The second-largest city in the UK, Birmingham is a place that practically overflows with great restaurants, fascinating museums, and fun things to do. Located in the West Midlands close to the exact dead center of England, Birmingham was once an industrial powerhouse of the UK and was known as the Workshop of the World because of all the manufacturing that took place there. But as the British economy changed, this industrial town fell on hard times.
You wouldn't know it to look at it now. Birmingham has been revitalized and is quickly becoming one of the most vibrant and exciting places to visit in the entire UK.
What's the best time to visit Birmingham? Well, the truth is, that depends on how you want to spend your time in the city. The long days of summer bring the highest average temperatures and are perfect if you want to explore the city's many parks and hiking opportunities, while the shoulder seasons of spring and fall help you to avoid crowds. And winter has its own charm in the city too.
Whenever you choose to visit Birmingham, don't forget to drop off your bags at a suitcase storage in the city. Traveling light is a good idea no matter what time of year you do it.
Summer in Birmingham
Let's start with peak season. Located as it is in the northern hemisphere, Birmingham weather is at its warmest in the months of June, July, and August, when the average temperature hovers around a very pleasant 72°F (22°C). These are also the driest months in Birmingham, with an average monthly rainfall of only 60 millimeters.
Of course, the weather isn't perfect all the time in Birmingham during summer. There will be the occasional rainy day, and temperatures can climb into the high twenties or low thirties Celsius (mid-eighties to low nineties Fahrenheit) on occasion. But overall, summer is a great time to visit Birmingham.
The long days are perfect for exploring all the city has to offer, and there's no shortage of things to do in Birmingham during summer. The city's parks come alive, the museums and art galleries are open late, and there are all sorts of festivals and events taking place.
If you're looking for a summertime activity that's a little out of the ordinary, don't miss the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This 15-acre oasis in the heart of the city is home to over 8,000 different plants, as well as a butterfly house, an aviary, and a children's garden.
Summer is also a fantastic time to enjoy the great outdoors in Birmingham, for example with a delicious meal at a waterside table at Gas Street Basin. You can also explore some of the best hikes in Birmingham and see the more natural side of the city. Or, you could enjoy events like the Interstellar Food Truck Frenzy or Birmingham miniFEST.
Unfortunately, everyone enjoys the higher average temperature and low average rainfall you'll get during the summer months, so don't expect to have the place to yourself. June, July, and August may see the best weather in Birmingham, with August usually being the hottest month of the year, but you won't have the city to yourself. Once kids get out of school for the summer break, expect hotel prices to rise and availability to drop, and you may find yourself waiting in long lines at some of the city's top attractions.
If enjoying the best Birmingham weather during your trip is important to you, it could be worth braving the crowds to visit the city during the months with the greatest average high temperature. But if you really dislike crowds and want to save some money, the season of dry weather may not be the best time to visit.
Fall in Birmingham
Fall in Birmingham sees a change in the weather, with colder temperatures and higher average wind speed making the perceived temperatures feel even cooler. These are also some of the rainiest months in the city, with October and November averaging 11 rainy days each.
That said, fall can still be a great time to visit Birmingham. The temperatures are cool but not cold, and the leaves changing color creates beautiful scenery throughout the city. The rainfall does mean that you're more likely to have a day or two of wet weather during your trip, but it also means that hotel prices will be lower than they are during the peak summer season.
What's more, fall is a great time to enjoy some of Birmingham's best events, like the Birmingham Literature Festival. If you're planning a trip to Birmingham during the fall months, be sure to pack a raincoat or umbrella, as well as some warm clothes for cooler days and nights.
Luckily, Birmingham is a city built to cope with rain. You can always take shelter from precipitation in a local pub. But beyond that, you can take advantage of the rainy weather to explore some of the intriguing museums in the city. Many of the city's best museums are completely free, so you could easily spend a day or two museum-hopping and not only avoid the worst of the weather, but also save some money on the top tourist attractions.
Bad weather also has a way of taming the tourist crowds. While Birmingham still gets plenty of visitors during the fall, it seems positively relaxed compared to the chaos of summer. If you'd rather visit the city and its indoor cultural attractions without having to navigate crowds, this is a good time to do it.
Winter in Birmingham
Winter in Birmingham can be a dreary affair. The days are short, with the sun setting around 4 PM on the shortest day in December. Also, January is the month with the most precipitation of any in the city, with an average of 12 rainy days. Snow isn't common in Birmingham, but it is certainly a possibility during the winter.
So why would anyone choose to visit at this time of year? Well, for one thing, this is the quietest time of year in the city. The bad weather puts most tourists off, meaning you'll have even some of the city's top tourist attractions to yourself. Additionally, due to the lack of tourism during the winter, prices for accommodation are at their lowest. You can pick up some real bargains at this time of year if you're willing to brave some bad weather in Birmingham.
If you're visiting the city to enjoy its history and culture, you'll be spending most of your time indoors anyway. Therefore, winter can be a great time to enjoy Birmingham's best museums. It's also a fantastic time for foodies to visit the city since you can always escape the cold in one of the dozens of great restaurants in town.
And there's one more good reason to visit Birmingham in the winter. November and December see the return of Birmingham's annual Frankfurt Christmas Market, one of the biggest Christmas markets in the UK. If you love feasting on traditional German Christmas foods like bratwurst, gingerbread, and mulled wine, this is the time of year to visit Birmingham. Just be sure to wrap up warm!
Winters in Birmingham aren't especially cold compared with more northerly latitudes, but the weather certainly does get cool enough for frost and ice to form. Add in the relatively high average humidity, and an average temperature as low as 34°F (1°C), and it's easy to see why a good winter coat, along with a hat, scarf, and gloves might be a good idea. February is usually the coldest month of the year in Birmingham, so maybe it's a good thing that it's the shortest month of the year too.
Spring in Birmingham
Spring can be a fantastic time to visit Birmingham. The unpredictable Birmingham weather means you'll probably see your share of rainy days, but you may also get lucky with some glorious sunshine. The average temperature in March reaches a high of 50°F (10°C), and by May, you're looking at an average temperature of 60°F (16°C). That means that if you plan a visit during late spring, you may well get a taste of some of the best Birmingham weather available.
However, as always in the UK, you should be prepared for rain. March averages 11 rainy days, while even May usually gets around nine rainy days. That's about as dry as Birmingham ever gets, but it means the percentage chance of encountering some rain is quite high. Therefore, packing a raincoat and even an umbrella is never a bad idea if you're planning to encounter the Birmingham weather.
At the same time, spring is a fantastic time to visit the city. The days are getting longer, and by late spring, you can enjoy some pleasant evenings out in Birmingham. The city really comes to life during the spring, as the trees and flowers start to bloom. And, of course, there are plenty of great events happening in the city during springtime.
One of the best things about Birmingham is its diverse range of attractions. And that's true whatever time of year you visit. However, some of the city's top attractions are only open during the spring and summer months. So if you're eager to enjoy some outdoor activities while you're in Birmingham, spring is a great time to visit.
Spring also sees some of Birmingham's most popular festivals starting up. In April, the city celebrates its canals with the Birmingham Canal Festival. The festival includes boat races, live music, and plenty of food and drink stalls. May is when Birmingham's famous Jazz Festival takes place. The festival features performances from some of the best jazz musicians in the world, as well as more local talent.
If you're looking for a time to visit Birmingham when the weather is pleasant but not too hot, and when there's plenty to see and do in the city, spring is a great choice.
When is the best time to visit Birmingham for you?
It's not easy picking the best time to visit Birmingham. Even with all the climate data in the world, you'll have to make some tough decisions. Do you want to maximize your outdoor time in the city? If so, you'll want to visit during the summer when the weather in Birmingham produces its highest temperatures. Alternatively, if you prefer a more low-key trip filled with cultural activities, spring or fall are the ideal time to spend more time indoors and visit some of the city's top museums and concerts.
And while winter may seem unattractive, it's one of the most affordable times to visit the city and the best time to avoid crowds. Also, the celebrated Christmas market provides a reason to get outside and stay active even in the coldest, darkest months of the year.
Think carefully about how you want to spend your time in Birmingham. Are you most looking forward to exploring the city's restaurants? Or would you prefer to get out of the city and enjoy the English countryside at its best? Once you know how you want to spend your time in the city, making a decision about when to visit becomes much easier.
Drop off your bags at a luggage locker in Birmingham, and you'll be able to have a great time in the city no matter when you visit. Packing for the Birmingham weather is an art form since you never know what it will throw at you next, but with your belongings safely looked after, you can focus on making the most of whatever weather you encounter.