Who in the world wants to be in London in February?
I had to laugh when I looked at the London Heathrow Airport February Weather Forecast for the month of February 2016. Check it out...
Yikes! You may not have counted, but I did... out of the 29 days in February, there are only 6 that have sunshine, and that's just a little sun peeking out from behind the clouds! In London, that sun icon doesn't mean a whole lot. With England being a maritime climate (it's extremely influenced by the oceans that surround it), the weather is quite unpredictable and changes frequently throughout the day. Translated? - even on those days with sun peeking out from behind the clouds, there will probably be a shower or two at some point.
You may or may not have also noticed that the temperature is pretty consistently in the 30's and 40's, with 5 days out of 29 sneaking up into the lower 50's. Do cold temps combined with lots of chilly rain sound miserable? That might depend on where you hail from, but for this Carolina girl, let's just say it's not exactly my picture of heaven on earth.
Oh and it's blustery. And humid! The average humidity in London in February ranges between 76 and 89 percent. That means pretty much every day in London in February is a bad hair day! Not so good for me, since I don't have the best hair to begin with.
Cold, damp, rainy, blustery and humid. So, who would want to be in London in February? Well, it's funny... but we do! Our daughter, Cait and her family moved to London six years ago and we've visited them twice a year ever since. London has become a second home to us and, despite the miserable weather, we've learned to love this amazing city of 8 million, no matter what the time of year!
Shortly after Cait moved to the UK, she learned a valuable lesson that she shared with us. She had a neighbor who was from Scotland. One day she was commenting (okay, maybe grumbling!) about the unpleasant weather, as it was February when they moved to London. The Scotsman had an immediate response, probably one that he had repeated repetitiously over the years. With a crisp accent, he looked straight at her and said, "Never bad weather, only bad clothing".
That simple, yet wise statement has helped us a lot. The lesson was, when spending time in London (actually, anywhere), make sure to be equipped with the proper clothing and accessories. These days, we don't worry much about being stylish - instead we sport good quality, dependable raincoats with hoods, heavy-duty umbrellas, layers of clothing and waterproof boots. It's so true, if you have the right clothing, the damp and cold don't seem so bad.
We just returned home on Wednesday after spending several weeks in London and France with the family. This time around we decided to bundle up and have some fun documenting some of the wonderful aspects of London in February. Honestly, we didn't have to look far to find beauty, charm and vibrant new life springing up all over the place. Scott lugged his camera around most everywhere we went and recorded our discoveries...
One of the first things we were surprised to realize was that, despite the cold winds and gloomy skies, spring is beginning to arrive in beautiful little bursts all over the city!
Probably because of the gray, gloomy weather, Londoners have a great appreciation of color and beauty. It seems that, around every corner in this bustling city, there's a charming little flower shop. Each morning the proprietors carry out their most vibrant hued specimens to entice and cheer the pedestrians that pass by.
And I'm always amazed at the way things grow out of every little nook and cranny in England. I'm quite certain that a green thumb comes along with the British birthright. You find the most beautiful potted plants, window boxes and hanging baskets everywhere you go.
We ventured out into the city one evening for dinner. London at night is gorgeous, fun and exciting - no matter what time of the year it is!
Public transportation in London is clean, dependable, reasonably priced and very efficient. Not having to fight the traffic is wonderful, especially when the cold, damp winds blow. We navigate from one end of London to the other on the Tube (the underground transportation system) and the quintessential double decker buses.
Oh, and if the sun decides to shine, there are rows of shiny red and black bicycles all over the city. The bikes can be rented for next to nothing. On a pretty day, the racks are always empty!
The River Thames snakes its way through London and is one of our favorite parts of the city. You find people of all ages walking, running, strolling and biking along it's footpaths and over it's ancient bridges. And there are always the sturdy, stalwart ones who brave the elements in boats of all sizes!
Who Wants to be in London in February? As you can see, there are lots of wonderful reasons to spend time in London this time of year. But for us, it's this crazy, sweet, funny, fun little herd of four, who, along with their mum and dad, make it a wonderful place to visit. Without them it would just be another big metropolis!