon and all that). The driest months are May, June, September and October.
When to fly to England
Summer is traditionally the high season however it varies by destination and the school holidays have a great bearing on prices too. Prices will rise for accommodation and travel in July and August, October (half-term), Christmas and New Year, February (Valentine's Day and half-term), Easter, and May (half-term). London doesn't have an off-season, bar a couple of weeks post Christmas and New Year's Day. Elsewhere, in popular destinations such as the Lake District, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath or York, the summer months are high season.
The winter is, in general, the low season. Some tourist attractions (stately homes for example) are mothballed for the winter months. The early months of the year, January to early March, are traditionally the least popular with tourists, so you may find better rates for flights and accommodation during this time.
Getting around England
Flying is a cinch, given the low-cost airlines and dozens of airports around the country. Competition between the budget airlines ensures that fares are low, sometimes cheaper than taking the train.
Trains are frequent and prompt, and booking far in advance nets the cheapest fares.
Buses and coaches are also great ways to get around England. Booked far enough in advance you can travel to many destinations from London from £3 with companies such as National Express.
England insider information
- There's no better way to enjoy the English countryside than to walk it. Three of the best, in Cheapflights' view, are the Cotswold Way, a long-distance walking trail that runs between Chipping Campden and Bath, Offa's Dyke Path, which straddles the England/Wales border, and the South Downs Way National Trail in Sussex.
- Get away from the capital. Yes, London is fun and there is enough there to last a lifetime, let alone one short holiday, but the rest of the country has plenty going on too. There are lively cities in the North, such as Manchester and Newcastle, seaside resorts (some kitsch, some stylish) and quaint chocolate-box villages.
- A huge draw for those who arrive on cheap flights to England is our heritage. Many stately homes and grounds are owned and preserved by the National Trust, and are open for visits at certain times throughout the year, no matter what else they are used for. The number of properties cared for by the National Trust is impressive: 28 castles, 66 nature reserves, 4,000 prehistoric monuments, 215 houses and gardens, 149 registered museums, 127 factories, workshops and mines, 12 lighthouses, 2 gold mines, 78 mills, 57 historic villages, 43 pubs and enormous stretches of coastline and countryside. You can search online to find attractions close to where you are travelling, or with features that you are interested in.
- Taste some regional delicacies - Stottie cake, Lancashire Hotpot, Melton Mowbray Pork Pie, Cornish pasties, jellied eels. Wash down with local ales, ciders, perries or wines.