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What's a typical January like in London ?

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Duluth, Minnesota
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What's a typical January like in London ?

Hello all :)

My brother and I will be traveling to London mid January. I've tried researching what the weather may be like during our stay Of course, it's a tad bit early to be doing that: as like most, places weather can be fairly unpredictable.

What I'd like to know though is how a typical London winter would compare to a winter where I live: both temperature and snowfall. I live in Minnesota and our winters are horrendous. In fact I believe my city made #2 on the worst cities to live in for winter. Last week we were hit with a three day blizzard that resulted in nearly 5 ft of snow. This was followed by a week of subzero temperatures- today the high was -2. Anyway , so that should tell you what I'm coming from.

I really don't want to have to haul winter boots (snow boots) and would you suggest a light jacket with layers? or is it cold enough to simply wear one big winter jacket? Again I know things are unpredictable I'm just trying to plan ahead the best I can , therefore any input is greatly appreciated

Islington
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11. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

I have spent more than thirty Januarys in London and not one of them has been typical.

Bingley, United...
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12. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

< On the other hand it could be pleasant, crisp and sunny....cold, but sunny. Those days are nice for walking about in. >

Then again it may be both on the same day.

For the OP

1) UK weather is unpredictable - the only way to find out what the weather is going to be on a given day is to wait until that day comes along.

2) Don't assume that because temperatures will be around 0C (32F) that it will feel warmer than -20C (-4F) - for the same reason as why your glass of iced "water" stays cold even in a warm building.

3) London is 300 miles further north than Duluth - so possible hours of day are lower in January

County Dublin...
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13. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

A budget would help.

New York City, New...
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14. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

You have the advantage of being prepared for all weather conditions. The main problem would be a near-freezing, wind-driven rain

I would bring at least one set of long thermal underwear (tops and bottoms). These weigh almost nothing, and take up little room in your luggage. I would wear ordinary black athletic walking shoes (like Rockport), and a hip-length jacket that are somewhat resistant to water. With luck, you won't have to wear the full equipment on the same day.

-- Steve

Winchester, United...
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15. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

My 2 pence: drop the snow boots - if there is snow on the ground it'll be a pathetic amount compared to what you're used to. That having been said you shoes may get soggy from the small amount of snow and/or puddles from rain, be prepared for that. Jacket/Coat wise - I've never had to put on more than a shirt/suit/overcoat combo - certainly nothing big and fluffy but I am a naturally warm person. Some people like to have gloves for the wind though particularly around the Thames.

In general if you're prepared for wind and rain you'll be fine in London - if the weather's not nice you'll probably use the underground a lot which can actually get pretty hot and humid in the winter as more people pile on. Combined with the fact you'll be going from place to place and moving you'll be fine. As I say just watch out for the chilly wind on the bridges over the Thames :)

Duluth, Minnesota
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16. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

:) Yep I most certainly did mean -2 F . sorry for not clarifying that in my post. Sounds like I may very well be enjoying a heat wave in London compared to here ;) Thanks everyone for your wonderful input so far !!! It's helped a great deal

Birmingham, United...
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17. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

Miserable .. that's London in winter. Why do you think people fly to places like Duluth for their holidays ?

Many replies have been accurate .. long dawns and dusks .. grey skies when the sun finally arrives .. slush rather than snow (and barely an inch of that .. if you're lucky) .. most buildings without central heating (and turned-down even when) .. and damp, cold winds that penetrate and perish, making you feel colder than the temperature suggests.

Come on .. what did you expect? The glowing references of a travel agent?

Bucks, UK
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18. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

"most buildings without central heating"

This is an excellent guide to travelling to London in the 1940s but any building without central heating in 2014 is probably an historic palace.I don't think I have ever been in a hotel, pub, restaurant, museum or other public building in the UK that doesn't have central heating and all private houses, bar the odd house owned by an eccentric elderly person who has refused all offers of grants etc to have it installed, will have central heating.

Birmingham, United...
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19. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

Perhaps I was meaning heating via ducted air conditioning - with which persons in the former colonies (viz those in the Americas) are more familiar.

After watching programmes by Mike Holmes (Holmes Inspection) and the incorporation of heating/air con. in that Commonwealth country to the far north of even Minnie-sota (sic), where its even colder, there's nairy a radiator in sight - and some beautifully clean aesthetic lines to interior decoration as a consequence.

London
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20. Re: What's a typical January like in London ?

Today the high is 55 F! We just don't get winter like you do in MN. Layers, a good water proof and possibly a travel/compact umbrella are all you need. Although the last 5-8 years have seen more snowfall it on;y happens ~ twice per year and in the centre doesn't last more than a couple of days at most. If it does snow while you are here you will probably laugh at how much we can't cope with it!